Posts for October 27th 2009
We had so much fun with our PopSugar Rush Vampire Special, so we're back with more — this time it's all about what makes this Halloween even bigger and better than ever! In part one, we've got our favorite vampires, the TV shows with the best Halloween episodes, the reason that scary movies are everywhere — hint, the Twilight craze helps! — and our favorite celebrity kids all dressed up for trick-or-treating. Watch the 7 Reasons Halloween Is Huge in 2009, Part 1 now, and check out part two on Thursday!
I've had Autumn on the brain for weeks now, but it wasn't until I received an inquiry about a faithful pumpkin bread recipe that the aromatic, spiced bread crossed my mind. Yet as soon as it did, I found myself craving a loaf of it. There was only one thing to do.
This tried-and-true recipe couldn't be any simpler. It doesn't require an electric beater, and you don't need to spend hours roasting your own pumpkin. The übermoist, not-to-sweet, spiced bread is the perfect breakfast, snack, or edible gift for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or anywhere in between. Want the recipe? Keep reading.
- Appetizers, Finger Foods
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
- Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.
- In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted.
- Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.
- Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.
- Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.
Make ahead: The recipe can be prepared through Step 5 and refrigerated overnight.
- Desserts, Cookies
2 tablespoons red food coloring
30 blanched almonds
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats (French nonstick baking mats) or parchment paper, and set aside.
- Place food coloring in a shallow bowl. Using a small paintbrush, color one rounded half of each almond. Set aside to dry.
- Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk, remaining egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add egg mixture, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half. Work with one piece at a time, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and chilled. Divide the first half into fifteen pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece back and forth with palms into finger shapes, 3 to 4 inches long. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with the back of a small knife. Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
- When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white. Position almond nails; push into dough to attach.
- Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
Makes 30 fingers.
- Snacks, Other
1 tube (11 oz) refrigerated breadstick dough
1⁄2 stick (1⁄4 cup) butter, melted
2 Tbsp cinnamon-sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
48 sliced natural (with skin) almonds
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Crumple 4 large pieces of foil; shape each into a 15 x 2-in. log. Place on a baking sheet.
- Unroll dough. Cut each of the rectangles crosswise in half, then lengthwise into 2 strips. Cut 1 end of each into a fingertip.
- Roll strips in butter and drape over foil logs; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Brush fingertips with beaten egg; press an almond slice “nail” on each. Bake 8 minutes until golden. Serve.
Makes 48 fingers.
With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, everyone's in for a fun-filled week. Although every major city's likely to have some sort of costume-heavy celebration this weekend, leave some time (and belly room) for some serious food events. New Yorkers have their annual Chocolate Show, Bostonians can veg out on eco-friendly fare, and San Franciscans will discuss and sample the best of the city's street food.
Where will you be eating and drinking this week? Tell us in the comments below.
Source: Flickr User jeffreymcmanus
- Desserts, Cupcakes
1 18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
24 pieces candy corn
- Heat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
- Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.
- Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.
Makes 24 cupcakes.