Monday, 26 October 2015

Witch Finger Pretzel Rods

Witch Finger Pretzel Rods - (c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau
(c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau

Witch Finger Pretzel Rods are one spectacularly spooky sweet-and-salty treat! It takes just 15 minutes and 4 ingredients to make these ghoulish candies. Everyone will love them, from the smallest goblin to the oldest wizard! If you don't want to use almonds painted with food coloring, substituting chocolate-dipped almonds is an easy and delicious swap.
Looking for more easy pretzel Halloween candies? Try these Mummy Pretzel Rods or Candy Corn Pretzel Rods!


  • 28 blanched almonds (see Note below)
  • Black gel food coloring
  • 14 large pretzel rods
  • 12 oz bright green candy coating (I used Wilton's Vibrant Green Candy Melts)
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 28 Witch Fingers
1. Use a small food-safe paintbrush to paint the top of each almond with black gel food coloring. (Wear food-safe gloves if you want to avoid getting your fingertips dyed black as well!) Set aside to dry while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
2. Break or cut each pretzel rod in half. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
3. Place the green candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheat.
Stir and heat until the candy coating is completely melted and smooth.
4. Holding a pretzel rod by the tip, dip it in the green coating until almost all of it is covered, leaving about a 1/2-inch section undipped at the top.
5. Place the dipped pretzel on the prepared baking sheet. Immediately place a black almond on the tip for the "fingernail."
6. Continue to dip more pretzels, and while you do, keep an eye on the already-dipped pretzels. When the coating has started to dry, and is mostly matte but not completely hard, it's time to add the wrinkles for the knuckles. Take a toothpick and hold it perpendicular to the pretzels. Gently roll it across the top to add wrinkles. Make two sets: one set up near the fingernail, and one set about halfway down the finger. This will make your witch finger super realistic! If the coating is too melted and sticky when you try, give it a few more minutes to set before trying again.
7. After all of the pretzels have been dipped and decorated, refrigerate the tray for 10 minutes to set the coating completely.
After that, the Witch Fingers can be served, or can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.
Note: If you cannot find blanched almonds, you can take whole almonds, with the skins on, and place them in a pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain the almonds, let them cool slightly, then pinch the nuts between your fingers—the skins should slip right off. Alternately, if you don't want to use black food coloring at all, you can use regular almonds or chocolate-dipped almonds instead.

Funfetti Lollipops

Funfetti Lollipops - (c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau
(c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau

We all know cake is delicious, and lollipops are delicious. So why not combine the two into one ultra-delicious package? Funfetti lollipops are cake-flavored lollys festooned with colorful sprinkles. They're sure to brighten your day! They're perfect for birthday parties, as edible favors, or just an anytime treat. See the Notes below the recipe for more flavoring suggestions!


  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) water
  • 7 oz (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 11 oz (1 cup) light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (use clear variety for clearer lollipops)
  • 1/2 tsp LorAnn cake batter flavoring, or other flavorings (see Note below)
  • Colored jimmies
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 lollipops
1. Prepare your hard candy lollipop molds by coating the cavities with a very light layer of nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil, and wipe it out with a paper towel, leaving only a very thin layer of oil in the molds. This recipe makes 10-12 large lollipops (about 2") so make sure you have enough molds before you begin, or make several half-batches. Insert lollipop sticks into the molds and set aside for now.
2. Combine the water, granulated sugar, and corn syrup in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. When the sugar syrup comes to a boil, insert a candy thermometer.
3. Continue to cook the sugar syrup, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer reads 290° Fahrenheit (143° C). Remove the pan from the heat, and let the candy stop bubbling completely. Once it is still, stir in the vanilla extract and cake batter extract.
4. Carefully spoon the hot sugar syrup into the prepared molds, making sure that the tops of the sticks are covered with syrup and are well-embedded in the candy. Quickly, sprinkle colored jimmies over the tops of the lollipops. The lollipops will start to harden soon after they're poured, so it's important to work quickly during this step.
5. Let the lollipops sit and harden at room temperature until they are completely cool and firm. Once cool, don't pull them out by the sticks.
Instead, carefully flex the back of the molds to remove the lollipops without causing any breakage.
6. Lollipops keep well when stored in a cool, dry environment. For best results, wrap them individually in cling wrap and store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Note: Cake batter flavoring will be your best bet in recreating birthday cake-flavored lollipops, but if you can't find it, there are many other flavorings you can try! Butter flavoring is commonly found in the baking section, and combining butter flavoring with vanilla will get you very close to a cake flavor. You can also experiment with combining vanilla, almond, lemon, and/or "Princess" flavorings to get a nice cake batter flavor. A little goes a long way, so start with small amounts at first, and increase the amount in the next batch if necessary.

Eye of Newt Truffles

Eye of Newt Truffles - (c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau
(c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau

 You won't be able to take your eyes off these Eye of Newt Truffles! These eye-catching Halloween candies are made from chocolate truffles, decorated with candy eyeballs and orange and purple jimmies. They're easy to make but really bright, colorful, and fun!


  • 12 oz (about 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 oz heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 lb chocolate candy coating
  • Candy eyeballs (I used Wilton brand)
  • 1 cup each, orange and purple jimmies
  • Prep Time: 120 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 120 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Eye of Newt Truffles
1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the heavy cream, corn syrup, and salt into a small saucepan and place the pan over medium heat. Bring the cream to a simmer, and once small bubbles appear all along the sides of the pan, pour it over the chopped chocolate in the bowl.
2. Let the hot cream soften the chocolate for one minute, then gently whisk them together, until all of the chocolate is melted and your ganache is smooth and shiny.
3. Add the room temperature butter and whisk it into the ganache until incorporated. Press a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the ganache and let it sit until it reaches room temperature. Once at room temperature, refrigerate the ganache until it is firm enough to scoop, 1-2 hours.
4. Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Use a candy scoop or spoon to form the ganache into 1-inch balls. Dust your hands with a light layer of cocoa powder and roll the balls between your palms to get them round. If you have the time, let the truffles sit at cool room temperature overnight to dry and set the ganache—this will help them form a protective skin and make them easier to dip. If you don't have time, refrigerate the tray for 45-60 minutes until the truffles are very firm.
5. Melt the chocolate candy coating in a large bowl in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Heat and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Have the candy eyeballs handy, and place the orange and purple jimmies in separate bowls nearby.
6. Us dipping tools or a fork to dip a truffle in chocolate, then let the excess drip back into the bowl. Tap the fork against the lip of the bowl several times to get as much chocolate off as possible—the thinner the chocolate shell, the better.
7. Press an assortment of candy eyeballs onto the chocolate truffles. Flip the truffle off of the fork into the bowl of sprinkles, and gently toss it in the sprinkles until it is entirely covered. Let it sit there for a few minutes, firming up, while you dip and decorate another truffle. After a few moments, transfer the finished truffle to the baking sheet and repeat until all of the truffles are dipped and decorated.
8. Store Eye of Newt Truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For the best taste and texture, bring to room temperature before serving.


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