Spooky #Halloween dinner #table ideas with #FaustBakes for #HostingHalloween

Hosting Halloween: Spooky Dinner Setting

Velcome, to the second installment of my Hosting Halloween series where I take you through spooky dinner setting ideas! I hope you enjoyed my first post and are excited to see what other tricks I have in store for you.

This is my go-to Halloween table setting, and I often refer to it as a vintage Halloween setting. It uses stark blacks, bright oranges and mellow greens, which always put me in the mind of a 1950’s Halloween party.

While I have no actual savory dishes in this dinner post, I do have plenty of treats to keep your tricksters happy! Let’s get started with my favorite part–the food.

I want to start with the easiest recipe in this post, but no doubt the most iconic. These little squares of chocolate-y goodness are General Mills’® Count Chocula® Marshmallow Treats. Count Chocula® is a Halloween breakfast staple. He’s been charming kids annually since he came on the scene in the 1970’s; in fact, I don’t remember a single Halloween that I didn’t have a box of that cereal.

Click here for the recipe.

Nothing says classic Halloween like ghost-shaped sugar cookies. This recipe is as vintage as they come; one bite will take you back to sugar cookies baked by Grandma. I can’t let a holiday pass without whipping up a batch of these iconic cookies.

Click here for the recipe.

This cake was an absolute hit! It’s a pumpkin cake with pumpkin mousse filling and cream cheese frosting. How cute are those little pumpkins around the base? Those are Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins, and they made a perfect border for the cake. They look like a little pumpkin patch, don’t they?

Click here for the recipe.

Oh, and what’s that in the background? My famous Cinnamon Pie! It’s the perfect fall treat, and it really off-sets the pumpkin treats.

Click here for the recipe.

Spooky #Halloween dinner #table ideas with #FaustBakes for #HostingHalloween

If you’ve tried my Cinnamon Pie and liked it, then you’ll love my Pumpkin Pie! It’s a variation of my Cinnamon Pie’s base. It’s a rich twist on the classic treat, with a creamier, dreamier filling.

Click here for the recipe.

At each place setting, I plopped a little Chocolate Sandwich Cookie (a.k.a. a homemade Oreo). These guys are so easy to make, and devilishly delicious. These were picked off the table in a matter of minutes. I dare you to eat just one!

Click here for the recipe.

For the table setting, I wanted to stick to black, orange and green. I used a gauze from the Halloween section as a makeshift runner over an orange tablecloth. I knew my plates and treats would have lots of imagery, so I wanted to keep the background very simple–no patterns or distracting trinkets. On either side of the centerpiece cake are black and white taper candles and a small pumpkin.

The pumpkin plates are from Pottery Barn, and this link will show you what they currently have in stock. I loved the way they looked nestled on the jet-black plates. It was a needed separation from the orange tablecloth. The black flatware set, believe it or not, I found at Wal-Mart. I’m having trouble locating the exact set on their website, but I picked them out individually at a local store.

Something I love to do with all of my tablescapes is combine elegance and whimsy. For this setting, I did that with the glassware. The crystal goblets, I thought, added a spooky sophistication. The weight of them in your hands makes you feel just the littlest bit classy–maybe even royal. But the orange and black paper straw takes it down a notch, makes it a little cooky.

Speaking of cooky, did you catch what the Count Chocula® Treats are sitting on? That is a picture frame, friends, and it’s one of my favorite tricks for adding variety to a tablescape. Using the same dishes in a matching set can make a table look boring, and adding a few pieces of interest makes it all pop. Make sure you thoroughly clean the frame before using it. Insert a spooky image or plain paper into the frame. Top with tasty treats.

That’s it for this installment of #HostingHalloween! I have a devil of a finale lined up for you guys, so be sure you keep coming back to see what ideas I’ve scared up. Until then, delicious dealings, friends!

Check out all the recipes from this post below!

Count Chocula® Marshmallow Treats

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter

4 cups miniature marshmallows

6 cups  General Mills’® Count Chocula® cereal, without marshmallow pieces (set aside)

Directions

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir with a greased spoon until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add General Mills’® Count Chocula® cereal. Stir until well coated.

Using a greased spatula, press mixture into a 13x9x2-inch pan that is lined with wax paper. Before completely cooled, sprinkle the marshmallow pieces that were set aside over the tops of the treats. Add sprinkles as desired.

When cooled completely and set, cut into squares.

Check out all the recipes from this post below!

Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Mousse Filling

For the Cake:

Ingredients

1 box white cake mix (Duncan Hines)

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 pinch of salt

3 large eggs

1 cup cold water

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients making sure to break up and large clumps of mix, and then set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine water, eggs, and pumpkin puree. Mix well. Slowly add wet mixture to dry mixture while beating on medium speed with either a hand mixer or stand mixer.

Once well-combined, divide evenly into 3 greased 8-inch pans. Bake from 20-30 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center and remove it cleanly. Allow it to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing layers from the pans. Cool to room temperature. Split each layer in half. Cover in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the Frosting:

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3-5 cups powdered sugar

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Reduce speed and add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

For the Mousse:

Ingredients

1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened

3-4 cups powdered sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree

Directions

In a medium-sized mixing bowl fitted with a beater attachment, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until soft and fluffy. Add puree, and continue to beat on high speed until fully combined and very fluffy.

Build the cake, starting with a layer of cake as the base. Top with a layer of cream cheese frosting. Add another cake layer. Top with pumpkin mousse. Add another cake layer. Continue this process, alternating mousse and frosting until fully assembled. Cover entire cake with cream cheese frosting. Decorate as desired.

Check out all the recipes from this post below!

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened

2 cups canned pumpkin

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 pie crust

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take 1 piece of pre-made pie dough and put it into a 9 inch pie pan. Press down along the bottom and sides. Crimp the edges together along the top ridge of the pan. Put the pie shell in the freezer to firm up for about an hour.

After that hour is over, take the pie crust out of the freezer and fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the crust completely. Fill with pie weights (or marbles or dried beans or even heavy nuts) and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and the pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust begins to dry and take color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sifted sugar on high until light and smooth. Add salt and continue mixing. Whisk together pumpkin and eggs, then add to the mixture. Beat in half-and-half, vanilla and melted butter until combined. Once fully incorporated, add the cinnamon and ginger a little bit at a time, making sure it is well combined before adding the next portion.

Pour the filling, which will be slightly runny, into the warm pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of the pie and remove it cleanly. Let the pie cool to room temperature before slicing. Serve slightly warmed or cold.

Check out all the recipes from this post below!

Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup dark cocoa powder

pinch of salt

Directions

In a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, mix butter and sugar together until just incorporated–DO NOT OVER-MIX!

Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough is formed and sort of clinging to the beater.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. Turn the dough out onto it a sheet of wax paper and top with a second sheet. Roll the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick sheet. Transfer the dough still surrounded by wax paper onto a large cookie sheet. Wrap the entire sheet in cling wrap tightly–you don’t want the cookies to dry out. Let dough chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut out circles and transfer those to the prepared cookie sheet. Refrigerate the cut out shapes for 30 minutes. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack. When completely cooled, fill with a buttercream frosting.

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