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10-Second Recipes: Scare Up Halloween Fun at an Edible Monster Party

(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)

By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate

If you have smiled with joy upon eating s'mores around campfires in the summertime, you just might shriek with terror if you instead broil them for a Halloween party. That's because, if you follow Candy Aisle Crafts author Jodi Levine's lead, you'll play a mad dentist and fashion them with spooky browned marshmallow "teeth."

That's just one item on the menu at an edible monster Halloween party. If you thought Betty Crocker was an innocent, there's a spooky side lurking as well. The baking giant turned sugar cookies into Frankenstein's green "toes" with eerie bright-red curved "toenails" made of delicious blanched almonds.

Here are some other temptingly terrifying ideas. Consider choosing sugar-free versions of ingredients whenever possible. If your kidlets help, be sure to supervise:

  • Roll out cookie dough flat and shape with culinary scissors or a knife into giant animal heads, like a cat or panda bear. Cut holes where the eyes would be. After baking frost and decorate colorfully with scary expressions. Kids can have fun holding up in front of face as a mask before eating.

  • Spread honey and chocolate type graham crackers with peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread. Fashion noses and mouths with fresh raspberries, eyes with chocolate chips and details like eyebrows and hair with sunflower seed kernels to make garish monster faces.

  • Bake a cake in the shape of a large heart and frost it white. Cut a circle in the middle and fill with jiggling red gelatin and strands of black licorice strings like veins. Serve pieces in small serving bowls topped with whipped cream and drizzled with blood-red fruit punch.

  • Fun fare like the above also proves food preparation can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive, fun - and fast. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for creating homemade specialties and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it!

Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since these are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations. They can't help but draw "wows" from family members and guests.


Assorted flat cookies (such as honey or chocolate graham crackers, chocolate wafers and tea biscuits)      
Thin flat chocolate bars      
Regular and mini marshmallows 
Regular and mini chocolate chips
Preheat the broiler.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the cookies on the baking sheet and put a piece of the chocolate bar on top of each one.
To make the eyes, cut mini or regular marshmallows in half horizontally. Arrange the halves on top of the chocolate, sticky side down. Poke holes in the marshmallows with a toothpick and dig around to enlarge the holes. Push a mini or regular chocolate chip into each hole, pointy side down.

To make the teeth, cut angled pieces off the remaining mini or regular marshmallows and press the cut sides into the chocolate.

Put the baking sheet in the oven and watch carefully. Remove as soon as the s'mores turn golden, about 45 seconds. (They turn brown very quickly and can burn before you know it, so stay nearby with your oven mitt on.)

Let them cool until they're just warm before handling or eating.

- Candy Aisle Crafts

Approximately 1-pound package sugar cookie mix
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg 
1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
7 drops green food color (see Note) 
36 whole blanched almonds 
1/2 teaspoon red food color (see Note)
Yields 36 cookies.

In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, flour, melted butter, egg, almond extract and green food coloring until soft dough forms. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place almonds and red food coloring in a resealable food-storage plastic bag; shake bag until almonds are evenly coated with food coloring. Place on paper plate or wax paper to dry. Set aside.

Heat oven to 375 F. For each cookie, roll heaping teaspoonful of dough into 2-1 / 2-inch finger shape. (This shape results in monster "toe" cookies.) On ungreased cookie sheets, place shapes 2 inches apart. 

Press almond, colored side up, into one end of each "toe" to look like a toenail. About one inch from each end of each "toe," squeeze dough slightly; with knife, gently make lines in dough to look like knuckles.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until set. (Cookies should not brown around edges.) Cool 1 minute; carefully remove with a utensil from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Note: For more vibrantly colored "toes," use paste food color instead of liquid food color.

QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK: If you've never thought of trying sea urchin roe, Ben Sargent, author of The Catch: Sea-to-Table Recipes, Stories & Secrets, recommends it. "Sea urchin roe is like a creamy butter of the sea, so it naturally takes to being married with butter and cream..." he writes.  "Next time you are thinking of serving a novel appetizer, instead of having oysters or clams on the half shell, try sea urchin roe on toast. You will thank me."

Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet(Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on
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