Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween Treats (a little late)

So I know its a little late, but these were too cute not to post. I was hoping to do it earlier in the week, but lets just say my body has never adjusted well to daylight savings time!

Ever since my daughter's birthday party this past year, she has been asking to have some of her friends over again. Since we love Halloween so much in our house, I thought it would be a perfect time to have another little get together. And what fun we had! To see her running around screaming with her little friends- so great. Its what I signed up for... I didn't want to go with the traditional candy bags for party favors so I went to to see if I could find any cute ideas. I found a template to make witch hats you could attach to the top of popcorn balls wrapped in green celophane. I wasn't sure about the popcorn but thought I could easily sub out the popcorn for caramel apples. The caramel was pretty wasy to make but took a LOT longer than I anticipated to get to the correct temperature. The one thing that amazes me about candy making is how the temperature will stay in one spot forever and then all of a sudden, it goes up thirty degrees in a minute! Good thing I kept a watchful eye! The recipe said it yielded six apples and there were going to be seven kids, so I also made six chocolate peanut butter apples (before the caramel). Turns out, I could have made a dozen apples easily, so I now have a little pint jar of caramel sitting in the fridge. The witch hats were made out of construction paper and I used ribbon I had left from my sister-in-law's baby shower. All in all, I think they turned out adorable!

For a snack I set out the traditional fruit and goldfish, but wanted to make some sort of cupcakes as well. I saw this recipe for pumpkin cupcakes on Tracey's Culinary Adventures when I was in search of cupcake recipes for my other daughter's birthday and thought this would be a perfect time to make them. The spiderweb design on top was so cute for Halloween! I made them the morning of the party and after reading the recipe I realized the icing was cream cheese icing. Experience has taught me pre-schoolers are not big fans of cream cheese icing and after realizing they would be getting enough sugar on Halloween, I decided it would be better not to ice their cupcakes. I did ice what was left after the party because the cupcakes on Tracey's site were so cute, I had to try it. It was surprisingly easy- you just drag out the icing from the center of three concentric circles. The cupcakes were delicious on their own and no one missed the icing, but the cream cheese icing was great as well. And the cinnamon icing used to pipe the design on top gave a little something extra to the finished product.

Everything was a lot of work, but so worth it! My daughter was very excited about the caramel apples- it was everything I could do to stop her from eating one until after the party- and everyone loved the cupcakes. I'll definitely be making the cupcakes again! The recipe for the caramel apples can be found here and the instructions for the witch hats can be found here. The recipe for the cupcakes can be found on Tracey's blog here.

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