Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on Oct. 31, and Halloween 2020 occurs on a Saturday this year. Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory the third designated Nov. 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon to become All Saints Day. As time passed, the day was called All Saints Day and Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve, the day before. The Halloween tradition came to America with the colonial community, and we celebrate on Oct. 31 each year.
There are many treats in the local stores to be bought but none like these homemade treats made in your kitchen for that school party or at home celebration.
Let’s start with
Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Open one bag — 12-ounce size — Nestle Toll House Halloween morsels and separate the orange pieces from the semi-sweet pieces. Starting with the semi-sweet morsels measure how many were in the separated pile and add enough semi-sweet chips to make 1 1/2 cups total. You will get about 1 cup chips from the bag so you need to add more chips to make the 1 1/2 cups total. Add the semi-sweet chips to a saucepan with 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread this in the foil lined pan with a spatula, spreading to fit the pan. Place this pan in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before starting the next step. Measure how many orange chips and add enough white chocolate chips to equal 1 1/2 cups. Add these chips to a pan with remaining 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk. Heat over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread this carefully over the layer in the foil lined pan, spreading over the top to the edges. Immediately press at least 24 pieces of candy corn on the top. Chill to harden, remove and cut into slices and serve at room temperature.
RAW, VEGAN WITCHES
Blend together 1 cup strawberries or raspberries and 3 tablespoons chia seeds in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a mason jar and allow it to thicken into a “jam” — ideally it needs to sit overnight. A few hours of sitting will work. If it is too thin, add another tablespoon of chia seeds. Add 1 cup sesame seeds, 1/2 cup raw cashews and a generous pinch of salt to a food processor and grind for 15 seconds or until mixture is broken down. Take a small handful of the dough and roll into a strip that’s about as long and wide as your finger. Shape to form like a knuckle and fingertips. Use your finger to make an indention at the end of each tip. Add a small amount of the jam to the indention and press a blanched white almond to make a fingernail. Makes about 15 to 20 cookies. Store in the fridge.
Place 7 quarts of fresh popped popcorn in a large bowl and set aside. In a saucepan place 1 cup light corn syrup, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat until it forms a soft ball. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and orange food coloring, optional — stir until butter is melted. Immediately pour in popcorn and stir until evenly coated. Shape into 3 inch balls. Kids love these popcorn balls.
RICE KRISPIES TREATS
In a large saucepan melt 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add one package — 10 ounce size — marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Add 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal and stir until well coated. Using a buttered spatula evenly press mixture into a 3 x 9 x 2 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool and cut into 2 inch squares. You can press a candy corn or other candy into the top of each square.