As we celebrate this popular holiday, we must remember to slow down while driving and keep a close watch for all the little goblins and monsters that will be out tonight.
How times have changed. When I was a toddler, I wasn't taken out trick-or-treating. When I grew older (about 5 years of age), I was given a plastic mask to wear and Mom took my sister and I out to knock on a few doors in the neighborhood.
The Woolworth store didn't carry any real spooky masks; they were all kid-friendly ... clown and animal faces were very popular. I once wore a mask that resembled the face of a pretty lady. No additional costume - just the mask, which after awhile became very uncomfortable.
As we grew older, Mom would stay at home and send us on our way. We had to walk where we wanted to go. Since I was the oldest, I had to keep my sister and brothers with me. Friends would often join us. I was relieved when my little brothers got tired and wanted to go home. Then us older kids could move faster and visit more houses; resulting in more treats!
When I became a parent, I was faced with the challenge of dressing the kids up to go trick-or-treating. When the kids were five or six, they wore the same style of mask I had worn. The kids were excited to go out, but after visiting a few houses, their little legs were tired and they were ready to go home.
As the kids became older, we got creative. The costumes were designed at home using old clothes, make-up, jewelry, etc. The kids ventured out as a group and were told to stay together ... and always look for cars before attempting to cross a street.
Later, Halloween parties/dances became popular. These were planned in an effort to keep the kids off the street (for the most part).
Weeks prior to this Halloween, the store shelves were loaded with all sorts of stuff. One could find entire costumes, complete with accessories. I saw lots of make-up kits, tubes of fake blood and numerous wigs in assorted styles and colors. I couldn't help but notice that costumes come in adult sizes, too. Guess the kids aren't the only ones who want to celebrate!
The following recipes make good use of extra Halloween candy you might have.
Wrap it up!
GRILLED DESSERT WRAPS
Spread a flour tortilla with Nutella. Top with Snicker candy bar pieces, marshmallows and coconut. Roll up. Wrap in foil. Place on grill for about five minutes.
Another variation: Almond Joy's (cut up), mini M & M candies, marshmallows
The combinations of candy are endless ... get creative. A favorite with the kids.
Note: These can also be heated in the oven.
An irresistible combination of chocolate and peanut butter
SNICKER BAR PIE
Prepare the cracker crust by combining:
1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
scant 1/4 cup sugar
5 T. margarine, melted
Press into shallow 10-in. pie plate. Chill 45 min. before adding the filling.
10 fun-size Snickers, cut in sm. pieces and set aside
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
Stir together. Mix well. Pour into chilled crust. Refrigerate. Let sit overnight before serving.
MONSTER CANDY COOKIES
6 snack size Mounds or Almond Joy bars
6 fun size Snickers bars
3/4 cup M & M candies
1/2 cup white baking chips
1/2 cup butter, room temp.
1/2 cup margarine, room temp.
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Chop candy bars into pieces; stir in M & M's and baking chips. Set aside.
On med-low speed, beat butter, margarine and sugar 2 min. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of candy mixture. Using a soup spoon, drop dough (approx. 1/4 cup) about 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Gently press some of remaining candy onto each cookie. Bake at 375 for 12 min. or till golden. Cool on pan 5 min; remove to cooling rack using a large metal spatula. Cool.
Note: I baked the cookies on air-bake pan; covered with parchment paper - for about 11 min.
Yield: Approx. 2 dozen.
Have a craving for chocolate?
CANDY BAR BROWNIES
(popular in 1999)
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Snicker bars (2.07 oz. each), cut into 1/4" pieces
3 plain milk choc. candy bars (1.55 oz. each), coarsely chopped
Note: Check the label on the candy. At this point in time, the bars probably weigh less and you may want to add additional candy.
In a bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside 1/4 cup. Add remaining dry ingredients to the egg mixture; mix well. Toss Snickers pieces with reserved flour mixture; stir into batter. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with milk chocolate candy bar pieces. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min. or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack. Chill before cutting.
I'm sharing only sweet treats with you today ... my way of saying "Happy Halloween!"
Food for Thought: Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do each day. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.