Did I scare you? It’s been so long, I know! I’m not going to sit around and make you read a long list of reasons that I haven’t been posting, because there’s really only one reason:
I doubt I’ll have time to start posting again regularly, but I just wanted to say hi and share a couple of fun Halloween recipes. Last year Henning and I had a Halloween party and we went a bit wild with the themed food–let’s just say there was a kitty litter cake involved and leave it at that. These two slightly more tame recipes are sure to be a hit at your Halloween party.
The first is for spooky witch finger almond cookies. They taste great and are creepy too! Crunchy almond dough is dyed green and almonds serve as fingernails. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can paint the nails with red food coloring, or even squeeze red decorator gel under the almond nails for a super nasty effect.
The next is a great recipe for Eyeball Punch. The punch was a huge hit at the party, and it makes such a great impression with relatively little work. Eyeballs made out of canned lychees stuffed with grapes float in a clear (spiked, if you wish) fruit punch. Yum! We also made a bloody hand out of cranberry juice frozen in a rubber glove, which added some extra punch to the punch. The idea for the eyeballs came from an old German magazine. Those crazy Deutschlanders, so creative!
2 parts vodka
2 parts white cranberry juice
1 part white grape juice
1 part lemonade
4 cans of pitted lychees
1 bunch of smallish dark purple grapesFor bloody hand (optional)
red cranberry juice
clean plastic glove (beware of latex allergies!)
Make sure all ingredients for punch are cold. Freeze the vodka.
Pour red cranberry juice into glove and twist and tie with a rubber band. Freeze for at least 24 hours. It needs to be frozen very hard.
Drain the lychees and carefully insert one grape into each where the pit used to be. If you want to do this ahead of time, put them in a bowl and cover with one of the ingredients of the punch (or a mixture), to keep moist in the fridge.
Mix ingredients for punch in a large, clear punch bowl and add the eyes. When the first guest arrives, snip the plastic glove off of the hand and float it in the punch bowl.
Witch Finger Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
green and red food coloring
3/4 cup whole blanched almondsPreheat oven to 325° F. Combine dry ingredients. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla, beat in dry ingredients. Add a small amount of green food coloring and then a drop or two of red food coloring and blend to desired color. (The red makes the green not so bright, but more muted and gross looking.) Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Working with one-quarter of the dough at a time and keeping remaining dough refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoons full of dough into finger shape for each cookie. Press an almond firmly into one end for nail. Squeeze in center to create a knuckle shape and use a paring knife make slashes in several places to form knuckle. If you want to paint the nails, use some red food coloring that’s been diluted with water and brush on with a clean artist’s brush.
Place cookies on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for three minutes. If desired, lift up almond and squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back in place so gel oozes out from underneath.
Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
Note: Make cookies smaller than you think they need to be, as they spread when cooking.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.