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Easy and Simple Halloween Recipes

Jennifer Zaratan

Note: Click on images to find more information about the individual recipes.

1. Peanut Butter Cups

Difficulty: Easy

These are basically foolproof, plus super easy, so if you’re not into the whole decorating thing and/or seem to easily mess up on baking things, these should be a perfectly safe option.

Courtesy of one good.thing by Jillee

Courtesy of one good.thing by Jillee

(2) 12oz bags of chocolate chips
(½ cup) creamy peanut butter
(¼ cup) powdered sugar
(2 tablespoons) butter

1. Melt half of the chocolate in a microwave in short 15-30 second increments, stirring after each time, or over a double boiler (a bowl over a pot of boiling water, but the bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water).
2. Line a mini cupcake tin (or a big one’s okay too, no judgements) with cupcake liners.
3. Scoop a spoonful of chocolate into each one, spreading it around the sides and bottom until you have an even coating. As an alternative if it seems too messy, you can just spread a flat, even layer of the chocolate instead. Place it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. 
4. Mix the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter (softened), preferably with an electric mixer until well-combined and fluffy.
5. Place a spoonful of the peanut butter mixture onto each chocolate cup and spread until you have an even layer. Place back into the freezer for another 15 minutes or more.                             6. Melt the rest of the chocolate and spread it on the tops of each cup. Let it sit in the freezer for a final 15 minutes before serving.   

2. Candy Corn Cupcakes

Difficulty: Easy

Disclaimer: these do not actually taste like candy corn.  If you don’t want to make it from scratch, you can buy a cake mix. Just make sure that it’s white or yellow so that the colors will turn out better. 

Courtesy of Two Tiny Kitchens

Courtesy of Two Tiny Kitchens

(1) boxed cake mix
Yellow and orange food coloring
Frosting, store bought                                                                                                                                       OR
(½ cup) butter (1 stick)
(1-2 tablespoons) milk
(1 1/2 teaspoons) vanilla
(2 cups) powdered sugar

1. Prepare your cake batter according to instructions. 
2. Separate your batter into 2 bowls. Add yellow food coloring to one and orange food coloring to the other, adding a few drops at a time until you get a vibrant color. 
3. Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners; white, semi-transparent liners are best so that once they bake, you’ll be able to see the colors from the outside (without having to take off the wrapper first). Scoop yellow batter in first, spreading it out and/or lightly banging the pan on the table to level it out. Add on the orange batter. Both batters should only go up to about ¾ of the cupcake liner. 
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or according to box instructions).                                 5. Follow instructions to make frosting here.                                                                                       6. Pipe on the white frosting on with a ziplock bag or piping bag. As an optional step, you can garnish the top with a candy corn.  

3. Skeleton Grave Brownies

Difficulty: Easy

These ones are great because they work for both Halloween and Finals week!

Courtesy of TREATS 4 TA-TAS

Courtesy of TREATS 4 TA-TAS

Making them from scratch usually tastes better, but if you have better things to do, you can always just buy a brownie mix.

For the brownies:
(1) brownie mix package                                                                                                                                       OR
(1 cup) butter (2 sticks of butter)
(3 cups) white sugar
(1 tablespoon) vanilla extract
(4 eggs)
(1 1/2 cup) flour
(1 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt

For the decorations:
White frosting
Marshmallows (optional)

Materials needed:
9 x 13 baking pan
ziplock bag
clean scissors (or a knife as an alternative)
serrated knife

Steps - For the brownies:
1. If using a mix, prepare according to the box’s directions. 
2. Melt the butter, and add in the sugar and vanilla into a large bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing each time until incorporated. 
3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Make sure if you’re using an electric mixer you use the paddle attachment (not the whisk). 
4. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.     

Steps - Assembly:
1. After letting the brownies cool completely (very important unless you want to end up as a Pinterest fail), use a serrated knife to cut the brownies into a coffin shape (pictured).
2. Spray your clean scissors with cooking spray and cut the marshmallows in half (the cooking spray just makes it easier to cut through and not get all sticky with the marshmallow goo). 
3. Put the frosting in a piping bag or ziplock bag and cut a small hole at the tip. Add a bit of frosting and attach the marshmallow to your brownie. Alternatively, if you don’t have marshmallows you can just draw a circle on with the frosting like the rest of the body. 
4. Pipe on the rest of the skeletons body, by starting with a straight line for the torso, then adding three short lines across for the skeleton’s ribs, legs, arms and finally the head. Then as an additional step, you can draw on the skeleton’s face to add more character and make it seem less like a dead corpse and more like a person.                                 
5. For the “top” of the coffin, pipe a “RIP” or whatever expression you want.                              

4. Eyeball Cake Pops

Difficulty: Medium

There’s a lot of room to change it it up to your liking for this one. You just need a filling of some sort, whether that be cookie dough (preferably edible, because you know, the whole salmonella thing) or just classic truffles or cake pops. I prefer red velvet cake pops, because that’s just how I imagine the inside of eyeballs to look like, but to each his own. 

Courtesy of TREATS 4 TA-TAS

Courtesy of TREATS 4 TA-TAS

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                        Red Velvet Cake Mix
White chocolate
Blue, red, and black candy melting wafers or frosting
Chocolate chips 

1. Follow the instructions on the Red Velvet Cake Mix box.  
2. Crumble up the cake after it has finished baking with your hands until all of it is crumbs. Add frosting a little bit at a time, stirring in between until you get a play-dough-y consistency. 
3. Roll into balls and put in the fridge for half an hour. Optional: dip cake pop sticks into melted chocolate and freeze. 
4. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. If using the microwave, heat it up in 15-30 second increments, stirring each time in between until it’s smooth.                                 
5. Make sure if you put your cake pops in the freezer, you take them out a few minutes before to thaw a little before trying to dip them in the chocolate, as they will expand as they get warm and crack the chocolate (but if that happens, no worries, it’ll be like the eyeball is cut open or something). Dip each ball in the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate fall off before placing it on wax paper or a silicon mat. Put them back in the fridge for another half hour or until the chocolate is hard.                                                                                                                                 6. Decorate the eyeballs by putting your melted candy melts/frosting in a piping bag or ziplock bag and cutting a small hole at the tip. If the cake pops are not on a stick, it’s recommended to use the candy melting wafers or royal icing so that it will harden and not get messed up when you put them back down. Draw a circle for the iris in blue (or whatever color you prefer/have), then a smaller darker circle in black or brown for the pupil. Alternatively, you can just stick a chocolate chip in. Add red eye lines around it. Wait for the candy melts/icing to dry before serving.