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Halloween Desserts

I get these great blog post ideas and then when it comes down to it, they aren’t as great as I had expected.  My Halloween food posts are ones that have just disappointed me.  I didn’t have time to make up the recipes and when it came down to it, I make just a handful of recipes.

Halloween is a great day.  I love the dressing up and the decorating and the horror movies.  The food is just another way to spice up the day but it’s not something we go overboard with.  Our themed dinners aren’t extravagant because they are the “normal” part of a day filled with parties and Trick or Treating (which is the real event on Halloween).

When it comes to desserts, I do a few so that the adults don’t feel left out.  With candy being on the forefront, there isn’t a lot of call for homemade treats.

We go simple – apples with sauce (caramel or strawberry), thin sugar cookies cut into shapes like dog bones (sometimes we do cookies, sometimes crackers – it all depends on what dipping sauce I want to make).

However, there is one dessert I always pull out at Halloween and only for Halloween (which is weird).  Panna Cotta.  This creamy white jello-ish dish makes the perfect brain.  I bought a brain mold years ago and I pull it out to make this.  Panna Cotta is an elegant dish and I have totally trashed it.  But we love it.  Served with a thin fruit syrup, it’s gruesome and perfect.  It’s not too sweet and refreshing after all that heavy chocolate we manage to consume.

Now, I forgot drinks.  It’s where I always have a party fail in the planning stage because I’m a water drinker.  We do the typical hot chocolate or apple cider around this time of year but if my son has his way we drink Bug Juice, the only punch in my entire repertoire.

So there aren’t any pictures – sorry.  I promise to get some up sometime.  Perhaps a post at the end of the month that shows how we did Halloween.  I know I’m dropping the ball but then, I don’t think my pictures do the food justice.  Someday, I will have the lighting and space to stage my food.  Until then, you have to be patient with me.

Do try the Panna Cotta.  It’s subtle and weird but I think you’ll like it.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta
3 teas gelatin
3 1/2 tbs. cold water
1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup + 2 tbs. sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
2 cups buttermilk
Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in med bowl. Let stand untouched for 3 minutes. In small saucepan – combine cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour over gelatin. Stir well to dissolve gelatin. Let cool to room temp. Remove vanilla bean and add buttermilk, stirring to mix. Strain mixture through fine sieve and pour into grease mold. Cover and chill 6 hours.

*I rarely have a vanilla bean for this recipe so I just sub a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  If you don’t have buttermilk or don’t want that tang, just add regular milk. Also, I don’t think I ever strain it.  We like it even if it has lumps.

Bug Juice
2 10-oz. pkgs. frozen strawberries
1 6-oz. can lemonade concentrate
1 quart ginger ale
6 gummy worms

Mix the strawberries and lemonade concentrate in a blender until smooth and thick. Transfer to a punch bowl.  Gradually add ginger ale. Place the gummy worms on the rim of the bowl for a swampy effect. Makes 10 servings.

*This is the original recipe.  I always use it as a guideline so don’t feel like you have to follow it exactly, especially when things don’t always come in the sizes listed here.  I know I use the typical sized can of lemonade concentrate (frozen) and a 2 liter of ginger ale (to taste).  I don’t buy more than 2 bags of strawberries.  What you want is something slushy and sweet.

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