Black Licorice Caramels

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There are two kinds of people in the world.  Those who love black licorice, and those who detest it.  Okay, maybe it’s not quite that simple.  But if it was, I bet these tasty treats would win them all over.  If you need a last minute Halloween treat… or anytime treat, I highly suggest these.  Especially if you like black licorice 🙂
I packaged some up using some washi tape, little treat bags, and tags using these on The Toymaker website.  (Great website for cute little projects with kids!)
Happy Halloween!

BLACK LICORICE CARAMELS
1 cup butter
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
2 cups sugar
pinch salt
1 to 2 tsp anise extract (depending how strong you want the flavor)
few drops black food coloring

Stir together the butter, milk, corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a large heavy pot over medium heat with a wooden spoon.  Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.
Clip on a thermometer and stir frequently until caramel reaches 238 degrees for a softer caramel, or 245 for a hard caramel.
Remove from heat and add the anise and coloring.  Stir until well blended.
Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan (I actually have a 10 by 15 inch pan that is my favorite for candies, makes them just a bit thinner.)
Pour the caramel in and spread evenly if needed.
Allow to firm overnight, then remove from pan and cut into small pieces.
Wrap individually with waxed paper.

Black Licorice Caramels

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 to 2 tsp anise extract (depending how strong you want the flavor)
  • few drops black food coloring

Instructions

  • Stir together the butter, milk, corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a large heavy pot over medium heat with a wooden spoon. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.
  • Clip on a thermometer and stir frequently until caramel reaches 238 degrees for a softer caramel, or 245 for a hard caramel.
  • Remove from heat and add the anise and coloring. Stir until well blended.
  • Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan (I actually have a 10 by 15 inch pan that is my favorite for candies, makes them just a bit thinner.)
  • Pour the caramel in and spread evenly if needed.
  • Allow to firm overnight, then remove from pan and cut into small pieces.
  • Wrap individually with waxed paper.
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    http://mystainedapron.com/black-licorice-caramels/

    DIY Witch Costume

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    Last year my Amelia wanted a witch costume, but a cute one, not a scary one.
    I put this one together real quick using some recycled clothing and few accessories.  It’s been great for a dress up outfit since as well, and very comfortable since it was made with stretch fabrics.
    For the dress I found this stretch velour dress for $2 at a second hand store.
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    I added a stripe around the waist with some hot pink crushed panne velour (at JoAnn Fabrics for under $5 a yard if I remember right).  And as I sewed the panne stripe on I inserted some strips of tulle in the bottom seam.
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    For the cape I found this stretch velour jumper.  I cut it off just under the arm holes, cut a opening down the center front, then added a large ruffle of the hot pink panne at the top.  I made a casing and inserted some wide ribbon to tie it.
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    I added some pink and black striped tights and a frilly hat to finish it.
    This is the best I could do for a picture, as my Amelia doesn’t like to hold still for them for long. 🙂
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    Spooky Cupcakes

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    To say we are a “girly” household is an understatement.  Luckily my hubby is secure in his masculinity or he might begin to have a facial twitch from all the pink around here.  My girls don’t like anything remotely scary so these are the closest to spooky cupcakes you’ll see me making 🙂  Make your favorite chocolate cupcakes and frosting to begin.

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    The trees are made by simply piping or even spreading chocolate on wax paper.  I wish I had thought to take a picture at this point, but basically you are making a spiky T shape (the bottom line will be inserted into the cupcake for stability and the top of the T will be roots resting on top of the cupcake), with a tree on top of the T.  Separately Make 2 small triangles so that when you place the upside down T into the cupcake you can place a small triangle on the front and back to look like roots and also support the tree a little.  While the chocolate is wet sprinkle with orange sugar and some black pearls.  You could also use cake or cookie crumbs for dirt around the base.  I used some chocolate jimmies.

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    For the towers cover a sugar cone with chocolate and place a whopper on the top.

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    For ghosts, pipe white frosting, then insert chocolate coated sunflower seeds for the eyes.

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    In the book they stacked smaller cupcakes on top of larger cupcakes so it ended up looking like a haunted house. I thought they would look good placed on and around a small tiered cake, but this is what happened in the end.  None of the kids seemed to care. 🙂

    Adapted slightly from  “What’s New, Cupcake?” by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

    DIY Halloween Bunting

    It may be a little close to Halloween for a craft, but this one is so quick I have to share.  I threw it together one evening in no time, and you could too.

