Favorite Halloween Treat Recipes
Pumpkin Patch Cupcake
Popcorn Balls, Caramel Apples, Pumpkin Cupcakes and More
My Mom made the best Halloween treats. Around Halloween, memories of popcorn balls, caramel apples and pumpkin cupcakes dance in my head, errr... my stomach. I also remember some of the old favorite treats like wax lips and wax whistles. candy corn, bubble gum and that taffy stuff in the black and orange wrappers. Some of these are still around, but a couple have disappeared like the dinosaur.
I can't bring back those store bought treats that have gone by the wayside, but recently I found a lot of Mom's old recipes, so I can share some of the homemade favorites. These used to be passed out as treats, but things have changed. We can't do that today, but these delicious goodies would be wonderful additions to a Halloween party menu.
Homemade Halloween Treats
Caramel Popcorn Balls
My most favorite of all of the Halloween goodies that Mom made was and still is the Popcorn Ball. When I got married, Popcorn Balls were one of the homemade treats that I made for our first Halloween in our new house. I didn't have a chance to give them out as treats because Al and I ate them all. There are many variations on the old-fashioned popcorn ball, but I still like the original best.
Caramel Popcorn Balls
8 cups popped corn (about 1/2 cup unpopped)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine
Measure popped corn into large bowl. Combine sugars, corn syrup, water, vinegar and salt in 2-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook, stirring constantly, to 260 degrees on candy thermometer (or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a hard ball).
Reduce heat to low; stir in butter until melted. Pour syrup in a thin stream over popcorn in bowl, stirring until corn is well coated. Cool slightly.
Butter hands; shape mixture into 3-inch balls and place on waxed paper.
Makes 16 popcorn balls
Another good recipe for Popcorn Balls by Paula Deen at the Food Network
Caramel Apples are easy to make and they are my husband's favorite. I really prefer the Candied Apple, which requires a little more expertise in the kitchen. Here are the instructions for preparing Caramel Apples.
Wash 4 or 5 medium apples and dry thoroughly. Remove stem and blossom end of each.
In the top of a double boiler over hot water, heat 1 package (14 ounces) caramel candies, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons water, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.
Keeping sauce over hot water, place each apple in hot caramel sauce; spoon sauce over apple until it is completely coated. Insert wooden skewer in stem end; remove from sauce and place on waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Chill until caramel coating is firm.
Most of the time, because it was quicker, Mom used a cake mix to make cakes or cupcakes. However, she would usually add something to them to improve the flavor. Many times the "recipe" was right on the box. Here is the Duncan Hines Pumpkin Spice Cake, which I adapted for cupcakes. The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.
Duncan Hines Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes (2/3 full)
1 pkg Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Spice Cake Mix
2 large eggs
1 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup chopped nuts
2 tubs Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Classic Vanilla Frosting
red and yellow food coloring
Black licorice, candy corn, green licorice laces or twists
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt pan.
2. Combine cake mix, eggs, water and pumpkin in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in nuts. Pour into muffin tin lined with cupcake papers (2/3 full).
3. Bake 19 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes.
4. Tint frosting with red and yellow food coloring until frosting is desired orange color.
5. Frost cupcakes with orange frosting. Make eyes, mouth and nose with candy corn and/or black licorice or to make little pumpkins, follow the following instructions.
Decorating Directions courtesy of Duncan Hines Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
1. Cut the licorice twists into 3/4 inch pieces to make the pumpkin stems. Tint the vanilla frosting orange with the food coloring. Tint 1/2 cup of the orange frosting a darker shade of orange with more food coloring. Spoon the darker orange frosting into a ziploc bag; set aside.
2. Place orange decorating sugar into a shallow bowl. Spread the orange frosting on top of the cupcakes mounding slightly in the center. Starting on the edge, roll the cupcake tops in the sugar to cover completely.
3. Use a wooden skewer to mark the ridges in the tops of the cupcakes. Starting in the center or slightly off center, lightly press the skewer over the cupcake tops to create 5 to 6 indentations. Snip a very small corner (1/16 inch) from the bag with the darker orange frosting and pipe lines of frosting in the indentations on top of the cupcakes. Insert the cut green twists for the stems and add the green laces, trimmed into shorter pieces, to make the tendrils.
This creepy little cookbook of Halloween recipes was designed with kids and their parties in mind. The authors provided lots of great illustrations and detailed, step by step instructions. It's a fun book to use with your little monsters to prepare treats for a Halloween celebration.
Wormy, Spidery Cupcake Decorations
Store Bought Halloween Treats
Wax Lips were my absolute favorite "store bought" Halloween treat. They were so versatile. You could wear them as a costume or chew them like gum. They tasted great.
My husband remembers the wax lips and the wax whistles, too. The whistles were really fun to play with and when you tired of blowing on them and making your parents crazy, you could chew them like gum. Sadly, the wax whistles are no longer available, but the lips are still around for kids today to enjoy.
Another wax creation, but not one of my favorites, were the little wax bottle drinks. They were way to sweet for my taste and the wax just tasted like wax. They are still manufactured today, go figure.
Candy Corn is another treat from yester-year that is still popular today. We used to use the candy as decoration for cakes and cupcakes. They also look sort of neat in a clear plastic glove, laying around on a black table cloth. Or you can put the candy corn in the tips of the fingers like fingernails and use caramel popcorn in the rest of the glove. Tie the wrist with black and orange ribbons. They make nice party favors that way.
Candy with Black and Orange Wrappers
The taffy or what ever that stuff was in the black and orange wax paper was always the last thing I ate from my trick or treat bag. They looked like Halloween, all dressed up in the colors of the season, but I just didn't like the taste. All in all, it was probably the most despised of all the Halloween candy.
Here's what some readers said about their most and least favorite treats.
My Most favorite Treat:
Yvonne L. B.: Oh yes, popcorn balls or like cracker jack, Yum!
HonoluluMom: Caramel popcorn is my absolute fave.
mouse1996 lm: Candy corn anything.
JoleneBelmain: When I was a kid my favourite treat was the square pieces of caramel or a Caramilk bar, now it would be Reese's peanut butter cups
julieannbrady: Ah, let me keep this pg-rated!!!! Anything with a little libation in it?
Yvonne L. B.: I love Caramel Popcorn Balls and caramel corn, too. Just can't get enough of them!
My Least favorite Treat:
JoleneBelmain: My least favourite treat when i was a kid would have been either an apple or candycorn, now it would be wagon wheels or those black licorice candies that people give out.
julieannbrady: Well, probably as a kid I hated getting apples -- plain apples in my treat bag.
Yvonne L. B.: Those little candies wrapped in orange and black paper are absolutely the worst! Yuck!
Favorite Halloween Treats
Which do you prefer?
More Creative Treat Ideas!
Here are a couple of videos packed with delightful, delicious easy-to-make Halloween treats that would be perfect for parties or get-togethers.
© 2010 Yvonne L B