Halloween is coming up fast, and with it, you may experience some mild anxiety over what kind of treats you can prepare for friends and family that are simple and fun to make, yet are still loaded with all those beloved fall flavors that bring back fond childhood memories and visions of colorful leaves falling.
It’s also possible that baking is not your forte, and you would rather eat treats than make treats. No judgment here, but obviously the easier your Halloween treats are to make, the more likely you are to try to make them.
With that in mind, here are four delicious ideas to get you started that are not only good, but they will also be so easy and so much fun to make, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try making them before. If you can rope in a few small little helpers, making these treats will become even more enjoyable. You can have a baking party and let them taste test all the fruits of your labors. If they pass the kid test, you’ll know you’ve got some winners on your hands.
Halloween Ginger Cookies
These Halloween ginger cookies are the perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavors, plus they are a blast to make. You get to roll out your creative side as you decorate them like little ghosts, goblins, and spider webs.
Or you could use cookie cutters to shape them and decorate them as pumpkins, gingerbread men, or grave markers. There’s no limit for the creative mind when you make a batch of these Halloween Ginger Cookies, especially if you utilize the imaginative gifts of your children and ask them to pitch in as you decorate them.
- 1 cup Butter soft
- 1-1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2-1/2 cup Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp minced Crystallized Ginger
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 – 2 Tbsp Milk or Pumpkin Puree
*Food coloring as desired
*Décor as desired
- In a small bowl, combine unbleached white all-purpose flour, crystallized ginger, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until combined. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined then add flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
- Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Place cold dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes using lightly floured cookie cutters and place on prepared baking sheets, about 1-inch apart.
- Bake cookies until edges are slightly golden, 15 – 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cool completely (about 30 minutes) before decorating.
- While cookies bake, prepare icing by combining powdered sugar and milk or pumpkin puree in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Adjust consistency as needed with extra milk or puree. If desired, divide icing into separate containers and color with food coloring. Ice cooled cookies with prepared icing and decorate as desired.
Pumpkin Spice Cream Puffs
Though these desserts can be a little more time consuming to make, they are well worth the effort. Get your kids involved in making these, and you can have a puff and pumpkin party in the kitchen. When you’re done, sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labors with coffee or steaming hot chocolate.
- Pumpkin Spice Filling
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1/3 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Corn Starch
- 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
- 1 Tbsp cool Water
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 8 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
- 1 cup Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour
- 4 Eggs at room temperature
- Begin by preparing the filling. In a blender combine the milk, pumpkin, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice, salt, clove, nutmeg, egg, and egg yolk. Blend on high speed until the mixture is completely combined, about 30 seconds.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 8 minutes. Allow the mixture to boil for 30 seconds then turn off the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Whisk until the butter is melted. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a bowl, place a layer of plastic wrap directly over the custard, and chill for 2 hours.
- Once chilled combine the gelatin with the cool water and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to bloom. Once bloomed heat for 8 to 10 seconds in the microwave to melt. Cool for 3 minutes.
- In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip on medium high speed until the cream is fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the melted gelatin and increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture forms firm peaks, about 30 to 40 seconds more.
- Stir the chilled pumpkin custard to losen it, then add it directly to the cream and whip on high for 20 to 30 seconds to incorporate thoroughly. Cover with plastic and chill for 1 hour.
- Now, prepare the choux pastry. Heat the oven to 425 F and position the rack into the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan combine the water, butter, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Place the pan over medium heat and stir occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the flour all at once. Stirring vigorously, combine the flour and the liquid until it forms a ball. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough leaves a film on the bottom of the pan and is smooth.
- Transfer the dough to the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a medium bowl with a hand mixer. Cool the dough until it reaches 125 F, about 5 minutes. Once cooled begin beating the mixture on low speed and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Put the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip. Pipe the paste into 2 inch balls onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. If you find the tops of the puffs are very pointy just dampen your finger with water and tamp them down gently. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until the puffs are deeply golden brown all over and sound hollow when gently tapped on the bottom. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once chilled fill the cooled puffs with the pumpkin filling. You can either use a small star tip to pipe the filling into the bottoms of the puffs, or you can slice the tops of the puffs, pipe in the filling, and then put the tops back on.
- Dust with powdered sugar if desired.