Campus Cravings, Halloween edition: It's spooky good!

    Finally, the sweetest holiday of all has rolled around: Halloween. Trick-or-treat may be replaced with trick-or-drink, but you are never too old to enjoy some scrumdiddlyumptious Halloween treats. Midterms are so over, and deciding what your costume will be seems pretty unimportant when you’re noshing on caramel apples and popcorn balls. Pair these recipes with Halloween drinks, and you’ll have a real party.

    Stuffed Caramel Apples

    Photo by Ktylerconk on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons.

    Caramel apples are a perfect excuse to indulge in a delicious dessert while getting your daily dose of vitamins. The crunch of the apple and the sticky gooyness of the caramel make this easy treat a Halloween favorite. But let’s face it, those Affy Tapples at Norris just aren’t cutting it. Before you start begging your parents to send you a care package of fresh caramel apples, try this easy recipe. These caramel apples are extra sweet because they’re stuffed with even more sugary goodness.

    For the coating you’ll need:

    • 1 package of caramels
    • 2 tablespoons water or milk (about 1 shot)
    • Toppings for the apple — anything goes (sprinkles, peanuts, mini-chocolate chips, or even crushed cookies)

    For the apple you’ll need:

    • 5 apples, washed and dried (I suggest a tart, crisp apple like Granny Smith)
    • 5 wooden craft sticks or chopsticks
    • Stuffing for the apple (I recommend chocolate ganache, peanut butter or melted chocolate truffles)
    1. Wash apples and dry them completely.
    2. Starting at the bottom, core the apple and save a portion of the bottom to use as a “plug.”
    3. Stuff the apple with the stuffing of your choice, and insert the “apple plug” to seal the apple. I recommend using a small spoon for this because fruit knives can be tricky, not to mention kind of dangerous.
    4. Push the wooden sticks into the top of the apple.
    5. Heat caramels and water/milk in the microwave until completely melted. Stir occasionally to prevent overheating.
    6. Dip apples into the caramel. When you are done coating, lift each apple straight up and let the excess caramel drip back.
    7. Roll the dipped apple in your toppings and place the finished apple on a plate.
    8. Refrigerate the apples until set, at least 10 minutes, and enjoy!

    Microwave Popcorn Pumpkins

    Don’t make the unfortunate mistake of keeping a carved pumpkin in your dorm room (and forgetting about it until mid-November, when it’s sprouted at least seven varieties of mold). Instead, get into the Halloween spirit with this much more practical recipe. These microwave pumpkins will keep for at least a week, so they are a delicious way to decorate your room while enjoying a tasty snack. But be careful when you microwave those marshmallows — they may explode if you microwave them for too long.

    You’ll need:

    • 1/4 stick butter
    • 1/2 bag of mini marshmallows
    • 1/2 pkg. orange jello powder
    • 1 bag of popped microwave popcorn
    • Optional mix-ins (chocolate chips, peanuts or toasted pumpkin seeds are great)
    1. Heat butter and marshmallows in a microwave on high for about 1.5 minutes until melted. When the marshmallows puff-up, the mixture is done.
    2. Add the Jello powder and mix well.
    3. Stir in the popcorn and mix-ins until evenly coated.
    4. Shape into balls with greased hands.
    5. Let the popcorn pumpkins cool before eating.

    Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

    Photo by justgrimes on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons.

    Unlike the disease-ridden nuts at sketchy bars, these toasted pumpkin seeds are neither shady nor disgusting. In fact, they are actually quite wholesome and delicious. The key to this recipe is using fresh pumpkin seeds. You can buy large pumpkins from Whole Foods or at the farmer’s market for $6.00, scoop out the seeds and then use the rest for pumpkin pie. Even though the recipe works best with an oven, it is also possible to make these in a toaster oven.

    You’ll need:

    • Fresh, raw pumpkin seeds — cleaned, rinsed and dried.
    • Olive oil or melted butter
    • Salt and pepper
    • Spices of your choice (garlic powder, cumin, five-spice powder all work great)
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
    3. Toss and combine the pumpkin seeds, salt, pepper and other spices.
    4. Distribute the seeds evenly over the baking sheet and drizzle melted butter or olive oil over the seeds.
    5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the seeds are a light golden brown.
    6. Cool before serving.

    Chocolate Covered Eyeballs

    Eating eyeballs has a reputation of being slightly cannibalistic, but this tasty snack may change the way you think about food forever. Covered in chocolate, these peanut butter eyeballs are neither scary nor primitive, and they are sure to impress your probably skeptical roommate. Although this recipe may take a little more time, it is well worth the effort. Share this recipe with your hall or suite mates, and you’ll quickly become the most popular person on your floor.

    You’ll need:

    • 1 cup peanut butter at room temperature
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • A splash of liquor (I recommend chocolate liquor or vanilla flavored vodka)
    • 3 cups chocolate chips (separated)
    1. Stir peanut butter, powdered sugar and liquor together. I recommend microwaving the peanut butter for 10 seconds if it does not stir well.
    2. Put 2 cups of chocolate chips in a glass or heat-resistance bowl, and melt the chocolate for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Make sure the bowl is completely dry or the chocolate will seize, and you’ll end up with chunky melted goo.
    3. Dip half of the peanut butter ball into the chocolate.
    4. Put each dipped peanut butter ball onto a plate and push a chocolate chip onto the top.
    5. Freeze or refrigerate the balls for an hour or until the chocolate has hardened.


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