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Recipes for a creepy-classy cocktail party

Tired of the skimpy cat costumes and Monster Mash grinding sessions that come from the typical college Halloweekend festivities? Well then thank God Halloween came mid-week, for you have a second weekend to celebrate this spooky holiday, and why not do it classily? Here are some ideas for hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and cocktails to serve at a creepy-classy cocktail party.

HORS D’OEUVRES

HUMMUS PUMPKINS

Ingredients

  • 1 container of hummus
  • 2 shredded whole carrots
  • 1 green onion

Directions

Scoop hummus onto a serving plate, then cover with finely shredded carrots. A small piece of green onion makes a perfect pumpkin stem. Serve with pita chips!

MUMMY DOGS

Yields 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 
11-ounce package refrigerated bread sticks (12 bread sticks)
  • 12 jumbo frankfurters
  • Ketchup and mustard
  • Capers

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Unwrap breadsticks. Stretch each bread stick to 12 inches. Wrap dough around frankfurters, letting the frankfurters show slightly through the bread. Press in capers for eyes. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until bread is golden brown. Serve with ketchup and mustard. Makes 12 snacks.

MOLDY CHEESE BALLS

Yields 30 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 
8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 
cup finely shredded Gouda cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 
cup butter
  • 1 
tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 
teaspoon Worcestershire sauce for chicken
  • 2 
tablespoons thinly sliced green onion (1 onion should do)
  • 2 
tablespoons snipped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dillweed
  • 1/2
 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • Assorted crackers and/or flatbread

Directions

  1. In a large bowl let cream cheese, Gouda, and butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add milk and Worcestershire sauce. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in green onion and dill. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
  2. Before serving, shape cheese mixture into a ball. Roll ball in nuts or seasonings and let stand 15 minutes. Serve with crackers or flatbread. Makes about 30 (one-tablespoon) servings.

DESSERTS

MONSTER PUMPKIN COOKIES

Yields 60 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 
cups butter, softened
  • 2 
cups granulated sugar
  • 2 
teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 
teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 
teaspoon salt
  • 1 
teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 
teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 
eggs
  • 2 
teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 
15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 4 
cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 
cup butter
  • 1/2 
cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4
 cup milk
  • 1 
teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 3/4
 cups powdered sugar
  • 
Ground cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.
  2. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cookies. If desired, sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Makes about 60 cookies.

Decorate

Dip cookie front in melted chocolate, smooth to thin layer. Create eyes by slicing a small marshmallow into thin slices and placing on top of the drying chocolate. Use a dab of chocolate to attach round M&Ms for pupils and short lengths of licorice as eyebrows to create a worried expression.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CAULDRON CUPCAKES

Yields 18 -24 cupcakes

Ingredients – Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients – Chocolate Frosting

  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions – Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
  2. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Directions – Chocolate Frosting

Sift sugar and cocoa together in a medium bowl. Whisk in butter, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Use immediately.

Decorate.

  1. Frost the cupcake on the edges, making a donut shape with an empty space in the center.
  2. Cover in chocolate cookie crumbs.
  3. Fill the opening with an array of green candies (M&Ms and Skittles) and green sprinkles.
  4. Bend a small strip of licorice from one side of the cupcake to the other to form the cauldron’s handle. Add a chocolate stick stirrer, if desired.

AND, OF COURSE, COCKTAILS

CANDY CORN DRINK (non-alcoholic)

Yields 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 
4-serving-size package lemon-flavor gelatin
  • 1 
cup boiling water
  • 2 
cups mango nectar
  • 3 1/2
cups orange carbonated beverage, chilled
  • 1 
cup whipping cream
  • 2 
tablespoons honey
  • 
Candy corn (optional, but not really)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine gelatin and the boiling water, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the mango nectar. Pour mixture into a tall, clear 2-quart pitcher. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until thickened but not set. Gently pour orange carbonated beverage over gelatin layer in pitcher.
  2. In a large bowl combine whipping cream and honey. Beat with an electric mixer or large whisk just until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Spoon over mixtures in pitcher. If desired, add candy. Before
    serving, stir to muddle.

MUDDY SWAMP WATER (alcoholic)

Yields 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 
12-ounce cans cola, chilled
  • 2  cups Irish cream liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans
  • Shaved dark chocolate

Directions

In a large pitcher stir together cola and liqueur. Fill a punch bowl with ice; pour drink mixture over ice. Top with coffee beans and shaved dark chocolate.

Original recipes can be found by clicking the title of each item. Happy Halloween!

-Izzy Levenson

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