Tasty Halloween treats
While recently woodworking in the garage, my husband had a small scuffle with the router saw. Router, 1. Fingertip, 0. And while I can happily report that his finger is healing nicely and we are no longer worried about the future of his mechanical dexterity, the gruesome mishap and E.R. visit were the inspiration for these bloody good Halloween treats.
Glass shard cupcakes
Ouch! This cupcake looks dangerous, but you’ll risk a few stitches for its deliciously tangy cream cheese frosting. It’s also surprisingly easy to make.
The cupcake and frosting: I found a delicious red velvet cupcake recipe from www.sallysbakingaddiction.com, but either white or red velvet box mixes would look great, too, if you’re short on time.
Top them with my cream cheese frosting recipe: whip together an 8-ounce box of cream cheese, a stick of butter (both at room temperature), a tsp. of vanilla extract, and about one cup of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar. Add more sugar if you prefer sweeter, stiffer frosting.
The “blood”: Cherry pie filling worked well and tasted yummy with the cream cheese. Use a strainer to separate the cherries from the glaze, then use a food processor to blend the cherries till nearly smooth. Mix equal parts of blended cherries with glaze, and add one drop of blue food coloring to deepen the color.
The “glass”: Using a spun sugar recipe from www.howtocookthat.net, I boiled the sugar as noted but instead of making spun strands, I carefully poured the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet to cool, quickly tilting the pan from side to side to
allow the mixture to spread out and create thin “glass.” Let sit to harden, which took about an hour. Then tap the center with a large spoon to shatter into shards.
To decorate: Pipe frosting onto a cupcake with a large round tip, then dip the flat end of a shard into the cherry mixture, and push into the frosting. Spoon cherry mixture on either side of the shard till it begins to run down the side. Serve!
Severed finger cookies
The most gruesomely fun cookie you’ll ever make is also a tasty one! I tweaked a recipe from www.rachaelraymag.com by substituting almond extract and adding red and yellow food coloring to create a fleshy color. Be sure to keep the dough cold and shape pinky-sized cookies or they will look like they were steamrolled. Use a butter knife to gently score a few creases, and press the blade’s flat edge into the tip to make a space for the almond. Dip an almond slice into the cherry mixture (that you used for the glass cupcakes) and press into the space. If almond tips break, don’t worry! They’ll look even more realistic after they bake. To add to the realism, gently brush a little cocoa powder into the creases. Once cooled, dip the severed end into the cherry mixture. Or, let guests dip the fingers into a bowl of the mixture. We were delightfully grossed out by the results. My friend even had goosebumps!
We went through mounds of gauze dressing his finger — enough to wrap a mummy! In fact, it was easier to make these darling mummy cupcakes than wrap that wicked wound.
I found ready-made fondant and candy eyes at the local market and used chocolate and red velvet cupcakes. A bit of the cream cheese frosting helped glue down the eyes (tinted green to make the eyes stand out), and thinly rolled out
fondant was cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Place trimmed strips strategically along the mummy’s face, and done! And not a bit of flesh was spared.
Although making these creepy treats was in good ol’ tongue-in-cheek fun, let this harrowing tale be a lesson for you: keep your digits away from sharp, severed or seeping things — unless they’re slathered in buttercream!
Images by Jeana Coleman.
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