Here are some hauntingly fun Halloween ideas from fellow readers. We invite you to let your ghoulish creativity run wild!
A Jack-o'-lantern Cake was at the heart of the Halloween party snacks Sandy Birge made for her children and their classmates (shown in picture at right). "Everybody loved my pumpkin cake…and it was so easy to make," Sandy relates from Allen, Texas. "I baked two bundt cakes, then inverted one and set the second one on top.
"After frosting the pumpkin orange, I added brown M&M's for the eyes and nose and red M&M's for the mouth. The 'stem' was a cake ice cream cone turned upside down and frosted green." A similar cake can be found in the Taste of Home Recipe Finder (shown at left). This Pumpkin Cake recipe is also available in Recipe Finder.
Get in the Mood
"Before my kids and their friends go out trick-or-treating, I serve a fun supper to put everyone in the mood," reports Jan Yegge of Ankeny, Iowa.
Her slithery Halloweiners are the stars. Says Jan, "Around hot dogs, I roll 15-inch strips of thawed frozen bread dough into 'snakes,' leaving one end thicker for the head.
"I press in raisin eyes…then slice a small slit for the mouth and tuck in a piece of crinkled aluminum foil to keep it open during baking. Next, I cut slashes across the tail to resemble a rattlesnake's," she relates.
"After baking the snakes, I poke a little red licorice into each mouth and split the end to look like a forked tongue.
"I always serve these with blood (ketchup) and yellow slime (mustard). The kids gobble them up!"
Sister M. Regina of San Francisco, California created quite a stir at the convent where she lives when she served up a little clever "nunsense!"
"For our Halloween buffet table, I turned a cheese ball into a spooky head by adding candy eyeballs, corn curls and a cashew mouth," she notes.
She also dressed up some deviled eggs for the occasion. "I used bits of parsley, green onion, chives, olives, bell peppers and pimiento to make ghoulish faces," she writes. "Let your imagination run wild!"
Field Editor Renae Moncur fashioned a creepy "Spidermania" cake as an easy-to-make centerpiece/dessert to share with a niece and her young sons.
"I baked a layer cake first, then added quite a lot of black paste food coloring to come up with a really dark color for the powdered sugar frosting," she pens from Burley, Idaho.
"After bending black chenille stems (large pipe cleaners) to look like legs, I added plastic eyes and teeth for a menacing look. The kids really loved the big spider! And we all laughed at our black mouths and teeth when we ate the cake. Don't worry—the color's not permanent!" she adds.
Bounty of Spooky Treats
Colorful, crunchy Pumpkin Patch Krispies and artful Spiderweb Dip were among the spooky treats conjured up by Beaverton, Oregon's Tammy Distifeno.
"To make each pumpkin, I used two prepackaged Rice Krispie Treats to form a ball around one end of a Popsicle stick," she explains. "I dipped the pumpkins in orange confectionery coating, then piped on stems, leaves and scary faces with tinted frosting.
"I stuck one end of each Popsicle stick into Styrofoam in a basket and tucked in some artificial moss to resemble a pumpkin patch."
Tammy also disguised her favorite guacamole dip to look like a spider's handiwork. She piped a sour cream spiral over the guacamole, then ran the tip of a knife through the dip from center to outer edge to create a web-like effect.