    SUPPLIES:
    Burlap
    Letter stamps or stencils
    Circle sponge dauber
    Felt for backing
    Twine
    Black ink or paint
    Orange ink or paint

    Cut triangles out of burlap and add orange dots, then stamp or stencil on black letters.
    Cut felt backing out pinking sheers, making them slightly smaller at the top, so burlap can fold over.
    Place felt and burlap triangles together, with the twine at the top, fold the extra burlap over to the backside and sew along the top of the triangles, encasing the twine.

    Halloween Treat Pouches

    I saw these on Pinterest and while I don’t have the time to make a few hundred for trick or treaters, I knew I could make a few for my daughter’s close friends.  They really enjoyed decorating and filling them and I think an older child would easily be able to do the small amount of sewing involved.
    These would be fun to make to send family members who don’t live close by, or for a class party as well.

    SUPPLIES
    Paper, I used white kraft paper, but you could use whatever, even brown kraft paper or brown sacks
    Fillers (small candy, Halloween jokes, toys, stickers, etc)
    Google eyes and markers as desired for decorating

    1. Make a template for the shape you want.  I did half in the shape of candy corn and half for ghosts.  Keep in mind what you will be filling them with so they will be big enough.
    2.  Trace onto paper and cut out (1 for each pouch)
    3. Place on a piece of paper for backing and sew 1/4 inch from the edge, leaving a couple inches unsewn.
    4. Cut out backing.
    5. Decorate the front of the pouches.

    6.Place fillers inside pouches through the opening.  I used some foam jack-o-lantern stickers from Michael’s, pumpkin confetti from Target, candy and spider rings, and Halloween jokes printed from here.

    7. Sew opening closed.  Done!

    Ideas for Turkey Leftovers

    It won’t be long now.
    You’ll be looking at the leftover turkey and wondering what to do with it.
    I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes using leftover turkey.
    While a lot of the recipes originally call for chicken, these all work quite well for turkey as well.

    Spider Whoopie Pies

    These are a great kid’s project for Halloween, especially since even the cookies are super simple to make.  My kids thought these were more fun than scary, and while I loved the jointed legs, the “hairy” legs were pretty fun too.
    Make sure you don’t do too sharp of an angle on the leg joints, or it will be a little tricky to place the other cookie on top without having a big gap.
    DEVIL’S FOOD COOKIES
    1 pkg devil’s food cake mix
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    1 cup chocolate chips, optional
    Mix everything but chocolate chips together in a large bowl using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) on medium speed until well blended.
    Stir in chocolate chips if using.
    Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper and drop dough by tablespoonfulls onto sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
    To make spiders:
    Chocolate frosting (I use my easy recipe)
    Pretzel sticks
    melted chocolate or almond bark
    Chocolate jimmy sprinkles
    candies for eyes, like M & M’s, mini M & M’s, or something else suitable
    To make hairy legs dip 3/4 of the pretzel sticks in melted chocolate and sprinkle with jimmys.
    Lay on wax paper to set.  Make 8 for each spider.
    For jointed legs break pretzel sticks in half and dip each piece completely in chocolate.  Lay on wax paper to set, butting up 2 pieces together for each leg.
    Frost half the cookies with frosting, lay out legs and top with another cookie.
    Dot back of candies with frosting or melted chocolate and place on top cookie.
    Spider Whoopie Pies

    Ingredients

      For Devil's Food Cookies:
    • 1 pkg devil's food cake mix
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup chocolate chips, optional
    • To make spiders:
    • Chocolate frosting (I use my easy recipe)
    • Pretzel sticks
    • melted chocolate or almond bark
    • Chocolate jimmy sprinkles
    • candies for eyes, like M & M's, mini M & M's, or something else suitable

    Instructions

    To make cookies:
  • Mix everything but chocolate chips together in a large bowl using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) on medium speed until well blended.
  • Stir in chocolate chips if using.
  • Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper and drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  • To make spiders:
  • To make hairy legs dip 3/4 of the pretzel sticks in melted chocolate and sprinkle with jimmys.
  • Lay on wax paper to set. Make 8 for each spider.
  • For jointed legs break pretzel sticks in half and dip each piece completely in chocolate. Lay on wax paper to set, butting up 2 pieces together for each leg.
  • Frost half the cookies with frosting, lay out legs and top with another cookie.
  • Dot back of candies with frosting or melted chocolate and place on top cookie.
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    http://mystainedapron.com/spider-whoopie-pies/

