Halloween is a great time to celebrate and entertain with family and friends. And to get into the proper spirit, you've got to have the proper attire, decorations and food to pull off a truly spooky and fun Halloween.
Kevin Miller, of Twigs & Branches Floral, and Chef Kelli Lewton of 2 Unique Caterers & Event Planners, dropped by the Fox2 Studios to showcase some fabulous and affordable ideas to make your Halloween party a hit.
Bewitched Pretzel & Sausage Bar
Soft and hard pretzels parried with a ton of fun sauces, spreads and condiments can make any Hallowed Eve Party a monster mash success Kids, teens and adults alike can find something that makes them howl at the moon
Large Soft Pretzels: You can find some really good quality frozen jumbo pretzels in most of your better grocery store or food service outlets, but of course homemade is always tasty too!
Soft Jumbo Pretzels
· 1 1/2 cups warm water, 110-115 degrees F
· 1 tablespoon sugar
· 2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
· 1 envelope active dry yeast
· 20 ounces all-purpose flour
· 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
· Vegetable oil, for the bowl and pan
· 9 & ½ cups water
· 2/3 cup baking soda
· 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
· Pretzel salt
1. Combine the 1 1/2 cups warm water, the sugar and kosher/sea salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until the mixture foams.
2. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl, and then oil it well. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with oil. Set aside.
5. Bring the 10 cups water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a large pot
6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, and, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place on a half sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
7. One by one, place the pretzels in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return them to the sheet pans, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture, and sprinkle with pretzel salt.
8. Bake until dark golden brown in color, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Of course mustard is the expected ad well as perfect pairing for Pretzels, use few tablespoons of "this and that" to pep up your mustard monster madness.
Yellow, honey, Dijon, stone ground mustard & spicy brown
Coffin Compound Mustard Flavors
· Mellow yellow=Yellow mustard + chopped banana peppers
· Cherry=stone ground, Dijon mustard +chopped frozen or fresh cherries (OR STOUT MUSTARD)
· Stout= reduce stout beer by ¾ (making a syrup so to speak) drizzle to taste into stone + Dijon combo mustard
· Cowboy=chopped Roasted pepper, diced grilled onions, equal parts Dijon + stone ground or add to some stout mustard for some extra zip.
· Sweet & Sour=chopped pickled red onion + honey mustard
· Dill= chopped dill, onion powder with; Dijon, honey + stone ground mustard
· Diablo=sirachia, honey & Dijon mustard
· The Mitten= Michigan maple syrup + chopped reconstituted dried cherries, Dijon & stone ground
· Mexican Village= cumin, chipotles + chopped pickled jalapenos mixed with yellow mustard
· Moroccan= paprika, turmeric, coriander + saffron
· Brown sugar =pecan & brown sugar
· Blue Cheese, herb +Dijon/honey mustard
· Caramelized apple + spicy brown mustard
· South Carolina=bbq sauce & spicy brown mustard
Non Mustard Smears
· Nacho cheese sauce
· Bar cheese Spread
· Blanco spread
· Queso Fundito
Wicked Witch Whoopee Pies
Chocolate Whoopy Pie Base (Best for using variety of flavors)
· 2 cups all-purpose flour,
· 6 Tablespoons (30g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
· 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
· 1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
· 1 large egg, at room temperature
· 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
· 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper
2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together.
3. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla on high speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to combine.
4. On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Then add half of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk until everything is added. Beat on medium speed until combined. It will be a thick, tacky, and sticky cake batter.
5. Scoop mounds of batter, about 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheets-- about 3 inches apart.
6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched. Mine usually take 11 minutes. Allow to cool completely before sandwiching. Make the frosting as they cool.
Easy Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
· 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
· 1 (13 ounce) jar marshmallow fluff or crème
· 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
· 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and extract.
2. Add powdered sugar, and continue beating on medium speed until the mixture resembles a frosting.
3. When your mixture is creamy, beat in the marshmallow creme. Fair warning: this is going to get a bit sticky.
4. If you feel your marshmallow frosting is too thick, you can add a tablespoon of milk or cream to thin it out a bit. Likewise, if you think it's too thin, go ahead and add a little more powdered sugar, a quarter cup at a time.