For some reason, kids (and kids at heart) love foods with the "ick" factor andndash; the grosser the better, it seems andndash; and Halloween is a great time to take advantage of this perverse penchant for the yuckiest edibles around.
Whether having a Halloween bash for the masses or just trying to have fun with the family, there are some fun foods sure to challenge the senses. Those who can get past the thought of it, these terribly tantalizing treats are actually fine to eat.
Turn out the lights and lead "victims" to these tactile treats, they're sure to squeal at the thought of the hands-on horror.
Eerie eyeballs:If optical illusions are on the agenda, carefully peel some green grapes to expose the inside slimy surface and pile them in a bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil to make them even slipperier.
Fake slime:Almost as gross as it gets, this thick, viscous slime can turn even the strongest stomachs. Heat a half cup of water until it boils, then remove it from the stove. Sprinkle in three packages of gelatin and let it sit for a while. Stir with a fork. Add about a half cup of light corn syrup to enhance the goo factor and stir again until you have long strands of snot. Add a little green food coloring if the lights will be on, but it's not necessary for the purely tactile experience.
Budding brains:Lightly steamed cauliflower offers up the cranial convolutions, but add a bit of small-curd cottage cheese to the mix for a total gross-out.
Munching on maggots:Watery cooked rice will get to even the toughest of Halloween guests andndash; they'll feel things crawling on them for a while after the hands-on experience ends.
Ghoulish guts:Cook thin spaghetti, drain and chill thoroughly. Add enough olive oil to coat it and add the slime factor.
If the lights are on and it's party time, there are even more options for grossing out Halloween guests.
Ants on a log:Spread some celery with peanut butter and sprinkle raisins along the length. While actually a pretty healthy treat, kids may cringe at the thought of it.
Finger chills:Use a non-powdered latex surgical glove and fill it with water (add a little hint of red food coloring to make a skin tone). Tie off the wrist end. Carefully put the glove into the freezer. When it's solid, cut away the glove and float the hand in the punch bowl centerpiece. If the fingers happen to break while you're removing the glove, simply float the severed sections in the bowl.
Icky ice:Making creepy ice cubes for guests' drinks is easy as pie. Look for small flies and other insects at discount stores and place one in each ice cube tray section. Add water to encase the prey. Or use novelty ice trays and freeze grape juice shapes. When they melt in the punch bowl, they'll look like they're bleeding.
Here's lookin' at you:If eyeball ice cubes are preferred, trim out the center of a radish and fill the hole with a pimento-stuffed green olive. Place it in an ice cube tray and add water to encase.
Bloodshot appetizer:Hard cook eggs, cut in half and remove the yolk. Fill the recession with a little whipped cream cheese and insert a pimento-stuffed green olive (pimento side up). Using a toothpick dipped in red food coloring, draw broken blood vessels into the cream cheese.
To make fake blood, mix 1 cup of light corn syrup with 1 tablespoon of water and add 2 tablespoons of red food coloring to make the desired hue. To make it more opaque, add a teaspoon of whole milk. Vary the food coloring to get blue blood, monster green or black blood. The blood can be drizzled over any food, like frosted cupcakes, cookies, pudding, etc., to add a bit of edible gore. For fine vein lines, apply it with a toothpick.
Severed Finger Cookies
Makes 8 dozen.
Note: You may halve this recipe (no pun intended) to make a smaller batch, or store any unused dough in the freezer for future use.
FOR THE COOKIES:
6 C flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 C butter
2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
Red cake decorating gel
Green food coloring (optional)
For the cookies: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Mix well. (To make monster claws, add some green food coloring to the dough when mixing.) Chill dough for 1 to 2 hours.
Break off silver-dollar-size pieces of dough and roll in your hands to make a long tube that resembles a finger. Using a butter knife, make three indents to make the knuckles. Make a small indent where the "fingernail" (almond) will go.
Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until the fingers just begin to turn brown around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Decorating: When cooled, put decorator gel on the fingertip to hold the almond sliver (fingernail) in place. For added creepiness, squeeze some red gel at the severed end of the finger to resemble blood.
andndash; Adapted from www.familycorner.com, Family FunBook
Makes 32 cookies.
1 pkg (1 lb) Nutter Butter Sandwich cookies (plain or peanut butter)
1 pkg (12 oz) white chocolate or almond bark
Mini chocolate chips
Microwave the white chocolate in a bowl for about 90 seconds, until melted. Stir every 30 seconds.
Dip each cookie into the melted chocolate until covered, or just spread chocolate over the top and sides of the cookie. Lay the cookies on wax paper.
Use two mini chocolate chips for ghost eyes and press into the chocolate to secure. Let the cookies harden before storing.
andndash; Adapted from www.nabiscoworld.com Lollipop Spiders
These are so easy, they're perfect for kids to make.
1 round lollipop (like Tootsie Roll Pop)
4 chenille stems or pipe cleaners
2 small googly eyes
Tightly twist the center of one chenille stem around the lollipop where the sucker meets the stick. Shape the extensions into legs. Twist another chenille stem at a slight diagonal to the first one and repeat the shaping process. Add two more chenille stems to make eight spidery legs.
Bend each leg downward to make a "joint." Glue two googly eyes to the top of the chenille-wrapped area. Trim legs if needed for stability.
andndash; Adapted from www.candy.about.com Gelatin Worms
Makes 100 worms.
Straws with a bendable neck make the most realistic worms by adding ridges to the bodies.
100 flexible plastic straws
Empty, clean 1-quart milk or orange juice carton to hold straws
1 pkg (6 oz) raspberry or grape flavor gelatin
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3 C boiling water
andfrac34; C whipping cream
12 to 15 drops green food coloring
Combine gelatins in a bowl and add boiling water; stir until completely dissolved. Chill until lukewarm, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, gently pull straws to extend to full length; place in tall container with bendable straw necks at the bottom of the container. Wrap the straws together with a loose rubber band.
Blend cream and food coloring with the lukewarm gelatin mixture. Carefully pour into container, filling the straws. Chill until gelatin is firm, at least 8 hours, or cover and chill up to two days.
Pull straws from container or, if you're using a carton, simply tear the carton away from the filled straws.
Pull straws apart. Run hot tap water for about two seconds over three to four straws at a time.
Starting at the empty ends, push worms from straws with rolling pin, or use your fingers to squeeze the straws. Lay worms on wax paper-lined baking sheets. Cover and chill until ready to use, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Worms will hold at room temperature for about 2 hours.
andndash; Adapted from www.theidearoom.net Frog Guts
1 stick margarine
40 lg marshmallows
andfrac12; tsp vanilla
2 tsp green food coloring
5 C corn flakes
5 C MandMs
Melt margarine in a large pan. Add marshmallows and cook over low heat; stir constantly until the margarine and the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat.
Add vanilla and food coloring; mix well. Add corn flake cereal and MandMs and mix again. The mixture should be bright green andndash; add more coloring if needed. Drop the mixture by the tablespoon on a sheet of wax paper and cool.
andndash; Adapted from www.ezinearticles.com