Halloween is so much fun but, man, it is so much work! First there is the costume – you have to make sure that you are prepared enough so that you don’t have to step foot into any of the craft/costume shops in October (those places are insane!). Then there is the preparing of the treats or food. I could spend a week prior to Halloween baking and cooking and probably still have things left to do! I had big aspirations for meringue ghosts and bones, and white chocolate ghosts but I didn’t leave myself enough time and was left chained to my oven on Friday night and Saturday just to get what I did make completed in time.
I couldn’t resist baking the witches fingers again. Nor the brain cupcakes. And the graveyard sugar cookies. When all was said and done, the only new recipe that I attempted was Halloween Cake Pops. This was quite a large undertaking and took me a good few hours on Saturday to complete. Cake pops are all the rage and some impressive examples can be found here. I followed the recipe that Pioneer Woman posted on her blog as hers were really impressive and the step-by-step guide made it simple enough for the amateur baker like me. The final result was pretty cool actually, however, next time I would likely bake the cake from scratch – I just don’t like the taste of premade cakes!
These are great for parties as they are easy to eat and they have that “wow” factor. I’d imagine that these would be a huge hit with kids. The candy melts can be found at Michael’s, which thankfully, has just opened up on West Broadway, near Cambie Street. Go nuts and be creative! There are so many quirky Halloween-y themed things you could make: eyeballs, pumpkins, black cats…the list goes on.
Cake Pops – makes about 36
1 pre-made cake mix (Betty Crocker Red Velvet is ideal, if you can find it).
1 450g can pre-made icing (Duncan Hines, creamy vanilla)
Assorted colours of Candy Melts (made by Wilton, available from Michael’s)
Black Decorating Gel (made by Wilton, available from cooking stores)
Bake the cake as per the instructions and allow to cool. Once the cake has cooled, crumble the cake into fine crumbs into a bowl. You can use either forks to do this, or the method I prefer, is using your hands.
Once the cake is completed crumbled, spoon ¾ of the can of pre-made icing into the bowl and mix together until the icing has completely mixed into the cake and is no longer visible. The mixture should be quite sticky.
Roll the mixture into balls – you don’t want them too big (will fall off the stick) nor too small (looks ridiculous on the stick), so a medium size ball is what you want to aim for (slightly bigger than a golf ball). Place the balls on to a tray lined with baking paper and pop them into the freezer for about an hour. You want them to be hard when you start coating them in the melted candy.
Place a bag of one of the colours of candy melts in a heat-proof glass bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir until melted and runny. Turn the heat off. Place a stick into one of the cake balls and, using a spoon, coat the ball all over in the melted candy.
Make sure that you place some of the candy melt where the stick and cake ball meet so that the cake ball sticks to the lollipop stick.
Once the ball is completely covered, place back on the tray and continue with the rest of the balls that you’d like in that colour. Allow to set. Repeat with other colours of candy melts. I ended up doing three different colours of base colour (green, purple, white). Once you’ve completed coating all of the cake balls and they have set, you can get on to the fun part of adding faces with the black gel.
Considering that it was Halloween, I followed the Pioneer Woman’s suggestions and made ghosts, Martians and purple people eaters.
To do the purple people eaters, I used some of the left-over pre-made icing to make the eye and then piped the black pupil on. Once they have hardened, serve. I served them standing up in Styrofoam. Happy Halloween!