I mentioned on my last post that I felt a bit guilty about not embracing the whole Halloween spirit thus far.
Well, after a couple of marathon baking sessions, I believe that I have officially embraced this spooky, kid-centric, candy-crazy holiday and am ready to move onto Christmas! I have THREE Halloween treats to share with you today and a “Trick or Treat” (Choose your Own) Bootcamp Workout. You can bake any of these treats for yourself or your kids, serve ‘em up at a Halloween party or even give to a friend as a housewarming gift!
So, let’s skip the lengthy, long-winded introductions that are characteristic of my blog and jump right into the tasty treats.
Pumpkin Candy Corn Fudge
Alright, friends, full disclosure here. There were about 20 times in my three attempts at this recipe that I thought to myself “FUDGE THIS!” Then, that very thought made me laugh out loud, and I kept on trucking. As I mentioned on Wednesday, fudge-making is not exactly difficult, but there are ample opportunities to screw up.
Before even attempting this recipe, I conducted a fair amount of research on the science of fudge-making and reviewed a bunch of different recipes? The problem? Each “expert” website said something different than the last. So, in the end, I just had to rely on the ol’ gut.
My best advice to those that choose to make this recipe is to follow the instructions exactly. Without getting too scientific, the creamy texture of fudge depends on the perfect amount of sugar crystallization. Too much crystallization = hard fudge with a gritty texture. Too little crystallization = thick syrupy goo.
But, don’t let all of this fancy schmancy science and talk of sugar crystallization intimidate you. Anything I can bake, you can bake too!
This fudge is a unique take on your standard chocolate fudge, and the candy corn, pumpkin and nonpareils combine to give it ample amounts of Halloween flair.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 - 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups (12 oz. package) white chocolate chips
- 7 ounces marshmallow fluff
- 1 cup chopped candy corn
- 1 cup nonpareils
- candy thermometer (optional)
- Line a 9X13 pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the butter, sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, pumpkin, pie spice, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once sugar, and butter dissolves, add a candy thermometer. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Boil, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234° to 240º F (soft-ball stage).
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, white chocolate chips and marshmallow fluff until chocolate is melted, approximately 1 minute.
- Fold in chopped candy corn and nonpareils.
- Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Let set at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for a few hours.
- Once set, remove from pan and cut into small squares.
Or, feel free to tie ‘em up in a treat bag with a festive ribbon. Everything’s better with festive ribbon.
And of course, I will always show what’s behind that perfect fudge tied up with a pretty bow. Here’s what it looked like in the Sometimes Healthy kitchen.
A word of advice: be sure to have all of your ingredients poured and prepped before beginning to make your fudge. It will make the process a whole lot smoother! Also, if you don’t have a candy thermometer, do not despair. Simply boil for about 10-12 minutes after reaching a “rolling boil” and then follow the instructions from there!
Halloween Party Popcorn
Not that making fudge isn’t a blast and all, but this next recipe is really as easy as they come. And, in terms of taste factor, this white chocolate, candy-packed popcorn is off the charts.
Make a few batches, pour in a bowl and watch it disappear before your very eyes at your Halloween party!
- 1 standard size bag microwave popcorn, popped or 4 cups air-popped popcorn
- 1 package Wilton Orange Candy Melts
- 1/2 cup Candy Corn M & M's (or Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Spice
- 1/2 cup Candy Corn
- 1 cup Halloween-colored nonpareils
- 1 cup Halloween-colored chocolate chips
- Pop popcorn in microwave or popcorn maker; Place in a large bowl and remove any un-popped kernels.
- Melt candy according to package instructions; then pour over popcorn mixture; use a rubber spatula to coat.
- Pour in half of candy toppings and all of nonpareils.
- Spread chocolate-covered popcorn mixture on to cookie sheet lined with wax paper to cool and harden.
- Break up into pieces and add in remainder of candy.
- Serve as desired or store in air-tight container.
You can also bring it as a little gift to the host of a Halloween party that you are attending.
He or she will undoubtedly love you for life after tasting this Halloween Party Popcorn.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the creation process:
Homemade Pumpkin Butter
Last, but certainly not least, is one of my favorite spreads in the entire world: pumpkin butter. I know that you’re supposed to spread pumpkin butter on muffins and breads, but I really prefer to eat it by the spoonful…or the jar.
This recipe is incredibly simple, but packs a big pumpkin flavor punch.
- 2 15-oz. cans pumpkin
- 1 1/4 cups pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In Dutch oven or large pot, combine all ingredients.
- Bring to boil and reduce heat.
- Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for approximately 25 minutes or until mixture thickens; stir constantly.
- Remove from heat and ladle into jars or airtight containers. Store in refrigerator for 2-4 weeks.
Here’s proof of just how easy it is to make your very own pumpkin butter.
At a Halloween party, simply place in a festive bowl and serve up with some sweet Hawaiian Bread.
I don’t know about you, but when I dream up a recipe, I have a vision in my head. I picture how it’s going to look, taste and be presented. My vision is almost always something you would see in Better Homes and Gardens or Martha Stewart Living.
The problem? Well, I’m not exactly Martha Stewart. More like her well-intentioned, yet hopelessly imperfect opposite. If Martha is Galinda the Good Witch, then I’m more like Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Oh, how I want my recipes and pictures to emanate with the sparkle and glitter of Galinda, but somehow they always end up just short of such perfection, sort of like Elphaba and her awkward green face in Wicked, the musical.
That was, of course, the case with all of the recipes in this post: the taste was on-point, but presentation still wasn’t the “Martha Stewart stature” that I was aiming for. However, I’m fairly pleased with the end result, and the good news is that if a non-crafty person like myself can pull together these little creations, just imagine what you can do with them!
Choose Your Own Adventure: Trick or Treat Workout
I just couldn’t share all of these sweet treats without a workout.
When you reach into the big trick-or-treat candy bag (or sneak candy from your child), you never know what you’re going to come up with! In the spirit of that randomness, I present to you the “Trick or Treat: Create your Own Bootcamp Workout.”
Mix and match any of these moves for a full body bootcamp workout. Simply follow the instructions and have some fun!
Hope you enjoy all of these recipes and of course, the bonus workout! Happy Halloween, from my kitchen to yours :-).