Halloween is one of our favorite holidays here at Real Food Real Kitchens. We wanted to go all out this year and have our dream Halloween party that was fun, filled with delicious food and treats, and just scary enough to have a little spooky-ness follow us home that night.
We invited our friends and their children over to join us in decorating all the cakes, cookies, and treats by hand with great confectionery goodies from our friends at Wilton. They gave us all kinds of Halloween sprinkles, candy eyeballs, cupcake stands, cake molds, and so much more. It couldn't have been more spook-a-riffic!
We started with a delicious (and a little spicy) chili that we made vegetarian... but we also included a ground beef version below. We had great toppings to go with it like shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions. It was so good almost everyone had seconds.
We had some savory snacks on hand as well. We chomped on tortilla chips with Honey Apple Salsa from our friends at Kyvan and some pretzel sticks. We added a little sweet to some of our pretzel sticks by using witches fingers and mummy candy molds and melts from Wilton.
No Halloween party is complete without sweets and we had PLENTY! We made more chocolate cupcakes than we could eat and everyone took part in decorating them. Our 'army' of decorators also made two very scary mini skull cakes that were delicious! We created candy melt coated cookies that looked like brains, eyeballs, and mummies we made using molds from Wilton. We also made peanut butter cookies from scratch and decorated those as well with cream cheese frosting and other spooky confections.
We made a blood orange punch using Jones Soda for the children that included dry ice to make it bubble like a witches cauldron, we may have played with it more than we drank it! We also didn't forget the adults at this party and crafted two simple but scary cocktails for them to enjoy.
Everyone had such a blast! We hope that you will use these recipes and ideas as inspiration for your Halloween party this year. Be sure to send in pictures and recipes from your party and we will share them on the Real Food Real Kitchens website. Have a Spook-tacular Halloween!
*special thanks to our super awesome models: Isaiah, Josiah, Alex, Meagan and Guinevere. Also thanks to Holly Bronson for her awesome set decorating skills. Thanks to Toni Elkhouri from Cedar's Cafe in Melbourne, FL for her Peanut Butter Cookie recipe.
SPOOKY VEGETARIAN (or not) CHILI
14 oz. 'ground beef' (you can use the real stuff but we used Gardein's Beefless Ground)
1/3 cup Colavita extra virgin olive oil (if you are making your chili vegetarian you will need an additional 1/3 cup later)
1 medium white onion diced
1 medium green pepper diced
1 can (15.5 oz) undrained BUSH'S Best Chili Beans Great Northern beans
1 can (15.5 oz) undrained BUSH'S Best Chili Beans Kidney beans
1 can (15.5 oz) undrained BUSH'S Best Chili Beans Black beans
1 can (15.25 oz) drained whole kernel corn
1 can (28 oz) Dei Fratelli petite dice tomatoes
4 large cloves of garlic minced
2 - 4 tbsp Sriracha CHA! by Texas Pete (use more or less depending on how spicy you want your chili, we like ours hot!)
1 packet of Swanson Flavor Boost vegetable
2 tsp chili powder (we used McCormick)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot (we used a Le Creuset French round) on medium-high heat add your olive oil. Once hot, add your onion and let cook until slightly translucent.
Add your garlic and let cook until fragrant then add green peppers. Cook until peppers are slightly soft.
Add your ground beef (if you are making this vegetarian this is when you will also add your extra 1/3 cup olive oil) and cook until meat is well browned.
Add 3 cans of beans, petite diced tomatoes, corn, and Swanson Flavor Boost packet and bring to a slight boil.
Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, and CHA! Sriracha. Reduce heat to low and let simmer on the stove for about 45 minute to an hour. Be sure to check and stir regularly. Heat should be set low enough so chili doesn't stick to the bottom.
Serve with extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, or any additional toppings you like on your chili. The children at our part especially loved the cheese and sour cream.
SUPER CHOCOLATY CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
*this recipe made enough batter for 32 cupcakes and two mini-skull cakes. 3-D mini skull pan available from Wilton.
1 Cup baking cocoa (we used Ghirardelli sweet ground chocolate cocoa)
2 cups hot water
1 cup room temperature butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp cold coffee (we used Cool Brew Mocha Coffee)
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
In a bowl combine water and cocoa powder and whisk until cocoa powder is dissolved completely.
With your mixer on low, cream together your butter and sugar until completely blended.
Add eggs and blend well.
Add in coffee and pure chocolate extract and continue to blend on low.
Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and continue blending.
Add in your water and cocoa powder mixture slowly while continuing to blend until smooth.
Fill paper lined cupcake cups in your cupcake baking pan about 2/3 ways he full.
Bake at 350 degree in for oven 18 - 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in to the middle cupcake comes out completely clean.
Remove cupcakes from oven and then from the pan and let cool on wire racks for about 10 minutes. Top with your favorite icing and toppings and enjoy!
*NOTE: we decorated our cupcakes using a homemade cream cheese frosting (recipe below) and many different decorating confections from our friends at Wilton. Without them none of this would look as fabulous as it does!
DEATH BY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (vegan or not vegan)
1 cup of peanut butter (we love Peanut Butter & Co.)
1 cup sugar, mixed with your favorite spices Cinnamon, nutmeg (use raw spices if you are making your cookies vegan)
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten (or 1 medium banana if you are making your cookies vegan)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together until well blended.
Use 1 tablespoon full of batter to make one cookie. Spoon batter onto non-stick baking sheet. Use a fork to create a hashtag pattern on the top of each cookie.
Before baking, you can top each cookie with course sea salt, chocolate chips, Reeses cups, caramel candies... or leave them plain.
Bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!
*NOTE: we topped our cookies after they were baked using a homemade cream cheese frosting (recipe below) and many different decorating confections from our friends at Wilton. Without them none of this would look as fabulous as it does!
GHOST WHITE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 (8oz) packages of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup room temperature butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in your vanilla then add your powdered sugar and stir until everything is blended well and it has a thick, creamy consistency. Spead on cookies, cupcakes, cakes and more. Our favorite!
BLACK AS NIGHT BLACKBERRY JUICE and GRAND MARNIER RASPBERRY PEACH (Adult Beverage)
2 oz Grand Marnier Specialty Collection No. 2 Raspberry Peach
4 oz Blackberry or Blueberry juice.
Chill Grand Marnier and Juice. Add Grand Marnier then the Juice into a cocktail glass and stir.
*NOTE: We used white tape to decorate our glasses like Mummies then used Wilton Halloween Eyeball Drink Skewers to stir.
SPOOKY DARK n' STORMY (Adult Beverage)
2 oz Gosling's Black Seal Bermuda black rum
4 oz Gosling's Ginger Beer
Pour rum over ice. Add ginger beer. Stir with a creepy bone hand stirrer. Enjoy!
*NOTE: Stirrers and drink coasters available from WIlton.