Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Make it spooky for Halloween

Cathi Litzenberger offers up some fun treats that the kids can help make and get them set for trick-or-treating

With Halloween fast approaching it’s time to decide just what you’ll be doing with your little trick-or-treaters.

Will you have them at home or at a friend’s house enjoying a Halloween party, or out trick-or-treating, or both?

There are countless things you can prepare for a Halloween party when it comes to food and today I offer just two that are quick to make and fun to eat. Hot Dog Mummies will delight even small children because you can put a friendly or fierce face on them as you wish. They’re the perfect food  to build energy before an evening of collecting candy. If your kids like creepy snacks, they’ll have great fun with the freaky witch fingers below.

Hot Dog Mummies

One 11-ounce can of refrigerator breadsticks

12-pack of hot dogs

Yellow mustard

For each mummy, separate one breadstick from the roll and use kitchen shears or a knife to slice it in half lengthwise to create two thinner strips.  Wrap one strip at a time snugly around the hot dog. Depending on the size of the hot dog, you may not need all of both strips. Leave about 1/2 inch of hot dog exposed for face area and continue wrapping the top of hot dog.

Bake the mummies on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes or until the breadstick wrapping is golden brown.

Remove the mummies from the oven and cool them for 5 minutes. Add yellow mustard eyes just before serving. Makes 12 mummies.

Freaky Witch Fingers

2 tablespoons red food colouring

30 blanched almonds

2 large eggs

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with  parchment paper, and set aside.

Place food colouring in shallow bowl. Using a small paintbrush, colour one rounded half of each almond. Set aside to dry.

Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white.

In a small bowl, whisk together yolk, remaining egg, and vanilla. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar and salt. Beat on medium speed until well-combined. Add egg mixture, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Add the flour, and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.  Divide dough in half. Work with one piece at a time, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and chilled. Divide first half into 15 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece back and forth with palms into finger shapes, 3 to 4 inches long. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with the back of a small knife. Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white. Position almond nails; push into dough to attach. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every Wednesday and one Sunday per month.

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