Not sure Halloween qualifies as a holiday, but it certainly is an event and it’s one of my favorites.
Not that black and orange are flattering colors on me, or anyone else, but like most people, I think it’s fun to get a little scared.
Being scared about what recipes to prepare isn’t any fun. Are you tired of the same old popcorn balls and candy apples? I’m not, but I admit, not everyone is satisfied with the old-school treats.
Even I admit the following recipes from McCormick look good.
BLACK VELVET WHOOPIE PIES
Makes 2 dozen or 24 (1 whoopie pie) servings
1 package (15 1/4 to 18 1/4 ounces) German chocolate cake mix with pudding
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons McCormick® Black Food Color
1 tablespoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
Jack-o-lantern orange filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow cream
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Red Food Color
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Yellow Food Color
For the cookies, preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cake mix, water, cocoa powder, oil, food color, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter, 2 inches apart, onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (Cookies will spread so avoid crowding them on baking sheet.)
Bake 8 minutes or until cookies are puffed and spring back when touched, turning baking sheets halfway through baking. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
For the Orange Filling, beat all ingredients in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. To assemble the Whoopie Pies, place 1 tablespoon filling on flat side of 1 cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.
VARIATIONS: Frankenstein Green Filling: Use McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract in place of the orange extract and 1/4 teaspoon Neon Green McCormick® Assorted NEON! Food Colors & Egg Dye in place of the yellow and red food color. Phantom Purple Filling: Use 1 teaspoon McCormick® Raspberry Extract in place of the orange extract and 1/2 teaspoon Neon Purple and 15 drops Neon Blue McCormick® Assorted NEON! Food Colors & Egg Dye in place of the yellow and red food color.
CREEPY CRAWLY CAKE TRUFFLES
Makes 4 dozen or 24 (2 cake pop) servings)
1 package (15 1/4 to 18 1/4 ounces) white cake mix
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Yellow Food Color
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Red Food Color
1 cup marshmallow creme
White confectionary coating wafers, such as Wilton® White Candy Melts®
Black confectionary coating wafers, such as Wilton® Black Candy Melts®
Semi-sweet baking chocolate
Assorted candies for decorating
Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding orange extract and food colors. Bake as directed on package for 13x9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Crumble cake into large bowl. Add marshmallow creme; mix until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate 2 hours.
Melt coating wafers or chocolate as directed on package. Using a fork, dip 1 cake ball at a time into the confectionary coating or melted chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess to drip off. Place cake balls on wax paper-lined tray.
Decorate as desired.
Spider: Coat in black coating or melted chocolate. Add black string licorice for legs and red candy-coated pieces for eyes.
Ghosts: Coat in white coating to resemble ghosts. Add cut black jelly beans for eyes and mouth.
Vampire Bats: Coat in black coating or melted chocolate. Use red candy-coated pieces for eyes, white tips of candy corns for fangs and cut up licorice wheels for wings and ears.
ORANGE HOCUS POCUS FIZZ
Makes 6 servings
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup rum
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Coconut Extract
3 drops McCormick® Red Food Color
2 drops McCormick® Yellow Food Color
1 bottle (750 ml) sparkling white wine
Mix pineapple juice, rum, coconut extract and food colors in measuring cup.
For each cocktail, pour 2 ounces pineapple juice mixture into beverage glass. Top with 4 ounces sparkling white wine.
Tips: How to Rim Glass with Black-Tinted Sugar: Place 2 tablespoons sugar in small resealable plastic bag. Add 10 drops McCormick® Black Food Color. Seal bag. Knead sugar until the color is evenly distributed. Pour out onto shallow plate. Dip rim of beverage glass in water, then into black-tinted sugar to lightly coat.
While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send email to email@example.com.