Magazine article Sunset

Sweet Treats: Throw a Halloween Party Full of Not-So-Scary Surprises. (Food)

Magazine article Sunset

Sweet Treats: Throw a Halloween Party Full of Not-So-Scary Surprises. (Food)

Article excerpt

Kate Washington

From the tiniest goblin to the kid at heart in grown-up disguise, everyone ringing the doorbell on Halloween has the same question: "Trick or treat?" But there's really no need to choose; sometimes a little trick can conceal a bona fide treat.

For a Halloween party, sweets with a twist delight fairy princesses and Spider-Men alike. .We've devised cupcakes that, like the partygoers themselves, are all dressed up: Devil's food cupcakes have a gooey marshmallow filling, and what looks like plain vanilla is actually orange cream cheese frosting on spiced pumpkin cakes.

But candy is the real point of Halloween as far as kids are concerned. Make it even more of a treat by tucking it into clever paper cones, for partygoers and trick-or-treaters alike. Both know the treats are that much more special when they're also tricks.

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 1/2 hours, plus at least 35 minutes to cool MAKES: 16 cupcakes

  3/4  cup (3/8 lb.) butter,
       at room temperature
1 1/2  cups sugar
    2  large eggs
    2  cups all-purpose flour
  1/2  cup Dutch-process
       unsweetened cocoa
    2  teaspoons baking powder
  1/2  teaspoon salt
    1  cup milk
    1  jar (7 oz.) marshmallow cream
       Chocolate cream cheese
       frosting (recipe follows)

1. In a bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir half the flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in milk just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. Spoon batter equally into 16 muffin cups (1/3-cup capacity; cups should be almost full) lined with paper baking cups.

3. Bake in a 350[degrees] regular or convection oven until tops spring back when lightly pressed in the center and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pans on racks for 5 minutes; remove cupcakes from pans and set on racks to cool completely at least 30 minutes.

4. With a small, sharp knife, cut a cylinder about 3/4 inch wide and 1 inch deep from the center of the top of each cupcake. Trim off and discard about 1/2 inch from the bottom of each cylinder. With tip of knife, hollow out a small cavity inside each cupcake.

5. Spoon marshmallow cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Twist end of bag tightly to secure. Place tip in cavity of one cupcake; without moving tip, squeeze filling into cavity, to 1/4 inch from top. Repeat to fill remaining cupcakes. Insert cake cylinders into holes.

6. Spoon chocolate cream cheese frosting into another pastry bag, fitted with a 3/4-inch star tip, and pipe onto tops of cupcakes, or spread on cupcakes with a knife.

Per cupcake: 421 cal., 47% (198 cal.) from fat; 5.1g protein; 22 g fat (13 g sat.); 55 g carbo (0.4 g fiber); 378 mg sodium; 83 mg chol.

Chocolate cream cheese frosting. In a bowl, with a mixer on low speed, beat 8 ounces cream cheese and 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter, both at room temperature, until well blended. In another bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa. …

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