Halloween is my favorite occasion for baking and decorating. As a child I not only looked forward to dressing up each year, but I was also excited to sample all the Halloween baking and Halloween punch available at October parties. The chance to get creative and make my kids smile motivates me to find new treats and concoctions each year. Are you ready for your #SpookyCelebration this year?
This weekend we started off the month by spending a family day on the farm. I love to stretch our Halloween fun out over the whole month. My kids try to get out to the market every chance they can. They just love the hay maze and corn maze. My husband puts a lot of thought and pride into setting them up for the local kids, but it is also fun to enjoy with our family.
I knew my family would be building up an appetite and working up a thirst on the farm, I had some spooky treat ideas up my sleeve. I found a brain mold last year and have been waiting for the perfect chance to try it out. Using plain gelatin, evaporated milk and Hawaiian Punch, I created a wiggly brain for everyone.
I just adore gelatin molds.
After spraying the mold with non-stick spray, I filled it and set it in the fridge to chill for about 4 hours. I couldn't wait to show off my creepy creation to the kids.
My son is a the age where "gross" is becoming cool. I must admit it is a pretty fun part of having little boys and fits in perfectly with Halloween fun. Give him bugs and gelatin brains and he's thrilled.
Hawaiian Punch Gelatin Brain
You Will Need:
- 5 packets of unflavored gelatin
- 5 c. Hawaiian Punch - Fruit Juicy Red
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 5 oz. evaporated milk
- 1 brain mold
- non-stick spray
Wash and dry the brain mold before using. Lightly spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Pour two cups of cold Hawaiian Punch into a medium bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let it sit for 2 minutes.
Add 3 cups of hot juice and sugar until gelatin and sugar dissolve completely. Let the mixture come to room temperature and then whisk in the evaporated milk. Place the mold in a small baking dish so it won't tip. Pour mixture into the mold and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Unmold gelatin onto a plate immediately before serving.
I also wanted something that would appeal more to my daughter. She loves decorated cupcakes, but when I saw these little toothpick legs I was thinking doughnut spiders. Paired with candy eyes and topped with all our favorite chopped Mars candy, I knew these would be a runaway hit.
I started with a simple vanilla bean baked doughnut. They do require a doughnut pan, but I love that they aren't fried or greasy. You could substitute with vanilla cupcakes as well. Topped with simple vanilla buttercream, I decorated each spider with M&Ms or chopped mini Mars candy bars. The perfect way to use up leftover candy, don't you think? I love both Milky Way and Snickers so had to use those. Then I added on on two candy eyes and put leg toothpicks on each side to look like a spider.
Baked Vanilla Bean Doughnut Spiders
You Will Need:
- 1 c. pastry flour
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. buttermilk powder
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla bean paste
- 1 buttercream recipe
- chopped Mars candy (Snickers, Milky Way, Twix or 3 Musketeers) or M&Ms for decorating
- candy eyes
- toothpick legs
- cupcake papers
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the doughnut pan generously.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Beat the wet ingredients together in a different bowl and then add to the dry mixture all at once. Stir till combined then divide between the 6 doughnut pan wells.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until a toothpicks comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to help ease out any stuck doughnuts. Let them cool completely before frosting.
Set each doughnut on a slightly flattened cupcake paper. Frost the top of each with a favorite buttercream recipe. Top with candy and then put candy eyes on each one. Put toothpick legs on each side of the doughnut.
Gobble them up before they skitter away!
The last trick up my sleeve was a classic punch. Aren't they the best? This one is a throw-back to my childhood parties. Hawaiian Punch is a classic all on it's own, but for Halloween I dressed it up with a bit of 7-Up, pineapple juice and dry ice.
Be sure to use plastic containers, wear gloves and handle the dry ice with tongs. I placed a cup inside my punchbowl to hold the dry ice. Just keep it weighted down in the middle and pour the punch ingredients in the bowl. Once a little water is added to the dry ice, it will begin to fog over the top and create a spooky effect for the table.
Since both featured Hawaiian Punch - Fruit Juicy Red, I dubbed my punch, "Brain Brew" to go along with the gelatin brain.
Hawaiian Punch "Brain Brew"
You Will Need:
- 1 gallon Hawaiian Punch - Fruit Juicy Red
- 1 liter 7UP
- 1 quart pineapple juice
- dry ice
Use a large plastic punch bowl. Place a cup or tall container in the middle of the bowl and while wearing gloves and using tongs, place a large piece of dry ice inside it. Pour the Hawaiian Punch, 7UP and pineapple juice around the cup and stir. When your party begins, pour a small amount of water into the cup with dry ice. It will start to fog over the punch bowl and spill over the sides. If the smoke starts to lessen, add more water or a new piece of dry ice. Be sure to dish up the punch with a plastic ladle and take care not to touch the dry ice.
Grab a coupon for Mars Halloween candy, you know that will come in handy this month. You can also find more spooky inspiration on the Bright Ideas site.
What spooky things do you make for Halloween?