    Cake Pops

    I made Bakerella’s cake pops recently for the first time.
    It was fun, but I have to say, it was a little trickier than I had thought!
    I’m not going to get into details about how to make them, she has great instructions on her site and in her book.  But here’s some tips if you try your hand at them:
    – Be patient!
    – Keep your cake pops cold until your ready to dip them
    – If your candy coating is too thick to coat right, thin with a little shortening
    – If you just can’t get the coating thin enough to coat right, just smooth over “bald spots” with a small spatula or knife
    – Have fun!

    Monster Munch

    I made some cake pops for our “pumpkin potluck” and was left with a bowl of white candy coating from the ghosts, and a bowl of orange from the pumpkins.  What to do? I saw a box of chex and a bag of reeses pieces on the counter and decided to have a little experiment.  I added some peanuts and pretzels for a little salty counterpart and presto! It’s Monster Munch!  (I’m not sure on the name, but it was super yummy anyway!)  I did it in two batches, half with the white and half with the orange, then mixed together after set.  The powdered sugar helped them stay seperate more.  I served it in a big pumpkin bucket with a little shovel and some bags.  Let’s just say it was a HIT! With both kids and adults, so make this for your little monsters… or big.  Either way, they’ll enjoy it!
    MONSTER MUNCH
    Recipe by My Stained Apron
    14 oz candy coating or almond bark*
    5 cups Chex (corn or rice)
    1 cup peanuts
    2 cups pretzels
    1 cup reeses pieces
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    Mix together chex, peanuts, pretzels, and reeses pieces in a large bowl.
    Melt candy coating and pour over chex.
    Stir quickly with a large spoon.
    Sprinkle powdered sugar over chex and stir together.
    Lay out on a large cookie sheet lined with wax paper to dry.
    *You can do this in 2 batches if desired, using different colors for each batch.  Then mix together after candy coating is set.
    Monster Munch

    Ingredients

    • 14 oz candy coating or almond bark*
    • 5 cups Chex (corn or rice)
    • 1 cup peanuts
    • 2 cups pretzels
    • 1 cup reeses pieces
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

    Instructions

  • Mix together chex, peanuts, pretzels, and reeses pieces in a large bowl.
  • Melt candy coating and pour over chex.
  • Stir quickly with a large spoon.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar over chex and stir together.
  • Lay out on a large cookie sheet lined with wax paper to dry.
  • You can do this in 2 batches if desired, using different colors for each batch. Then mix together after candy coating is set.
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    http://mystainedapron.com/monster-munch/

    Yummy Mummies

    I felt a little weird buying a tube of crescent rolls at the store the other day.  I looked around first to see if anyone saw me put them in my cart.  I don’t have anything against them, and don’t judge someone for buying them, I just never do.  I enjoy making homemade rolls and breads alot, so I never have a need for them.
    And I probably could have used some homemade roll dough to make these, but it was a last minute project to make with friends coming over and wasn’t sure if my dough would raise too much and ruin it.
    The kids got a kick out of these and it really was a nice, quick kid treat.  Happy Halloween!
    YUMMY MUMMIES
    Pkg of 8 hot dogs
    Pkg of Crescent Rolls
    Separate crescents and roll each into a long rope.
    Wrap around mummy, a small section around one end, then leave a space for the face and wrap around the remaining section for the body.
    Place on a baking sheet, repeat with remaining hot dogs and crescent roll dough.
    Bake according to crescent directions. (Mine took a few more minutes.)
    Dip a toothpick in mustard or ketchup to add eyes after baked.
    Yummy Mummies

    Ingredients

    • Pkg of 8 hot dogs
    • Pkg of Crescent Rolls

    Instructions

  • Separate crescents and roll each into a long rope.
  • Wrap around mummy, a small section around one end, then leave a space for the face and wrap around the remaining section for the body.
  • Place on a baking sheet, repeat with remaining hot dogs and crescent roll dough.
  • Bake according to crescent directions. (Mine took a few more minutes.)
  • Dip a toothpick in mustard or ketchup to add eyes after baked.
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    http://mystainedapron.com/yummy-mummies/
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