Homemade Halloween Treats: Caramel Apples, Popcorn Cups, Halloween Punch and More Creepy Ideas

Don’t let the thought of Halloween treats scare you silly! Here are some recipes you can prepare for a spooky celebration.
Choose-a-Flavor Caramel Apples Recipe
Makes 10 Dipped Apples
• 10 small apples (Jonathans work well), washed and stems removed
• 1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts, crushed pretzels, or crunchy granola
• 21 ounces (about 75) vanilla caramels, unwrapped
• 3 tablespoons water
• 6 drops cinnamon oil or 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces or 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
• Large bowl of ice water
1. Insert a 5-inch dowel or bamboo skewer cut to a 5-inch length into the top of each apple. Place chopped nuts, pretzels, or granola in a small bowl.
2. Place caramels and water in a heavy medium saucepan, and stir both of the ingredients together over medium-low heat. Continue cooking just until all of the caramels are almost melted, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, and briefly plunge the saucepan into ice water to stop the cooking. Stir in cinnamon oil, chocolate pieces, or peanut butter.
3. Dip one apple into the caramel, coat the top and sides using a spoon. (If necessary, add hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make the caramel easier to dip.) Roll the apple’s bottom in the peanuts, pretzels, or granola. Transfer the rolled apples to a serving platter and let stand about 30 minutes or until firm.
4. To make ahead: Prepare apples as directed. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Popcorn Crunch Cups Recipe
Makes 24 Servings
• 8 cups popcorn, popped
• 1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
• 1 cup candy corn
• 1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
• 3/4 pound chocolate-flavored candy coating, cut up
• 2 tablespoons peanut butter
• 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, for brushing
1. In a very large bowl combine the popped popcorn, crisp rice cereal, candy corn and the dry roasted peanuts. Mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
2. Place the candy coating and peanut butter in a heavy medium saucepan. Cook the candy coating and peanut butter mixture over low heat, stirring frequently. Continue to cook the mixture over very low heat until all of the candy coating is melted. Once completely melted, remove the saucepan from the heat.
3. Line a muffin pan with Halloween-themed paper back cups (the type used for baking muffins). Brush cups with melted butter, coating cups thoroughly. You don’t want the crunch cups to stick to the paper. Pour the warm chocolate candy coating mixture over the popcorn mixture, and toss both of the mixtures together until all popcorn is coated well.
4. Using 1/3 cup for each paper cup, spoon the popcorn mixture into each of the paper cups and let cool thoroughly. Put one paper back cup in center of twenty-four 4-by-4-inch pieces of orange cellophane wrap, gather cellophane at top, and secure with a twist of 4 1/2-inch pieces of floral wire. Wrap the ends of floral wire around a skewer to form tendrils for the pumpkin package.
Halloween Punch with Wiggle-Worm Ice Recipe
Makes 10 8-ounce Servings
• 1 12-ounce can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
• 1 12-ounce can apricot nectar, chilled
• 2 12-ounce cans lemon-lime soda, chilled
• 1 recipe Wiggle-Worm Ice (recipe follows)
1. Prepare pineapple juice concentrate according to package directions; add to a small punch bowl.
2. Stir in the apricot nectar. Add the lemon-lime soda, stirring gently to mix. Float Wiggle-Worm Ice on top of the punch.
WIGGLE-WORM ICE: Fill bottoms of desired Halloween molds with water. Place chewy fruit worms in molds. Freeze until firm. Add enought water to fill molds. Freeze again until firm. When frozen, remove Wiggle-Worm Ice from molds; float Wiggle-Worm Ice in Halloween Punch.

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