Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: Halloween sweets for your little ghouls

By JANINE GILBERTSON October 23. 2018 10:08PM
Spooky Spaghetti (JANINE GILBERTSON)

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to put together a few recipes suitable for a frightful feast.

Halloween is big in my neighborhood. In fact, we’ve been buying candy for the past month, picking it up here and there when it’s on sale. When my kids were little, I would take them trick-or-treating in this neighborhood and would enjoy how everyone decorated their homes and made it fun for the kids. Now, years later, I live in the same neighborhood and I am the one passing out candy to all the little ghouls.

Since my kids are too old for trick-or-treating, I make them a Halloween dinner instead. A spooky spaghetti supper is an easy and fun dish to make to kick off Halloween. I heard about this dish a couple of years ago but it wasn’t for a Halloween dish; apparently spaghetti with jelly for sauce is a thing. I thought I would try it with black pasta and grape jelly so it would look extra creepy and according to my kids, it wasn’t half bad.

I put a little more effort into a chocolate graveyard cake made from a chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe I’ve had for ages. This one is particularly moist delicious and makes an excellent base for creamy homemade chocolate frosting. The frosting resembles soil but you can sprinkle some green sanding sugar on top to give it a grassy feel. A trip to a craft store like Michaels is a great place to find unusual adornments and sprinkles including candy gravestones and gummy worms that slither around in the chocolate soil.

I especially enjoyed making green apple gummy bugs from a gummy mix I picked up at the craft store. You simple add water, mix and pour the concoction into silicone molds and let them sit. Some candy eyeballs or other fun edible accents make the creepy critters more realistic.

Spooky Spaghetti

8 oz package black bean spaghetti

1 cup grape jelly

2 tbsp butter

Prepare the spaghetti according to package directions. Once the pasta is drained, add the butter and stir to combine, then add the grape jelly. Toss the pasta in the jelly to coat, then serve.

Green Gummy Bugs

8 oz. package green apple gummy mix

Silicone bug molds

Cooking spray

Nonpareils, if desired, for eyes

Spray the silicone molds with cooking spray and set aside. Follow the directions on the gummy mix package and pour the mixture into the molds. Allow to set for about an hour and a half. Use nonpareils for eyes on the bugs, if desired.

Chocolate Graveyard Cake

3 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 c. water

1 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate frosting

Candy graveyard embellishments

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and cocoa to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the mayonnaise, water and vanilla and mix welll until the batter is smooth. Spray two nonstick 9 inch baking pans with cooking spray and divide the batter between the two pans. Set in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for about five minutes, then turn the cakes over on a wire rack to cool. Once cakes are cooled add the frosting. Frost one layer, then set the other cake on top and add the remaining frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

2 1/4 c. confectioners sugar

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

6 T. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

5 T. evaporated milk

Add the confectioners sugar and cocoa to a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and cocoa mixture to the butter alternating with the evaporated milk. Beat until light and fluffy.


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