Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Haunting Halloween Party Tutorials

One of the most frequent questions I receive about the parties we put together is "how much time does all of that take??"  I have outlined a tutorial of the party- start to finish.  I am a full-time working mom, so I don't have the time to do it all in one day.  I'll include a timeline at the end.
Halloween Party Desserts
Spider Web Cake with Surprise Pumpkin in the Middle
Mix & Bake time:  1hr for 2 cakes and 24 cupcakes   Building the cake:  15min  Frosting & Decorating the cake:  20min
 Bake two six inch round chocolate cakes.  Bake 24 white cupcakes- adding orange food coloring to the cupcake batter for 6-8 cupcakes and green food coloring to the cupcake batter for at least one cupcake.
 Crumble the orange cupcakes into a bowl and mix with 2-3 Tablespoons of vanilla frosting.  Crumble one green cupcake into a bowl and mix with 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla frosting.  Level the cakes.
Remove a dome shape from each layer of cake.  Cut a small hole for the pumpkin stem to the bottom of one layer and fill with the green cupcake mixture.  Fill the remaining (top half of pumpkin) with the orange mixture and fill the other layer (bottom of pumpkin) with the mixture.  Make sure you compact the green and orange mixture enough so it stays together when you cut into the cake.  Pipe or spead a layer of chocolate frosting (I used Nutella rather than mixing chocolate frosting for such a small role in the cake) and then flip the layer with the green stem on top of the other layer.  Crumb coat and let the crumb coat set in the refridgerator for about 30min.  
Then frost entire cake and decorate as you desire.  For the spider web design, pipe lines from the center and then pipe arches between the lines.  The lines are finished with a black candy pearl detail.  For the spiders down the sides, just pipe a glob of black frosting for the body, add another smaller glob for the head and pipe spider legs.
 Graveyard and Spell Book Cupcakes
Mix & Bake time:  remaining cupcakes from the cake above
Decorating time:  20minutes
 Pipe chocolate frosting or Nutella on the tops of the cupcakes for the grave-site.
Remove the filling from 8-10 Oreo Cookies.  Crush the Oreo cookies (or use black sugar) and dunk the top of the cupcake to cover the frosting or Nutella with the Oreo crumbs.  Using a Wilton #232 tip, pipe green grass around the grave-site.
 I also made these cupcakes last year.  You can find the tutorial here for the fondant details.  
I had left over fondant details from my daughter's birthday in September and I was so glad I hung on to the extras so I didn't have to mix a new batch of fondant for only a few details.  I used the extra plumeria flower petals as tombstones and the books we didn't end up using, to use as spell books.  Dry brush black food coloring over the white fondant to achieve an aged tombstone look.  Pipe "RIP" in black on the tombstones or Iam Goner, Justin Thyme, Diane Rott, Emma Ghost, Spell Book, etc.  I also place a candy pumpkin for an extra pop of color.
Halloween Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing and Vanilla Frosting
Mix and Bake:  1.5hrs  Decorate:  3hrs
My sugar cookie recipe is here.  It's the best.  The cookies and soft, light and layered...Mmmmmm.  Below is the decorating progression.  I mixed black, green and orange royal icing.  Pipe all of the black areas and then fill.  Pipe the green areas and then fill.  Pipe the orange areas and then fill.
For the bat sugar cookies:  pipe the black outline, sprinkle black sugar and empty extra, let set and then fill.  Done.  For the black cat sugar cookies:  outline and fill.  I sprinkled random black sugar on half of the black cats and I had extra orange icing, so I filled a few cats with orange.  
For the Frankenstein sugar cookies:  pipe the black outline for the hair and fill.  Pipe the green outline for the face and fill.  Let set and then pipe a thick "T" shape for his eyebrows and the bridge of his nose.  Pipe two circles on either side of the base of the "T" for his nostrils.  Pipe a straight line or diagonal line for his mouth.  Pipe white circles for his eyeballs and then add a black sprinkle to the center of the eye.  I added silver jimmie sprinkles for the bolts on either side of his head.
