Tricks Are For Kids: 10 Delish Halloween Treats For Adults

pumpkin cheesecake

Why do kids get to have all the fun?

7. Cold-as-a-Witch's-Hat Cones

pistachio ice cream, or green mint chocolate chip
candy corn
chocolate chips
red or black licorice whips
pointy sugar cones

1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment and place rounded scoops of ice cream on it. Freeze until firm, at least one hour.
2. Allow each child (or adult) to decorate a scoop of ice cream with licorice strings on top for hair, candy corn for a nose, chocolate chips for eyes, and red licorice for a mouth. Press a sugar cone on top for a hat, and grin at how cute it is. Flip over and eat immediately!
Excerpted from Ghoulish Goodies © Sharon Bowers, photography © Kevin Kennefick used with permission from Storey Publishing

8. Halloween Chow Mein Cookies

2 cups (12 oz bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (5 oz) Chinese chow mein noodles, broken into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) salted peanuts

1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave oven, stirring every 30 seconds. Heat just until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the noodles and peanuts together. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over them and stir. Use a rubber spatula to coat the noodles and nuts with chocolate quickly before the chocolate hardens.
4. Use 2 soup spoons to scoop up spoonfuls of the mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. Set the baking sheet in a cool place or refrigerate for 15 minutes until the chocolate hardens.
5. The clusters can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
Handstand Kids Chinese Cookbook Kit by Yvette Garfield

9. Pumped-Up Pumpkin Pie Bites

Butter-flavored cooking spray
3/4 cup whole grain, crunchy, high-fiber, low-sugar cereal (I used Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets)
2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 large egg whites
1 can (15 ounces) solid pumpkin puree
3/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Whipped Topping (below), optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly mist an 11" x 7" glass or ceramic baking dish with spray.
2. Add the cereal to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Process it for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the cereal is crushed. Transfer it to a small mixing bowl and add the maple syrup and cinnamon. Mix them until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Gently press down on the cereal mixture, spreading it evenly across the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until slightly browned. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl. Using a sturdy whisk, lightly beat them until they bubble very slightly. Still using the whisk, stir in the pumpkin, agave, and flour until well combined. Stir in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt and continue mixing until well combined. Pour the filling over the baked crust. Using a rubber spatula, spread it into an even layer.
4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (a few crumbs are okay). Transfer the dish to a wire cooking rack, allowing it to cool to room temperature. Carefully cut 32 pumpkin "bites" (3 cuts along the width of the pan, 7 cuts along the length, creating 4 x 8 bites). Just before serving, top each bite with 1 teaspoon whipped topping, if desired. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes 16 servings (32 bites)

Whipped Topping
It's important to use this topping within about 1 day or to freeze any excess. After a day in the refrigerator, it begins to separate. In the freezer, it will stay as made for weeks and never gets hard so it’s great for topping anything, as the cravings hit. 

Though you may be tempted to use a double boiler for this recipe, unless you have a very large double boiler insert, I would highly recommend using a saucepan and a large metal or heavy-duty glass mixing bowl that sits on top the pan (and isn’t too much larger than the pan). For maximum results, you need a large bowl so that a lot of air whips into the egg whites, creating volume. I’ve found that most double boiler inserts aren't quite big enough to allow that.

Please note that every time I have made this, it yields a different amount of whipped topping, ranging from as few as 6 cups to as many as 8-1/2 cups.  I've noticed that even slight variations in the size of the egg whites, temperature of the egg whites, the type of beaters you use, the size of the bowl, etc. make a difference.  I’ve calculated the nutritional information based on the recipe making only 6 cups to give you a good sense of what you’re consuming, “worst case scenario”. If it makes more, as it likely will, it has even fewer calories per tablespoon.

3/4 cup light agave nectar
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Add water to a medium saucepan until it is about 1/4 full. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
2. Off the heat, combine the agave, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a large metal or heavy duty glass mixing bowl (that will fit onto the top of your saucepan). Beat on medium-high with an electric mixer fitted with beaters until well blended. Place the bowl over the pot of boiling water. (For safety, be sure to wear an oven mitt while holding the bowl over the heat, as it will get very hot). Beat for about 7 minutes, occasionally running the beaters around the sides of the bowl to scrape any of the mixture, until stiff peaks form. Remove the bowl from the water and continue beating for 5-7 minutes more, rotating the bowl and scraping down the sides with the beaters  as you do, or until the mixture is thick, very fluffy, and has very stiff peaks. Makes about 6 cups. 

Reprinted from The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook by Devin Alexander © 2010 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. The Biggest Loser (TM) and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold.  Photo Credit: Mitch Mandel

10. Pumpkin Cheesecakes with a Gingersnap Crust

(For the crust)
Oil for greasing the jars
3 cups gingersnaps, ground into crumbs
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cardamom
3 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream or Greek-style yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

(For the topping)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Cinnamon, for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease the bottoms and sides of sixteen 4-ounce jars or eight 8-ounce jars. Make the crust: In a medium-size bowl, mix together the gingersnap crumbs and melted butter until all of the crumbs are coated. Divide the crumb mixture evenly among the jars and use a wine cork or other small, flat-bottomed object to press down into the bottoms of the jars to form the crusts. Set aside.
2. Make the cheesecake: In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin puree. Add in the sugar and spices, and beat for 1 minute until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Spoon or pour the cheesecake filling over the crusts in the jars to ½ inch from the top.
3. Arrange the jars 2 inches apart in high-sided baking pans, such as 9 × 13-inch cake pans, with each pan lined with a clean kitchen towel. Place the pans with the jars in the oven and carefully add hot water to the pans to come halfway up the sides of the jars.
4. Bake the cheesecakes for 25 to 30 minutes, or just until their centers are almost set. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecakes and water to cool slowly in the oven for 20 minutes. When the cheesecake and water have cooled slightly, remove them carefully from the oven and remove the cheesecakes from the pans. Allow to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5. Before serving, whip together the cream and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Spoon over the tops of the cheesecakes and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Serve cold.
From Desserts in Jars Recipe © 2013 by Shaina Olmanson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.