Halloween at Home: Plan a Spooky Night In
With Halloween falling on a Wednesday, many students have already shown off their costumes and celebrated All Hallow’s Eve this past weekend. This gives people the opportunity to celebrate twice. After the raucous parties of Halloween Part One, many prefer a more chilled-out Halloween-day celebration. Luckily, there are still many things you can do to celebrate the spookiest of holidays that are both restful and fun.
Many basic cable networks offer marathons of classic Halloween movies and countless horror movies during the month of October. ABC is playing the classic “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on Halloween night. ABC Family has a 13 Days of Halloween marathon, playing movies from when the average college student was a child like “Edward Scissorhands,” “Beetlejuice,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Casper” and “The Addams Family.” The Disney Channel also plays their classic Disney Channel Original “Halloweentown” movies, along with a few other Halloween-themed DCOM’s during the weeks leading up to Halloween.
For those of you with a DVR, scan through your TV guide, find the Halloween movies of your childhood, record them and hold a nostalgia-filled movie fest on Halloween night. Watching these movies years after you first saw them can be a fun trip down memory lane with your friends.
For those of you who are less into nostalgic movies and more into scary movies, AMC is having a “Halloween” marathon on Oct. 31, playing all the movies in the Michael Myers series. TCM is playing scary movies from the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s like “Frankenstein,” “The Invisible Man” and “The Wolf Man.”
Renting various scary movie series is an alternative to movie marathons on cable. The Scream series has four movies and is a satire of classic horror movies along with being scary. The Saw series is more appropriate for those who to watch things that are gory and horrific. Award-winning movies that are also quite chilling like “Silence of the Lambs,” “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Shining” are great choices for film buffs.
Candy corn is another essential Halloween item. This candy can rarely be found in any month besides October. There are a variety of recipes using candy corn that would be perfect for a Halloween movie marathon among friends.
This Candy Corn and Pretzel Bark recipe will satisfy those with a craving for something both sweet and salty.
Candy Corn and Pretzel Bark
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
1/2 pound chopped white chocolate
1 cup pretzels
1/2 cup candy corn
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.
Heat the chocolate in a double boiler or medium heatproof bowl set over (but not in) a saucepan of simmering water, stirring often, until melted and smooth.
Spread the chocolate in the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the pretzels, candy corn and dried cranberries. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
Remove the bark from the pan, and break into pieces.
For those with more of a basic taste, Candy Corn Cupcakes are a quick and easy dessert to make for any Halloween gathering.
Candy Corn Cupcakes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
For the cake:
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
For the frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Food coloring of your choice of color (optional)
For the cupcakes:
Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions, and heat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
Whisk the milk, egg whites and extracts together in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together.
Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the butter, one piece at a time, into the flour mixture, about 30 seconds. Continue to beat the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs, 1 to 3 minutes.
Beat in all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, then increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth, light and fluffy, 1 to 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly beat in the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk mixture until the batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds.
Use a greased 1/4-cup measuring cup to pour the batter evenly into the cupcake liners.
Bake the cupcakes, switching and rotating the pans halfway through baking, for a total of 15-20 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
Beat the butter, cream, vanilla and salt together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until incorporated and smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes.
Divide the frosting into three bowls, and tint each with desired food coloring.
Using a pastry bag and desired tip, pipe the frosting in a cone shape on the cupcakes. Garnish with a piece of candy corn on the top.
Pinterest has many additional candy corn recipes along with various food blogs.
With Halloween falling on a Wednesday, the parties of the weekend are making way for a laid-back evening at home with scary movies and Halloween treats.