For the jack-o-lantern sugar cookies:  Pipe the black details and let set.  Pipe the pumpkin ridges and then only fill every other ridge.  Let set and then fill the remaining pumpkin ridges.  Pipe green for the stem.  For the cauldron sugar cookies:  Here is a detailed post.
For the haunted house sugar cookies:  I used a combination of vanilla frosting and royal icing.  The haunted house is a Christmas gingerbread house trimmed/taped on the sides as well as the chimney.  Fill a base color and then pipe details like the roof, front door and windows.  Add finer details like ghosts, bats, spiders, spider webs, caution tape, boarded windows, skeleton, etc.  I have the most fun with the haunted houses!
Witch Finger Cookies
Mix & Bake:  above with sugar cookies
Progression shown below from left to right:  Roll your sugar cookie dough into a ball and then roll out like a snake.  Pinch dough towards the center to make the knuckle. Slightly flatten and score lines for the knuckles and press an almond slice for the finger nail.  Bake.
 Lightly dust the knuckles and around the nail with cocoa powder.  Done.
 Lemon Pudding and Fruit Candy Corn Cups Topped with Whipped Cream
Prep time:  10min
Open and drain two cans of pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges.  Layer pineapple, then mandarin oranges and top with whipped cream or Cool Whip.  Open several snack pack lemon puddings.  Add red food coloring to half for the orange layer.  Layer lemon pudding, orange pudding and then top with whipped cream or Cool Whip.  I used Reddi Wip but it melts fast on top of the fruit.  I think Cool Whip would hold its shape longer.
 Red Candy Apples
Prep time:  30min
Wash your apples and dry well.  Find sticks to insert into the top of the apples.  I have a few shrubs in the backyard with a red colored branch that worked perfect.  Bring water, sugar and light corn syrup with red food coloring to a boil.  Dunk the apple and place on buttered waxed paper to set.  I've never made them before, so I looked up a Martha Stewart recipe and video and voila.
Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Bat Sprinkles flying in front of Candy Moons
Prep & Bake time:  2hrs
The recipe and steps are detailed on a previous post.  I love these cookies and they can easily be changed up from one holiday to the next.  I've made Christmas and Valentine's Day versions, and now Halloween.
When the cookies are removed from the oven, place a green candy melt for the moon.  As the candy melt melts, place the bat sprinkles.  Easy to decorate, but more time consuming to bake since the dough must chill for an hour and you have roll the dough into balls.  They're worth it.
Drinks:  Orange Crush, Cranberry Juice, Squirt (with extra green food coloring)
Halloween Poison, Witch's Potion, Witch Hazel and Graveyard Dust Bottles
Craft time:  20 minutes for 4 bottles
Detailed post here.  Print labels and cut out.  Apply Mod Podge with a sponge brush to the entire bottle.  Place label and Mod Podge over label.  Let dry.  Add beverage or dead flowers.
Happy Haunting Bunting
Free Printable provided by the very talented Secondsister Suaviloguy
Craft time:  20min
Cut the pendants with a ruler and exacto knife or pair of scissors.  Punch a hole on either side and string orange ribbon (from top to back and through the front- so the ribbon is behind the pendant).  The spider web fabric tacked to the wall is Scribble Monsters Spiderwebs Black.

Halloween Party Food
Multi-grain Crakers with Provolone Ghosts
Prep time:  3min
 Arrange the crackers on a platter and use a ghost cookie cutter to cut the ghost shapes from the cheese.  You could also use mild cheddar with a pumpkin cookie cutter or a small bat cookie cutter and place on the cracker as a moon.
 Deviled Eyeball Eggs
Prep time:  40min
Prepare your deviled eggs.  Instructions for perfect deviled eggs here.  Using a toothpick dipped in red food coloring, draw lines on the egg white for veins.  Add a few drops of blue food coloring to the yellow egg yolks (yellow + blue = green) and mix.  Pipe the yolk filling back into the egg white and top with a sliced black olive.
 Jack-o-lantern Carrot Platter
Prep time:  5min
Arrange baby carrots on a round platter.  I used two small Pyrex glass bowls for the dip.  The dip is hummus with black food coloring stirred in to make it black.  You could also do the same with just about any dip.  Place whole or sliced black olives for the triangle nose and jack-o-lantern mouth.  Top the stem with a green vegetable.  I had spinach on hand so I used a few spinach leaves.

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