Halloween Treats

Are you planning a Halloween party for your young ones? Surprise them with homemade treats that look as good as the ones in the store. Caramel apples, popcorn balls and cookies on a stick can’t be beat. – Pat

Caramel apples

16 wooden sticks
16 small apples, chilled
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoons salt

Push wooden sticks into the top of chilled apples. Return apples to the refrigerator until caramel is ready for dipping. Place sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan; boil, without stirring, 9 minutes or until light golden. Combine half-and-half, vanilla and salt; slowly stir into pan. Boil until candy thermometer reaches 235 degrees (45 minutes), stirring frequently. Pour caramel into a bowl sitting in a hot water bath. Swirl apples in caramel, and place on baking sheet lined with wax paper.

Popcorn balls

2 cups sugar
1-1/3 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
18 cups popped corn

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, syrup, vinegar and salt. Cook over high heat until mixture reaches 255 degrees (hard ball stage) on a candy thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Pour over popped corn, tossing gently to coat. When mixture is cool enough to handle, press popcorn into 3-in balls with lightly greased hands. Cool completely on waxed paper.

Flavored marshmallow
popcorn balls

6 tablespoons butter
3 cups mini marshmallows
3 tablespoons dry orange jello
3 quarts popped popcorn

In a saucepan melt butter and mini marshmallows. When melted add the dry Jello and stir. Pour over popped corn mixing well. With buttered hands, press into balls.

Cookies on a stick

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Non-stick cooking spray
Wooden craft sticks or lollipop sticks
Easy microwave frosting:
Decorations: crushed peppermints, colored sugar, pastel nonparells, confetti, jimmies (optional)

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer about 5 minutes or until creamy. Add egg yolks and vanilla, beating until blended. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended after each addition. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze 30 minutes. Shape dough into a disc; cover and freeze 15 more minutes or until firm. Roll dough to a 3/8-in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut shapes using seasonal cutter; place on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray, allowing space for craft sticks insert 1 craft stick into bottom of each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 16 minutes or until edges are golden. (Baking times may vary with different cookie shapes and sizes.) Cool 5 minutes on baking sheets. Slip a metal spatula under cookies to loosen; cool completely on baking sheets. Store in a cool, dry place.
Easy microwave frosting
Microwave 1 (24 oz) package vanilla candy coating in a glass bowl at high 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Divide melted candy coating among individual bowls. (The numbers of bowls will depend on how many colors you wish to make.) Stir food coloring in desired colors into each bowl. Reheat colored coating as needed. Dip cookies in coating. Lay on wax paper lined cookie sheet to dry, decorate while candy coating is wet.


• It’s easy to lose track of what and how much you’ve measured. Measure all ingredients before you begin a recipe. place unmeasured ingredients to the left of your work space and move them to right as you measure them.
• The best way to measure sticky ingredients such as peanut butter or honey is to first spray the inside of a dry measuring cup with vegetable cooking spray. This extra step makes cleanup a snap.

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