Recipe: Halloween is coming!

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are fast approaching! It seems like just yesterday we were planning our July 4th menu with friends and family.

Soon it will be Halloween – so let’s make it SPOOK-tacular and very BOO-tiful for everyone to enjoy!

Planning a house party? I’ve given many – some very scary and packed with fun things to do – as well as having more than enough to eat!

SPOOKY STORY

For those that are preparing for a Halloween party –

don't forget the spooky tales that can be told –

we used to tell a tale –

everyone sat in a circle on the floor in a darkened room (the darker the better) –

the only light was from the flashlight used to read the story (one narrator who was responsible for handing out each gorey piece as the story was told)

As the story was told (very, very slowly of course) "things" were passed around – such as the rubber glove filled with sand and frozen was the dead man's hand, which came out of the ground (that's when you pass the crushed oreo cookies on a plate around for everyone to feel graveyard dirt – be sure to refrigerate for a better effect), chicken bones were human bones, corn silk was the "hair", jello "mushies" (jello gobs with a bit of water in a bowl) were the guts or the brains, a long balloon filled just about halfway with cold water were the intestines) etc. and at the end of the story every one was handed a HO HO because they had to eat doogie doo – or RING DINGS because they had to eat cow dung!

Spooky sounds were played in the background, the story being read so slow and all the props that were used really gave everyone a good scare for the night!

And don't forget the cauldron of dry ice in the corner – it made a nice prop as well.

With a little imagination – there is so much you can do!

I think just about everyone has made a Kitty Litter cake for Halloween.

Kitty Litter Cake for Halloween

Despite the cake's appearance, it's really delicious. For the proper presentation, use a brand new (and definitely UNUSED) plastic cat litter box and spoon it onto plates with a new (NEVER EVER used) pooper scooper. I like to make this the night before because of all the remaining preparations I need to make on Halloween.

I begin by making a homemade chocolate and a homemade white cake and bake in 13 X 9-inch pans.

To save time I use my own cake mix – this one is Just Like Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Cake mix:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups baker's** sugar (superfine sugar – a/k/a castor sugar)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder**
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

To make the cake you will need:
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs

To make the cake mix: Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat in shortening using your electric mixer (on medium speed) until no chunks of shortening remain. Transfer to resealable plastic bag; label and date. This will keep in your pantry for 3 to 4 months.

To make cake: Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of pans – two 8 or 9-inch rounds or a 13 X 9 X 2-inch pan; or line muffin tins for cupcakes using paper liners; set aside.

Place cake mix in large bowl; add water, oil and eggs. Beat on low speed to incorporate ingredients until moistened; increase speed to medium and beat for 2 ore minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans. Round pans will need approximately 30 to 33 minutes; 13 X 9-inch pan will need approximately 35 to 38 minutes; cupcakes will need 19 to 22 minutes. Do the toothpick test for doneness.

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For my white cake I used my White Cake Mix:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Sift ingredients.

I assemble this and place in a plastic resealable bag; label and date. This will keep for 6 to 9 months in your pantry.

When ready to make the cake: Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch baking pans or a 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan; or line a muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

Place the cake mix in a large bowl, add:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 large eggs (or extra large)
1 cup buttermilk***
2 teaspoons vanilla extract**
1/2 teaspoon almond extract – optional

Beat on medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until done – use the toothpick test! My 13 X 9-inch cake was done in 35 minutes.

Remove pans from oven and allow to cool completely.

**Make it homemade and make it cheaper and healthier.

***When making butter, I always save the buttermilk to use in baking. Much cheaper than buying it at the market!

For this recipe you also need vanilla pudding, which of course I use my homemade Vanilla Pudding and Pie Mix:

Combine the following and store airtight in your pantry:
1-1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt

This makes 3 cups.

To make pudding: Using a small saucepan, combine ½ cup pudding mix with 2 cups milk. Place over low heat and bring to a boil; stirring constantly. Boil gently for 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract; mix well.

Pour into serving dishes; chill until thickened. This makes 4 servings.

BUT FOR THIS CAKE RECIPE you will need the equivalent of 2 large boxes of pudding mix – meaning 8 servings – so you will need to use 1 cup pudding mix with 4 cups milk and ½ teaspoon vanilla.

And of course – you will need a large package of vanilla sandwich cookies.

Should I? Why not? Here goes:

Start by making your sandwich filling for your cookies:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups confectioners' sugar**, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract**

Beat all ingredients until creamy; set aside while you make your cookies.

This recipe is for a basic vanilla cookie. The dough can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.

In large bowl, beat until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes):
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
¾ cup sugar

With mixing running, beat in one at a time, beating well after each addition:
3 egg yolks

Cut a 2-inch piece vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds; add and mix well. If desired, substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract**.

In separate bowl, sift and whisk together:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Gradually add sifted mixture to creamed mixture, beating on low until well mixed. Divide dough into 4 portions; shape each into a ball and flatten into a disk; wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight. (This can be refrigerated up to 3 days ahead of time.)

When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350* F. Butter 2 large baking sheets. Remove disks of dough from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before rolling and cutting.

Using a lightly floured work surface, roll dough ¼-inch thick and cut with cutters. Gather and re-roll scraps. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake about 8 minutes or until done. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

To make the cookies for this recipe, cut cookies in rounds and place 1 tablespoon filling on the bottom of one round, place another round (the bottom) on top to make sandwich cookies.

If not, this recipe can be used for cookies you like to ice or decorate with colored sugars.

Cookies for this recipe can be made a week ahead of time (they store well airtight for a week).

You made need to double this recipe – they are very good.

NOW do you think you are ready to make the cake? Yes – I get a bit long-winded……………..
Remember to buy some small Tootsie rolls (YES I HAVE A RECIPE TO MAKE THEM!) – you will need 12 for this recipe.

You will also need:

1 new kitty litter pan
1 new plastic kitty litter pan liner
1 new pooper scooper

Now that your cakes have been baked and have cooled, and you have made your 8-servings of vanilla pudding, and your cookies are baked and filled – we are ready to assemble our cake.

Using your food processor, crumble your sandwich cookies in small batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently. Reserve about ¼ cup of this. If you don’t have a food processor, place cookies in a plastic resealable bag and crush using your rolling pin.

Add a few drops of green food coloring to the ¼ cup cookie crumbs mixing until thoroughly colored.

Crumble your cakes into a very large bowl. Toss with half of the crumbled cookies and half the pudding. You want to use just enough pudding to moisten the mixture. Combine gently. Remember – you do not want this to be soggy.

Line a new, clean and thoroughly washed kitty litter box. Transfer cake mixture to the litter box. Unwrap 3 small Tootsie rolls and place in a microwaveable dish. Heat until you can shape the ends of the Tootsie rolls so that they are no longer blunt, curve them slightly. Repeat with 3 more which you will bury in the cake mixture. Sprinkle with half the remaining crumbled cookies over top; sprinkle with green cookie crumbs (to look like mold in the kitty litter).

Heat 3 more Tootsie rolls in the microwave until almost melted; scrape on top of the cake; sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

Place remaining Tootsie rolls on top; roll in the cookie crumbs lightly.

Place litter box on newspaper – adding a sprinkle of cookie crumbs on the newspaper for a more disgusting look.


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