- Food and Cooking
Scary Halloween Treats - Spider Meatballs, Witch Fingers: Recipes
Scary Halloween treats, Witch Finger Cookies, Hot Dog Mummies - I received an email asking for a recipe from one of my hubs, to be used at a boy's Halloween Birthday Party. As I pored over my collection looking for that particular recipe - Halloween Meatball Spiders - I wondered if there might be others searching for the recipes for these fun-to-make, delectable Halloween goodies.
So here, revealed for you in this article - unearthed, dis-entombed, forever freed from the shadows - are these monstrously good Halloween treats and goodies. OK, that's enough with the Halloween metaphors. Let's dig out Granny's old cookbook from the top shelf at the back of my cupboard, and looked up the recipes.
Hot Dog Mummies
Kids love to help make these cool treats - almost as much as they like to eat them.
Younger children will need some help in rolling out the pastry dough, and you should definitely cut the pastry into strips for them. But older children, especially if they are already used to helping out in the kitchen, will love to create their own "mummies" after seeing how it's done.
Show them how to gently wind the pastry strips around each wiener, and then moisten the ends and press them together so they stay in place.
This is such a fun activity, you might want to make it a part of the celebration. Not all the kids will want to spend a lot of time on this activity - in fact, most of them will be more interested in eating the food than preparing it. But it can certainly be fun as one part of the evening's entertainment, sandwiched between some Halloween games.
Save the more active games (and most of the sugary treats) for afterwards, though, as you wouldn't want the cooks to be too hyper while working in the kitchen.
Quick 'n' Easy Hot Dog Mummies
- 1 packages wieners/hot dogs
- 1 package refrigerator pastry or biscuit dough - Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough works well
- Mustard for decoration
- Preheat the oven according to the instructions on the refrigerator pastry package
- Roll out pastry and slice into thin ribbons
- Wrap each wiener with pastry dough so that it resembles "mummy wrapping", leaving a space for the "face"
- Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake according to instructions
- Remove from oven and cool slightly
- Using a toothpick, add two tiny dabs of mustard for the mummies "eyes"
- Serve warm
Halloween Party Favorites
These little cuties are a variation on what we called "Pigs In Blankets". My dad made "piggies" using Vienna sausages wrapped in his home-made pastry, and baked to crusty perfection.
These "hot dog mummies" can also be baked in home-made pastry - a whimsical snack for a "grown-up" Halloween party.
Any leftover scraps can be carefully rolled out again. Simply pat them into a rectangle about 1/4" thick and slathered with butter and home-made strawberry jam, or with butter and a cinnamon/brown sugar mix.
- Cut the rectangle into long strips, about an inch wide.
- Place four strips, one on top of the other, and press down gently.
- Cut the layered strips into into roughly two inch lengths
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a hot oven for 12 - 15 minutes, or until just golden and crispy.
Re-rolling Home-made Pastry Dough:
Using up the scraps for this recipe is a breeze. The packaged crescent roll dough is very forgiving of over-handling.
But, if you decide to use home-made pastry for your Wiener Mummies, take care with using up the pastry scraps - the bits you trim off from the main shape, such as a pie crust. If pastry is handled too much once it's rolled out it will quickly get tough. This can also happen if your hands get too hot while working the dough. You will achieve your best results by working quickly and not handling the dough too much - especially once it has been rolled out.
If you want to use up any left-over trimmings (scraps), it is usually best to pat them into whatever shape you need using your hands, rather than rolling them out again.
Halloween Activity for Older Kids
Preparing these cute little meatball spiders would be another wonderful activity for older children. That's the really great thing about all these recipes. They really are almost as much fun to make as they are to eat.
Be warned, though. This is NOT a good activity for younger children. The meatball "spiders" are very hot when they first come out of the oven. Care must be taken when patting on the grated cheese.
Place the shredded cheese in a shallow bowl and carefully roll each meatball in the cheese, gently patting the cheese against the meatball. Handle the meatballs gently, as they are not completely cooked - this will make them a bit soft, and prone to crumble.
Easy Meatball Spiders
Fun finger-food for adults to make and for kids to enjoy...
