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BY ALEXA BEAULIEU | St. Petersburg High; Photos by Nicole Morgan | Shorecrest High
For most people, Halloween triggers images of Kit Kats, 3 Musketeers and Butterfingers. • I tend to think of a wider variety of ghoulish treats. • My family throws an open house on Halloween night for friends to stop by, socialize and grab a bite to eat. But the trays spread out on my table contain mummy dogs, caprese eyes, meaty fingers, spidery marinara bowl, cookie mouths and more. • These treats are so full of mind blowing color, tempting smells and mouth-watering tastes it’s all I can do not to gobble them up as I make them. Luckily for you, it doesn’t take long for the food to be available for sharing and eating. These recipes are great for a big party, small get-together or just to stare at on the kitchen counter. Some of them stare back. • Here are a few of the tantalizing treats from my family’s proven-delicious bag of tricks:
HOT DOG MUMMIES (pictured at left)
A favorite at every event are the hot dog mummies. They are guaranteed to be eaten quickly so making a big batch is highly recommended. You’ll need a package of cocktail wieners (mini hot dogs), usually found in grocery stores next to the normal sized hotdogs, a can of crescent roll dough and some ketchup or mustard.
To make your mummy dogs, unroll the dough and cut it into thin “bandage” strips. A can of dough should make around 20 strips. Roll each mini wiener in one strip of dough to look like bandages, leaving a blank space on the wiener for the face of the mummy. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet slightly apart and place in the preheated oven at 375 degrees. Bake for 13 to 17 minutes or until the dough is a golden brown. Use dots of mustard or ketchup for eyes peeking from the bandage and serve hot. If you’re saving them, make sure to refrigerate and heat again before serving.
Source: Adapted from pillsbury.com
CAPRESE EYES (pictured at bottom left)
The caprese eyes are the quickest to make, and one of the most delicious. All you need is basil leaves, slices of tomato, mozzarella balls, green or black olives and (optional) balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Simply stack the ingredients, starting with the basil leaf, then the tomato. On top of that, slice a mozzarella ball in half and use that as the whites of the eyes. For the iris of the eye use a slice of green or black olive. The balsamic vinegar and olive oil can be mixed and used as a dressing on top of the eye, or you can buy seasoned mozzarella balls in the deli section for extra flavor. This eye-popping rendition of caprese salad can be refrigerated and eaten at a later date but they are better fresh.
Source: Adapted from megabeth.net
TURKEY FINGERS (pictured at bottom, second from left)
These turkey fingers will be the most realistic food display on the table, and also maybe the creepiest! Roll up a deli slice of turkey. To one end of the turkey roll add a triangle shaped slice of red pepper (attach with a swipe of flavored cream cheese) so it resembles a pointy, witchy finger nail. For an even grosser look, use chipotle or other spiced deli meat to resemble cuts or sores on the fingers. You can make these ahead, as they keep well.
Source: Adapted from superhealthykids.com
SPIDER MARINARA (pictured at bottom, second from right)
The spider marinara bread bowl is always gobbled up in an instant. From your grocery store, pick up some pre-made pizza dough, any type. Shape the dough so that it looks like a spider with a body, head and eight legs.
For the body section of the spider, mold it with an indent to fit a custard cup or other container to hold the marinara. On the head, add pieces of dough for eyes and maybe even a mouth. Warning: once pizza dough is folded over, it won’t mold together as well. Make sure all limbs are attached (Hint: if you use a tiny drop of water, the dough will become stickier and make it easier to attach the head and legs) then roll the remaining dough into bread balls (a.k.a. baby spiders) you can dip into the marinara sauce.
Whip an egg white and use a paint brush to paint it on the dough before so it will bake a toasty golden brown. Sprinkle grated parmesan on top of the dough and the bread balls for extra pizza flavor.
Using a wooden pizza stone is recommended, but you can bake on a cookie sheet as long as it has corn meal on it. Follow instructions on the dough to bake in the oven; each type of dough will be a little different. Hint: Dough rises and spreads so make sure you leave room for the spider to grow.
When the spider is a nice golden brown color, add the marinara sauce cup to the spider’s back. You can pour the sauce directly into the indentation on the spider’s back, but it can soak the bread. Of course, as guests rapidly devour the spider and babies whole, there may be no time for it to get soggy.
Source: Adapted from womansday.com
MOUTH COOKIE MONSTER (pictured at bottom right)
The sweetest recipe is the mouth cookie monster. Bake a batch of your favorite cookies (chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar, any type). Follow instructions and make sure your cookies are big (4 inches in diameter).
After baking, let cookies cool then cut each in half. Spread red icing along the curved edge of each cookie half for the gums. Line the edge of one cookie with mini-marshmallows for the teeth. Stick the other half on top and press gently for a monster-licious cookie mouth. To upgrade tor a vampire mouth, add two slices of almond for fangs.
Source: Adapted from yumsugar.com