How to impress with Halloween Goodies

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Halloween Pumpkin Pie.

IN recent years, Malaysia has been infected  by the Halloween bug and we’ve been seeing more and more shopping malls join in the fun by decorating their stores with scary cobwebs, ghosts and the like. So we’ve decided to join the bandwagon as well by sharing our ideas on how to make your Halloween experience more enjoyable. Instead of just buying the tons of candies being sold in supermarkets, why not also try a healthier and more homely alternative by baking your own desserts instead?
If you’re planning to invite some friends around for a costume party, or just for a festive kick, up the ante with some of these sweet yet creepy Halloween goodies:

Halloween Candied Apples
Candied apples are a popular Halloween treat. The key here is in the decorating. The easiest is to make it look blood red! Here is the recipe for 15 candied apples:

•     Get 15 apples ready, along with 2 cups of white sugar, 1 cup of light corn syrup, 1.5 cups of water and 8 drops of red food colouring.
•     Lightly grease some cookie sheets, and insert craft sticks into whole, stemmed apples.
•     Heat up a saucepan with the sugar, corn syrup and water inside. Once everything has melted, remove the pan from the stove and add in the food colouring.
•    Dip each apple into the syrup, coating the entire apple evenly, and place on sheets to cool and harden.
•     If you’re feeling more adventurous, drizzle some melted chocolate, white chocolate, or orange paste colouring on the apples to decorate them, along with any topping. You can also switch it around by dipping the apples in white chocolate, then drip the red syrup on them for a “bloody” effect.

Halloween Ginger Pumpkin Cupcakes
Get creative by decorating plain cupcakes with “creepy crawlies” using toppings such as gummy worms, fondant, and cream. Why not have a little food décor competition party to see who can make the best horrific cupcake?

•     Prepare 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, 1 cup butter, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 can pumpkin puree.
•     Preheat oven to 175° Celsius, line cupcake tray with liners.
•     In a mixer, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger and set aside.
•     In a mixing bowl, mix the butter and white and brown sugar until light and fluffy and add in the eggs, slowly mixing everything together. Finally, add in the vanilla and pumpkin puree.
•     Mix the flour together with the butter mixture and pour into the cups.
•     Place the cupcake tray into the oven for 20 minutes and then cool.
•     Get decorating!

Halloween Pumpkin Pie
Get flowing with the pumpkin theme and transform the usually plain and wholesome pumpkin pie into a scary canvas, be it with some cookies on top decorated to look like tombstones or a chocolate jack-o’-lantern “carving”, or even an icing cobweb. Here’s the recipe for the pie:

•     Prepare 1 pie pastry, 3 eggs, 1 egg yolk, ½ cup white sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, 1.5 cups milk, ½ cup whipping cream, 2 cups pumpkin puree.
•     Preheat oven to 220° Celsius.
•     In a mixing bowl, mix eggs, egg yolk,  and white and brown sugar, while adding in salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
•     Pour in milk and cream, mix well and then add in pumpkin and mix.
•     Pour contents of the bowl into the pastry shell and place in the oven for 10 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 175° Celsius and bake for 40 minutes.

Halloween Ginger Pumpkin Cupcakes.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 28, 2014.