Halloween Party Treats

Not all kids like to go out trick or treating. Some would just as soon stay home and party there. And any Halloween get-together wouldn’t be complete without some good-tasting snacks. What would be even more fun is to get the kids involved in making the treats.

Here are three recipes, including one for everyone’s favorite, pizza, that you might like to try, all of which are weeknight-friendly and easy-to-make.

For even more Halloween inspiration, check out Halloween Made Frightfully Easy, a downloadable entertaining booklet that includes other fun easy, and kid-friendly Halloween-themed party ideas and treats that the whole family can bake and enjoy together. Download the booklet at www.karosyrup.com/halloweenbooklet.pdf.

Creepy Mini Pizzas
3¼ to 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleishmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast or RapidRise Yeast
1½ tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups very warm water, 120 to 130 degrees (see note)
1/3 cup oil
1 to 2 cups pizza sauce
Green, red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni slices, hard salami slices, curly leaf parsley, etc.
1 pound (total) shredded white and yellow cheeses such as mozzarella and cheddar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add very warm water and oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute.
Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky. Knead (see note) on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Divide dough into 8 portions; cover. If using RapidRise, let dough rise for 10 minutes.
Pat each portion of dough with floured hands into an 8-inch circle on a greased baking sheet. Form a rim by pinching the edge of the dough.  Add a second crust to the same baking sheet.
Bake for 6 to 7 minutes, dough will be just set and only lightly browned on the bottom.  Remove crusts to a wire rack to cool. Continue with remaining pizza dough.  (Works best to use several baking sheets.) May use crusts immediately or place in freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 month. If making a day ahead, place crusts in resealable plastic bags and refrigerate.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 475 degrees.Spread each crust with pizza sauce. Top with desired toppings to make Halloween designs. Repeat with remaining pizzas. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned and bottom of crust is browned.
Notes: If you don’t have a thermometer, water should feel very warm to the touch.
To knead the dough, add just enough flour to the dough and your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Flatten dough and fold it toward you. Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away with a rolling motion. Rotate dough a quarter turn and repeat the “fold, push and turn” steps. Keep kneading dough until it is smooth and elastic. Use a little more flour if dough becomes too sticky, always working the flour into the ball of dough.
Yield: 8 6-inch pizzas.

Halloween Scotcheroo Treats   
1 cup Karo light or dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups crispy rice cereal
1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1½ cups butterscotch chips
Candies for decorating
Frosting or melted white chocolate for decorating
Food coloring
Cook corn syrup and sugar together in a large pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter; mix well. Add cereal; stir until evenly coated.
Pour into greased 15-by-10-inch pan and pat into place.
Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread over cereal.
Cool at least 45 minutes, or until firm. Cut into bars or fun shapes for Halloween. If desired, pipe frosting to form Halloween shapes or words.
Decorating Ideas:
Cute Cats: Cut circles using a 2- to 3-inch biscuit cutter. Attach candies with a dab of melted white chocolate or frosting to make eyes, nose and ears. Pipe on whiskers with frosting.
Creepy Webs: Cut circles as above. Tint frosting orange. Starting at the center, pipe continuous spiral circles to edge. Drag the tip of a wooden pick from the center to the edge of the bar to create a spider web design.
Mummies: Cut circles as above. Drizzle or pipe white frosting back and forth horizontally and finish with two candy eyes.
Tombstones: Cut into bars, cutting off upper corners diagonally. Pipe frosting to make shapes or words on each “tombstone.”
Tip: Tombstones will easily stand upright if the bottom of each is coated with frosting.
Yield: Approximately 24 treats.

Spooky Homemade Marshmallows    
1 cup water, room temperature, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2¼ cups sugar
1 cup Karo light corn syrup
2 teaspoons Spice Islands Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons Argo Corn Starch
Combine ½ cup water, salt and gelatin in large bowl of a stand mixer. Stir and set aside.
Combine remaining ½ cup water, sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Using a candy thermometer, cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees or soft ball stage.
Gradually pour the hot syrup over the gelatin mixture with the mixer on low. Turn the mixer on its highest speed and beat for 8 minutes. Add vanilla and beat an additional 2 minutes. The mixing bowl will get very full. The marshmallows will become very thick, white and shiny. Spread mixture onto greased baking sheet with sides.
Let marshmallows cool at least 4 hours or overnight. Combine powdered sugar and corn starch in a shallow pan. Cut the marshmallows into bite-size pieces with a sharp knife or scissors, dropping one at a time into the powdered sugar. Toss to coat well. Store marshmallows in an airtight container in a cool place. Best used within 1 month.
For spooky shapes, grease a small ghost or other Halloween cookie cutter. Press straight down through marshmallow. Remove marshmallow and lightly dust with the powdered sugar corn starch mixture.
Yield:  3 dozen large marshmallows.
Tip: Homemade Marshmallows make a lovely gift with homemade cocoa mix.
Mint Marshmallows: Add a few drops of green food coloring and 1/4 teaspoon mint extract with the vanilla.
Chocolate Chip Marshmallows: Coarsely chop 8 ounces of dark chocolate and fold into marshmallows just before spreading on baking sheet to cool.
Cinnamon Marshmallows: Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon to the mixture while beating.