Written on October 16, 2013 at 8:00 am , by Michael Wurm, Jr.
Whether I’m cooking or baking, I love being in the kitchen.. When it comes down to it, however, I’m really a baker at heart. Being a huge fan of sweets, I’ve always found comfort in baking. I also think that baked goodies remind me of celebrations – cakes for birthdays and cookies for Christmas and so on. So when Better Homes and Gardens newest cookbook, Baking arrived at my door, I couldn’t have been more delighted.
Shortly after receiving Baking, I sat down with a cup of coffee and leafed through its five hundred plus pages. It was pure delight. With over 350 recipes, it certainly covers everything under the baking umbrella. While I want to make every recipe in this book, given the upcoming holiday, I decided to try my hand at the Halloween-inspired Ghost Cake. To up the cuteness level, I went with cupcakes instead of a cake.
I started off with the Classic Chocolate for the cake. The resulting cupcakes are light, fluffy, and delicious.
As they baked, I worked on crafting some chocolate trees. This was another reason I was thrilled about this recipe. I couldn’t wait to try making these cute little trees. They were so fun to do. I really liked the idea of sprinkling on jimmies to give them a little texture. I even found some fall colored jimmies to look like leaves. When you’re making your trees, be sure the chocolate is thick enough. Otherwise, they will be very fragile. A few of my trees turned into bushes. No harm done, though.
Once the trees were set and the cupcakes cooled, I made the Meringue Frosting. Growing up, my mom always referred to this as Seven-Minute Frosting. This frosting is made on the stove with a double boiler. Seven minutes is typically how long it takes to make the frosting. Hence, the name.
With the frosting ready, I gave my cupcakes a quick base coat. Since I didn’t have a pastry bag, to pipe the ghosts on, I just used a plastic baggie with the corner snipped off. Two round sprinkles for the eyes, the tree tucked into place, and my Ghost Cupcakes were complete.
Are they not the most adorable things you ever seen?
These would be such a sweet, yet slightly spooky touch for a Halloween party or fall get together. Despite the fact that everything was made from scratch, I was also really surprised how quickly they came together..
Well, I’m off to figure out which recipe I want to whip up next. You can find the recipe for Ghost Cake here. If you are looking to add Baking to your own cookbook collection, you can pick up a copy here.
Written on October 10, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Emily Caruso is the food photographer, writer and cook behind the blog Jelly Toast. She has a passion for beautiful photography and creating simple, but delicious food for her family, often inspired by recipes that have been in her family for generations. When she’s not tinkering in the kitchen or hunkered down behind her camera, Emily can be found photo prop shopping, reading a great new book or spending time with her husband and two children – usually with a cup of coffee nearby.
Hi Everyone! I’m so excited to be guest posting on BHG’s Delish Dish! I have been an avid reader of Better Homes and Gardens for years and love their endless selection of scrumptious, seasonal recipes.
Fall is my favorite time of year! Every October, my family throws a huge Halloween bash, complete with spooky treats for everyone to enjoy. I came across two mouth watering apple recipes here on BHG, Dark Chocolate Dipped Apples and a classic Basic Caramel Apples and I decided to combine the two recipes into one. After adding a spooky, cobweb twist they are ready for any Halloween party.
The first thing I wanted to do was turn these full sized Basic Caramel Apples into bite sized treats. While I adore caramel apples, sometimes they can be difficult for little children to bite into, so creating a mini version was a great way to make these easy for kids to enjoy. Plus, I love any excuse to turn something mini! The process was easier than I had imagined, but there were a few tricks that I learned along the way.
I used my melon baller to scoop round bite sized pieces out of one large apple and I was able to get about 12 bites from each apple. I soaked the apple bites in a bit of lemon juice and water to prevent them from browning. An important step was to dry the bites as much as possible with a paper towel before dipping them in the melted caramel.
I simply followed the Basic Caramel Apple recipe to melt the caramel candies. To dip the apple bites in caramel, I simply rolled each bite in the bowl of melted caramel, skin side down, then placed the coated bites on some lightly buttered parchment paper. Placing them in the refrigerator helped firm the caramel up quickly. I found that the caramel stuck best to the skin of the apple and in some cases the caramel wanted to slip off the flesh of the apple. The beauty of this recipe is that the chocolate coating covered any imperfections in the caramel layer. I love that in a recipe! After the caramel was set, I inserted a stick into each bite and coated each apple bite completely in melted dark chocolate, following the steps from the Dark Chocolate Dipped Apples Recipe. I then placed them back into the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.
For the white chocolate ‘cobweb’ drizzles, I melted some white chocolate chips with a touch of coconut oil (you could use shortening instead as described here in these chocolate drizzle instructions) and placed it into a small squeeze bottle. Using the squeeze bottle to drizzle the chocolate made this step much easier! A few more minutes in the fridge and these Mini Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples were ready to serve!
These treats can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To jazz up these little caramel apple bites, I also made some very easy washi tape flags using washi tape and bamboo skewers.
Washi tape flags are very simple to make. I took bamboo skewers (you could also use skinny wooden popsicle sticks) that you can find in the regular grocery store and removed the sharp points with a pair of wire cutters. You could also use a sturdy pair of scissors if you don’t have a pair of wire cutters.
I chose some Halloween inspired washi tape and wrapped a 2 – 3 inch piece of washi tape around the end of each bamboo skewer to create a tab. After a quick snip to remove a small triangular piece of tape from the end of the tab, these flags were done! They add a fun and festive touch to any treat.
Everyone in my family loved these Mini Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples! While there were a few steps to creating these spooky treats, each step was simple and the end results were delicious!