Trick or treats: Give 'em something fun to eat

By Sharon K. Ghag

The Modesto Bee

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30 2012 4:20 p.m. MDT

1 cup freeze-dried cinnamon apples

1 cup candy-coated peanut butter pieces

1 box (7.5 ounces) crunchy caramel-coated popcorn with peanuts

In large bowl, mix all ingredients. Store in airtight container.

www.bettycrocker.com

WITCHES' BROOM SNACKS

Serves: 6

12 thin pretzel sticks (2¼ inch)

¼ cup sharp process cheddar cheese spread (from 5-ounce jar)

12 whole-grain wheat crackers (such as Triscuits)

On end of each pretzel stick, shape 1 teaspoon cheese spread into 1-inch ball.

With sharp knife, cut each cracker into long pieces. Press cracker pieces into cheese to resemble broom.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 3 hours before serving.

www.bettycrocker.com

TACO MONSTER MOUTHS

Serves: 6

2 plum tomatoes, cut length-wise into 3 pieces

12 large pimiento-stuffed green olives

3 slices (1/2 ounce each) American cheese

6 Old El Paso Stand 'N Stuff Taco Shells

1/2 pound lean (at least 80 percent) ground beef

2 tablespoons Old El Paso 40 percent less sodium taco seasoning mix

1/3 cup water

Shredded lettuce, if desired

Cut slit into 1 side of each olive to make a flat side. Cut each of the slices of cheese in half vertically in a zigzag line to look like teeth.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange taco shells on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until hot. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Reduce heat to medium; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until water has evaporated.

To assemble, fill tacos with desired fillings so that meat is on the top. Placing each taco on its side on serving plate, insert 1 tomato slice into meat filling to look like tongue. Place 1 cheese slice with zigzag edge toward meat along top side of taco between the shell and the filling. Place 2 olives, flat sides down, to look like eyes on top of shell.

www.bettycrocker.com

SEVERED FINGER SUGAR COOKIES

Makes: about 24 cookies

1 pouch (17.5-ounce) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix

1 egg

¼ cup raw slivered almonds

¼ cup seedless strawberry jam

7 drops red food color

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper.

In medium bowl, mix cookie mix and egg, using fork or spatula, until well mixed and texture of sand or bread crumbs. Squeeze handful of dough crumbs together tightly to form small log or "finger." Score top of log with butter knife to shape the knuckle, then press 1 slivered almond at one end to make the fingernail. Repeat to use up dough. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Bake 15 minutes. Cool completely. In small bowl, mix jam and food color. Trim base of "finger" with fork to give it a severed look. Dip base of finger into jam.

www.bettycrocker.com

CREEPY CRAWLY CAKE TRUFFLES

Makes: 4 dozen or 24 (2 cake pop) servings)

1 package white cake mix

1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Orange Extract

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Yellow Food Color

¼ teaspoon McCormick Red Food Color

1 cup marshmallow creme

White confectionery coating wafers, such as Wilton White Candy Melts

Black confectionery coating wafers

Semi-sweet baking chocolate

Assorted candies for decorating

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding orange extract and food colors. Bake as directed on package for 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Crumble cake into large bowl. Add marshmallow creme; mix until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Melt coating wafers or chocolate as directed on package. Using a fork, dip 1 cake ball at a time into the confectionery coating or melted chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess to drip off. Place cake balls on wax paper-lined tray. Decorate as desired.

— McCormick

© The Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.)

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