Ask A Chef: Top Spooky Halloween Treats

October 8, 2014 8:00 AM

Town Crier Bakery (Credit, Michelle Hein)

Sure, you’ll probably have a lot of candy around when getting ready for trick-or-treaters on Halloween. But the holiday is also a great excuse to make some seasonal treats of your own. These recipes from Philadelphia experts are sure to delight your family and friends at your Halloween gatherings.

Kerry Burns
Town Crier Bakery
29 Peddler’s Village Road
Lahaska, PA 18931
(215) 794-9910

3644 Welsh Rd.
Willow Grove, PA 19090
www.towncrierbakery.com

Kerry Burns’ passion for baking began in the early 1980s, when he was working in a mom and pop bakery as a pan washer. His dream of owning his own bakery came true in 2007 when he and his wife Roseann took over the floundering Peddler’s Village bakery in Bucks County. Over the past seven years, the couple has made Town Crier Bakery their own, and the quaint, traditional-style spot is successful again. In fact, they have been so successful that they decided to open a second location. The Upper Dublin Town Crier Bakery will open in the fall of 2014, bringing quality baked goods and exceptional customer service to Montgomery County. While Kerry Burns makes his cakes, cupcakes and frosting from scratch, the recipes provided below can also be made with your favorite cake mix to make things a little easier. The focus here is on the cute decorating you can do to make these perfect for Halloween.

Screamy Whoopie Pies

  • 1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix
  • 1 container of buttercream icing
  • Orange food coloring
  • 8-oz. container of Marshmallow Fluff
  • All purpose flour, as needed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, prepare your cake mix according to the directions on the box.
  3. After mixing the cake batter, add in additional flour until the batter becomes stiff and no longer runny. You should be able to scoop with a spoon or ice cream scoop with the batter staying in a circular shape.
  4. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop batter onto baking trays lined with parchment paper. You should have no more than 12 rounds to a tray.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  6. Place the buttercream icing and Marshmallow Fluff in a mixing bowl. Mix together with a bit of orange food coloring until the creamy filling has reached a the shade of orange you desire.
  7. Using a pastry bag, pipe orange icing onto flat side of cookie and make a sandwich by placing another cookie on top.
  8. Sprinkle the finished whoopie pies with powdered sugar before serving.

Frankenstein’s Monster Munchies

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 pack instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Frosting and jimmies to decorate
  • 28 marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix and pudding mix.
  3. Add the sour cream, melted butter and eggs, mixing to combine.
  4. Scrape the bowl, add the vanilla and then mix using an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter into lined cupcake pans and bake for approximately 15 to 18 minutes. Let cupcakes cool before decorating.
  7. Top cooled cupcakes with a layer of your favorite frosting and jimmies. Place a slightly toasted marshmallow on top so that it sticks to the frosting and decorate the marshmallow with icing to create a Frankenstein’s Monster face.
  8. Makes 28 cupcakes.

Related: Top Pumpkin Treats In Philadelphia

Chef Michael McNally
London Grill
2301 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 978-4545
www.londongrill.com

Along with his wife Terry Berch McNally, Chef Michael McNally is the co-owner of the Fairmount neighborhood favorite London Grill. After more than 20 years in business, the restaurant has an established reputation for its bold, creative menus and laid-back atmosphere. In addition to being named “Best Neighborhood Restaurant” by Philadelphia Magazine, London Grill has also been praised by Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan and featured in Philadelphia Style and US Airways Magazine. The recipe below for gingerbread is served each year at the Terror Behind the Walls dinner in partnership with Eastern State Penitentiary.

Goblin’s Gingerbread

  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups molasses
  • 1-1/2 cups honey
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh, grated ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium sauce pot, combine the butter, water, molasses, honey and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until melted and combined.
  3. While the mixture is cooling, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and allspice in a large bowl.
  4. Add milk and eggs to the cooled molasses mixture.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients and stir in the fresh ginger.
  6. Pour the batter into a half sheet pan and bake for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours.

Related: Top Fall Drinks In Philadelphia

Stefani Mahoney
Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop
6030 Torresdale Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19135
(215) 535-9405
www.joessteaks.com

Stefani Mahoney started at Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop straight out of high school as a server in 2005. She graduated from Temple University in 2008 with a degree in Business Administration and was soon promoted to General Manager. As General Manager, Stefani was a major force in the decision to rebrand the malt and sandwich shop (formerly known as Chink’s). And she is constantly working on fresh ideas for the menu, such as the monthly milkshakes like the recipes below. Stefani Mahoney was recently honored as one of Zagat’s 30 under 30 – “Rock Stars Redefining the Industry.”

The Haunted Forest Milkshake

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 cup ice
  • 4 scoops of Turkey Hill Deep Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Whipped cream and sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Place milk and syrup in a blender, cover and blend on high speed for 2 seconds.
  2. Add ice and ice cream. Cover and blend on low speed for about 5 seconds, or until smooth.
  3. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.
  4. Serve immediately.

Candy Corn Milkshake

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 4 scoops of Candy Corn Ice cream (Joe’s makes this in-house by melting down candy corn and adding it to milk, then mixing it in with vanilla ice cream)
  • Crushed candy corn
  • Whipped cream

Directions:

  1. Place milk and syrup in a blender, cover and blend on high speed for 2 seconds.
  2. Add ice and ice cream to blender, cover and blend on low speed for about 5 seconds, or until smooth.
  3. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and crushed candy corn.
  4. Serve immediately.

Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer husband would love to open.
< a href=http://www.examiner.com/user-michelle-hein

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