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Scary snacks to make for Halloween

Oct. 29, 2013 @ 11:12 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Eat, drink and be scary as Thursday, Oct. 31, is the witchiest day of the year in the United States and Canada.

Halloween stands out from other observations throughout the year. It's filled with frightening ghost stories, pranks, costumes and games, as well as dancing skeletons, hauntingly delicious treats, witches riding on brooms and scary creatures and sounds.

We as a country spend billions of dollars a year celebrating it with giving goodies to trick-and-treaters coming through the neighborhood.

Before or after the gathering of the candies and other treats, this "batty" recipe or monster munch from Betty Crocker Kitchens can be a blast:

CHOCOLATE BAT COOKIES

3/4 cup butter, softened

11/3 cups granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons red cinnamon candies (96 candies)

Black decorator sugar crystals

In large bowl, beat first four ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed or mix with spoon. Stir in next three ingredients. Divide dough in half. Flatten each portion into disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees. On lightly-floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick. (Keep remaining dough in refrigerator until ready to roll.) Cut with 41/2- by 1/2-inch bat-shaped cookie cutter. (If dough becomes too sticky to cut, refrigerate 10 minutes before rerolling.) Place two red cinnamon candies on each cookie for eyes. Sprinkle with sugar crystals. On ungreased cookie sheet, place cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

MONSTER MUNCH

4 cups Chex cereal

4 cups popped microwave popcorn

1 cup honey-roasted cashews

1 cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup butter or margarine

6 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup candy corn

In four-quart microwavable bowl, mix first four ingredients; set aside. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave next four ingredients uncovered on high about 2 minutes or until mixture is boiling, stirring after 1 minute; stir in pumpkin pie spice. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave 5-6 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after every minute. Spread on waxed paper to cool, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up. Stir in candy corn. Store in airtight container.

These recipes are from Kraft Foods:

GHOSTS IN THE GRAVEYARD

31/2 cups cold milk

2 (4-serving size) packages chocolate flavor instant pudding and pie filling

1 (12-ounce) tub whipped topping, thawed

1 (16-ounce) package chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed

Crush cookies in zipper-style plastic bag with rolling pin or in food processor. Make pudding as directed on package using 31/2 cups milk; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of whipped topping and half of crushed cookies. Spoon into 13- by 9-inch dish. Sprinkle with remaining crushed cookies. Refrigerate 1 hour. Decorate with candy, rectangular sandwich cookies (tombstones) and spoonsful of whipped topping (ghosts).

FRIGHTENING WITCH'S FINGERS

11/4 cups sliced almonds, divided

4-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

11/2 cups flour

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Reserve 40 nuts for later use; process remaining nuts in food process until finely ground. Beat next five ingredients in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in ground nuts. (Dough will be stiff.) Roll dough into 40 three-inch fingers, using 1 tablespoon dough for each. Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray. Press one reserved nut into end of each dough finger for fingernail. Use sharp knife to make three crosswise slits in top of each finger for knuckles. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheet; carefully transfer to wire racks. Cool completely.

This one is furnished by "Taste of Home:"

SPICY SKELETON RIBS

4 cups diced cooked chicken breast

11/4 cups water

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons lime juice

11/2 teaspoons onion powder

11/2 teaspoons garlic powder

11/2 teaspoons dried basil

11/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

1 (12-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon grated lime peel

2 (11-ounce) tubes refrigerated crusty French loaf

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In large saucepan, combine first 15 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Combine cream cheese and lime peel. On large piece of foil, roll one tube of bread dough into 14- by 10-inch rectangle. Spread with half cream cheese mixture to within 1/2-inch of edges; sprinkle with half of chicken mixture and shredded cheese. Starting with long side and using foil, fold into thirds. Form 14- by 4-inch loaf with seam along one side. Pinch edges to seal. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat. Bake at 325 degrees 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Cool 10 minutes before cutting into 1-inch slices. Arrange on large serving platter to resemble ribs with plastic skull if desired.

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