Tip of the Month, October 2012: Make These Easy and Festive Halloween Treats

I decided to make some easy Halloween treats this year and wanted to move away from sweets, especially since I caved in and bought Gabe and Lexi a Halloween cookie cake plus some orange and black cupcakes earlier in the week. I am such a softie whenever I take those two grocery shopping with me and I need to remember to leave them at home.

Anyway, I’ve recently seen a number of Halloween treats online and on TV and decided to make Hot Dog Mummies, Cracker Spiders and Cheese Ball Pumpkins. All are so easy, easy, easy to make and Gabe had fun helping me put together the cracker spiders. My favorite of the three was definitely the cheese ball pumpkins – so festive and so good! If you have to bring treats for a party this Halloween, consider making any of these.

Hot Dog Mummies

I make half of these with cheese and half without, since Gabe prefers his plain.

Ingredients (makes 8)

  • 1 package of hot dogs (8)
  • 11 oz. can of ready-to-bake bread sticks
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • Capers (for the eyes)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slit four of the hot dogs lengthwise. Slice the cheese into four pieces and place them inside the slits you made in the hot dogs. Take a breadstick and stretch it out to about a foot long. Wrap it around the hotdog, starting at one of the ends by making a “head” with the dough. Trim off any excess dough. Press the capers into the mummy’s head. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the hotdogs. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the dough starts turning brown. Serve with ketchup and/or mustard.

Cracker Spiders

Perfect for a Halloween party for kids – enlist their help to assemble these fun little snacks.

Ingredients

  • Round crackers (I use Ritz)
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned cheese product
  • Skinny pretzels
  • Writing icing
  • Raisins
  • Sprinkles

Preparation

Take a Ritz cracker and spread it with canned cheese or peanut butter Place four pretzel sticks on each side of the cracker to resemble spider legs. Top with another cracker. Use icing to make eyes. Add a raisin or sprinkle to make the eye’s pupil. Add a smile or a frown if desired.

Cheese Ball Pumpkins

This cheese ball recipe is so good with its green olives and dried beef. When it’s not Halloween, coat it with pecans or walnuts instead of the Doritos – so much better than most store-bought cheese balls.

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened (I use reduced-fat)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I use Duke’s Light)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup spring onions, chopped – both green and white parts
  • ½ cup green olives stuffed with pimentos, chopped
  • 1 can (2.25 oz.) dried beef, chopped
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Doritos, crushed (I used about 3-4 ounces)
  • Blue tortilla chips
  • Stem(s) of bell peppers

Preparation

Mix all of the ingredients except the Doritos, tortilla chips and bell pepper stems.

Form the mixture into one large ball or any combination of medium and small balls. Refrigerate for several hours.

Crush the Doritos by hand or in a food processor. Roll the cheese balls in the crushed Doritos – you may need to press the crumbs into the cheese balls to get them to stick. Press the bell pepper stem into the top of the cheese ball.

Serve on a plate of blue tortilla chips or crackers.

If you’re hosting a Halloween party, there are a number of great cocktails you can serve that pick up the colors of the holiday. A spicy Bloody Mary immediately comes to mind, as does a Tequila Sunrise or a Bellini.

Happy Halloween — may you have lots of treats and no tricks!

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Follow Kel’s Café on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kelscafe

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