- 1 lb of lean ground beef, or ground turkey, or ground chicken
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 or 4 Tbsp flour (as binder)
- 1 Tbsp finely minced green onion or chives
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- 1 pkg dry Chinese noodles
- 1 or 2 black olives, finely chopped (for "eyes")
- 1 small bag corn tortilla chips - vegetable flavored chips will have a lovely red and green color that will look great under the meatballs
Mix ground meat with minced green onion or chives, lightly beaten egg, and just enough flour to hold the mixture together
- Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp each)
- Using a teaspoon, pick up the meat mixture one spoonful at a time and form into small meatballs - about 1 to 1 1/2 inches across
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 20 - 25 minutes
- Drain off fat and let cool for a few minutes
- Roll hot meatballs in shredded cheese, patting it onto the meatballs to ensure generous coverage
- Gently push eight pieces of Chinese noodle into each meatball near its bottom to resemble "spider legs"
- Add two small pieces of chopped olive for eyes
- Return to oven for another 5 minutes, to finish cooking and slightly melt the cheese
Remove from oven and carefully place each hot meatball on a red or green tortilla chip, and let them cool slightly. Serve warm.
More Pumpkin Carving...
Shortbread Witch Fingers
Spooky "Finger" Food
These delectable but definitely weird-looking morsels are best prepared ahead of time. They can be tricky for younger children, and definitely require more careful attention.
That said, though, if you have a group of older children who are interested in baking, this can be another choice of activities, along with cupcake decorating. Even if your young guests don't take part in the actual baking, they might enjoy icing the fingertips and applying their own "fingernails".
You might also provide several shades of slightly-thinned icing that can be painted onto the almond fingernails to complete the ghoulish "manicure".
Some Halloween-stylin' favorite colors might include "Slime Green", "Slug-spit Yellow", "Bloody Crimson", "Rotting Toadstool (Chocolate Brown)", and "Dead Black".
These are just a few suggestions to get you started - your young guests will, no doubt, have great fun thinking up names for their icing nail-polish.
Shortbread Witch Fingers
- 2 cups butter (real butter)
- 1 cup sugar
- few grains salt
- 4 cups sifted flour
- 1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
- red-tinted icing, and halved almonds for "finger-nails"
- Cream butter and sugar 'til smooth and fluffy
- Add vanilla
- Add flour 1 cup at a time and mix well after each addition
- Turn out on the mixing board and kneed until all the cracks have disappeared
- Shape into "fingers" and flatten one end for the almond "finger-nail"
- Spread on ungreased pan and prick with fork
- Mark in the "crease lines" and shape the "knuckles"
- Bake at 350 F for 15 min or until lightly golden
- Once cooled, place a dab of red icing on the flattened end of each Witch Finger
- Gently press the almond finger-nail in place - refer to the picture for placement
Tips to Lower Carbs and Fat
Since this article was originally written, we have become far more conscious of carbs and fat content in our food - even in our treats.
You can lower the fat and carb content of any of the Spider Meatballs and Hot Dog Mummy recipes calling for meat and cheese by doing the following:
Lower the Fat:
- Use chicken or turkey wieners, instead of beef or pork wieners
- Go meatless - there are some very tasty meat-substitute products on the market that can take the place of meat in these recipes without significantly changing the flavor. Veggie wieners and veggie burger can be a tasty substitute.
- Use low cal or non-fat cheese. You can also try lactose free cheese and a non-dairy substitute.
- Use baked chips - these have a much lower fat content, and taste just as good. Most supermarkets carry a bewildering array of snack foods, so be sure to read the labels to ensure you're getting exactly what you want.
Lower the Carbs:
- Choose all beef wieners, or an all-natural meat product. The all-natural wieners in our local supermarket are pork-based. They also contain none of the chemicals used in making (and preserving) traditional wieners, and the animals are guaranteed to have been raised without steroids or antibiotics. And they are delicious - not for everyone though.
- Use whole milk cheese. It has a higher fat content, but fewer carbs - important for those counting carbs or following a paleo food plan.
- Use veggie chips instead of corn or flour-based tortilla chips. There are some awesome chips made from yams, sweet potatoes and beets that have a much lower carb count than regular chips. And they have the added benefit of being absolutely yummy as well as better for you.
© 2010 RedElf