It is going to be a very mellow Halloween at our house this year as "the flu" has ravaged my family over the past three weeks - the Middle Child and I had it first (along with about half of her school), no sooner had she returned to school then it hit The Six Year Old and then, amazingly the man who never gets sick, The Weekend Chef (although he is slowly losing that title). The worst part of the flu is the coughing. I took the Six Year Old to the doctor convinced he had come down with pneumonia. Thankfully his lungs are clear and the doctor suggested a spoonful of Honey to soothe his cough.
I have been making a lot of Chicken Noodle Soup and trying to keep the Gluten Free Teen healthy - she is the only family member to have escaped its' path at this point. Now that we are passing three weeks of someone ill, I am praying she remains healthy.
To spread a little cheer while the men of the house were down and out, the Girls in the family came up with these Halloween cupcakes. A little messy but fun.
We went the easy route and used Pamela's Products Luscious Chocolate Cake Mix, for the cupcakes which were amazingly tasty. While they were cooling we made the spiders:
2 cups gluten free chocolate chips (we used Sunspire Tropical Source chocolate chips for casein free as well)
3 T milk (or almond milk for casein free)
1/2 cup crispy cereal or peanuts (we used some Enviro Kids Leapin Lemurs cereal)
1/2 cup gluten free pretzels (we used Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzel Twists, )
Make the spiders by combining the chocolate chips and milk in a glass bowl. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until smooth.
Reserve about one-third of the chocolate mixture for the spider legs. Stir the peanuts or cereal into the remaining chocolate.
Form the spiders by dropping teaspoons of the chocolate with the cereal or nuts mixed into it onto waxed paper. Let cool.
While the spiders are cooling, frost the cupcakes with white frosting:
1/2 cup shortening (we used Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening)
1/2 cup margarine (we used Earth Balance for casein free)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk or less
Cream together first four ingredients. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Gradually whip in milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat until fluffy.
Once the cupcakes are frosted, placed a spider body from the wax paper on top of each cup cake. Warm up the remaining chocolate mixture in the microwave. Break the pretzel sticks to form curved legs and stir in the chocolate to coat. Attach the pretzels as legs. (the kids did this part - it was very messy and involved lots of licking!)
Not feeling up for the challenge, here is an easier Halloween Recipe that is a family tradition at our house. Every year while we are carving our pumpkins, I roast some pumpkin seeds. It is amazingly easy and a fun crunchy, naturally gluten free snack:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Snack:
1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons melted butter or olive oil
salt to taste
Optional additional seasonings: garlic salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder
Preheat oven to 300º F.
Rinse the seeds - it is O.K. to leave some strings and pulp on your seeds but clean off any major chunks.
Toss the pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or olive oil, add seasonings and spread in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake until golden brown - about 30 minutes.