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Scarily easy recipes, ideas to spook up Halloween

With spiderwebs, skeletons and a lovely pumpkin you can decorate your house, room or living space, but what about the table? Of course, candy of all kinds is appreciated when trick-or-treating, but let’s be real: the homemade stuff will always beat store-bought on the scary-spooky scale.

I’ve shared with you a fun way to spice up your Halloween with the kids before but now here I am with some more fun ways to make the simplest of things seem a bit more spooky.

Bloody Cake

I love to make everything from scratch and do not like to use colorants much but here you are free to do what you like. You can of course use a cake mix or even buy a ready cake to decorate in this manner. Do whatever you feel comfortable with!



Bleeding monster cake with knife. (Shutterstock Photo)

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 250 grams sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • 200 milliliters oil
  • 200 milliliters milk
  • About 350 grams flour
  • 10 grams baking powder
  • Sour cherry juice/sauce or red icing
  • 1-2 teaspoons starch
  • Knife

Instructions

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has become light and fluffy. Gradually introduce the oil and milk into the mix and the flour together with the baking powder as well. Add the vanilla and mix it until it is just incorporated. Pour the mixture into your baking tin of choice but make sure to grease it beforehand or line it with baking paper. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 30 minutes, depending on how deep the dish is. While the cake is baking you can prepare the “blood” for the cake. If you have sour cherry sauce the consistency should be fine to get a drizzle down the edges of the cake but if you have juice you’ll want to thicken that by mixing in the starch and cooking it over low heat. Let it simmer for a bit and, if needed, don’t be shy to add a bit more starch. Another alternative could be jelly or jam depending on their consistencies.

Once the cake has cooled off, pour the “blood” over the cake and put a knife in the middle. You might even dip it in the sauce beforehand as well for an extra creepy effect!

Tips

If you don’t like plain vanilla cake you can of course make this with chocolate as well. Just add 2-3 tablespoons of cacao powder and remove a bit of the flour so as not to throw off the consistency. The red of the sour cherry sauce might not look as intense on the darker chocolate cake, but that can be remedied by covering the cake, at least partially, with some whipped cream.

Spooky pizza

I mean who can say no to pizza? It is universally loved and, considering that you can add so many toppings, it makes sense to spice it up in a spooky manner as well. Again, I’m making it from scratch but of course you can use ready-made pizza dough, and I must admit that I have had bought bread dough from bakeries here as well. That is a thing in Turkey and it can save you time if you do want to have something guaranteed fresh.

Ingredients

  • 250 milliliters warm water
  • 10 grams dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 500 grams flour
  • Crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • Plenty of spices, thyme is a must
  • Cheese
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms and many more toppings


Various Halloween-themed pizzas. (Shutterstock Photo)
Various Halloween-themed pizzas. (Shutterstock Photo)

Instructions

Dissolve the yeast in a bit of the water with the pinch of sugar and work the rest of the water, flour and salt into a dough. You might want to add a bit more flour if it is too sticky. Once done, cover with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm place for about an hour. In the meantime, mix your tomato sauce by adding all kinds of spices. My personal favorite version has plenty of thyme and garlic, either fresh or in powder form. Sweet red pepper gives a bit of pizzazz as well, but in the end it is entirely up to you. For those who like it spicier, feel free to add black pepper, red pepper flakes or a bit of hot sauce to the mix. You can so go on to prepare the toppings. For spooky little spiders, cut the olives in halves and cut out some legs. Long strips of cheese for spider webs are an interesting way to decorate it too, and just like the gardens created on the focaccia bread, you can let your imagination go wild.

Once the dough has risen, knead it through once more and portion it depending on size of pizza you want to have. Roll out the dough on a flour-dusted surface, add the sauce and decorate to your heart’s desire! Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit) until the crust begins to turn a golden brown color. Usually, about 20 minutes should be enough.

Tip

The size doesn’t matter! Make one huge pizza (if your oven allows it) or make many tiny ones. The possibilities are endless!

Some other little ideas

Banana ghosts are a very little idea that can make all the difference on the Halloween table. Just cut the banana in half, not lengthwise, and have it stand up. With a bit of melted chocolate, make two dots for the eyes and a screaming mouth and you can populate your own ghost town.

While jack-o-lanterns are great, you can always utilize little tangerines. Peel them without breaking their shape and again, with the help of a bit of molten chocolate, draw your jack-o-lantern face on them. They look absolutely adorable! Or – if you are not so artistically inclined – cut a piece of a green apple lengthwise to make for a pumpkin stem and put it right in the middle of the fruit. Even unpeeled that will look great. Alternatively to the apple, you can go for a thin celery stick as well.

Cookie monsters can be easily made my taking any kind of cookies you can and making them into sandwiches by attaching the flat sides to each other with some chocolate spread. Make some teeth and eyes out of marshmallows and attach them to the top of the cookie sandwich with a bit of chocolate. Making the cookies from scratch and directly baking them with eyes in mind will make for even more fun creations!

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