By Allie Cheppa
There is a childlike magic about Halloween that is really quite different than any other holiday – it’s filled with creativity and imagination and my inner child always makes an appearance around this time.
Halloween is that one time of the year that you can get away with making creepy desserts to bring to your friend’s costume party and totally get away with it. So while you are trying to figure out what to bring to your next ghostly gathering, consider these dastardly desserts to keep the Halloween magic alive.
Recipe: Ghost krembos (Yields about 40 cookies)
For the chocolate shortbread
130 g AP flour
44 g cocoa powder
1 g baking soda
114 g butter
3 g salt
81 g sugar
1. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. While your butter and sugar is creaming, scale your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk together. Once the butter and sugar is creamed, scrape down the side of your bowl and your paddle, ensuring you do not have any lumps of butter hiding. Add all of your dry ingredients, turn your mixer on to low speed and mix until the dough comes together and there are no longer pockets of flour.
2. Shape dough into a puck shape, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3. Pull dough out and roll between two pieces of parchment to about ¼”- ½ inches thick. Using a 1-1/2 inch round cutter, begin cutting out your your Krembo bases and lining them up on a sheet tray with about a ¾-inch space between each one. 4. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes.
For the Marshmallow Topping
1 tbsp powdered gelatin
1/3 c water
2 tbsp water
1/3 c light corn syrup
1 c granulated sugar
4 egg whites
1. In a small saucepan, add 2 tbsp water, sugar and light corn syrup together and heat to 245 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. While sugar is coming up to temperature, scale the gelatin powder in a small bowl with 1/3-cup water and mix until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside.
3. Scale egg whites in a mixing bowl fitted with a whip attachment. When temperature of the sugar mixtures reaches about 225 Fahrenheit, begin whipping the egg whites to a medium peak. Once sugar syrup has reach the desired temperature, stream the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl, being careful to avoid the whip attachment. Once sugar syrup has been added to the egg white, add the gelatin and allow to whip on medium to high speed until the sides of the bowl feel warm.
4. Using a spatula, scoop the marshmallow into a piping bag. If you have a large round piping tip, great! If not, cutting the tip off of a bag for a ¾-inch opening will work just fine too.
5. Begin piping marshmallow on top of the chocolate cookies (see recipe for cookie on page 24) by squeezing the piping bag at the base of the cookie and releasing pressure from the bag as you pull up.
6. Once all of your marshmallow is piped onto the chocolate cookie it is time to dip them in white chocolate. White chocolate candy melts from the grocery story or an art supply store will work perfectly. Melt your chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring the chocolate between each time. Once your chocolate is melted, hold the Krembo upside down by the cookie and dip the marshmallow into the chocolate. Place back down onto the sheet tray and continue to dip the others.
7. Once the white chocolate is set on the marshmallows, it’s time for spooky faces. Using melted dark chocolate, pour a small amount into a piping bag and trim the tip of the bag so it has a teeny tiny opening. Squeeze bottles work well too. Drop the chocolate onto the side to begin resembling a spooky face.
8. If you really want to spruce these boo-tastic creatures up, feel free to add whatever silly edible decorations you may find at the craft store.
Recipe: Pumpkin whoopie pies
For the pumpkin cake
910 g all purpose flour
4 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
2 c granulated sugar
2 c brown sugar
2 c canola oil
1470 g pumpkin puree
4 whole eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Icing
4 c powdered sugar
½ c unsalted butter
8 oz cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Scale the sugar and oil together in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Begin mixing until it is combined. One at a time, add the eggs and vanilla extract, ensuring that it is completely incorporated. Next, add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Scale the dry ingredients together and whisk to combine all the ingredients. Pour dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix just until the batter comes together. Scrape down the sides and fold the batter through to ensure it is properly mixed.
2. Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, spoon about 1/3 c batter on to a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, leaving about 1 ½ “ between each portion.
3. Bake at 325 Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when the top is tapped.
Cream Cheese Icing:
1. Make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before beginning. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, begin creaming the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and fluffier. Add the powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and whip to incorporate.
2. Once whoopies are cooled, flip them over on the sheet tray and pipe a dollop of cream cheese icing onto half of the whoopie pies. Once half have icing, begin sandwiching them together and poof – you have pumpkin whoopie pies.
Allie Cheppa is pastry chef at Buzz Bakeshop, located at 901 Slaters Lane in Alexandria and 818 N. Quincy St. in Arlington.