Frightful Fun

By Paul R. Huard

August 1, 2008 7 min read

FRIGHTFUL FUN

How to make your Halloween party a night to remember

By Paul R. Huard

Creators News Service

Make no bones about it: Sometimes the worst Halloween horror is planning a party for the kids and digging up new treats to serve the little boys and ghouls.

Planning a great party for the scariest night of the year doesn't have to be a nightmare. Use your imagination and some great recipes -- you'll be on your way to a "spooktacular" evening.

Here are some tips that will make your party a scream, along with two recipes with a minimum of tricks but lots of treats. They are from the Kraft Kitchens -- additional hints and recipes can be found at www.KraftFoods.com.

Pick a Theme: Selecting a theme for a party always helps to set the stage. Try a traditional Halloween idea like a costume, jack-o'-lantern or scary movie party.

Set a Date, Time and Place: Once you've decided on a theme, it's time to set the date, time and place for your party. The party doesn't necessarily need to fall on Halloween night, but if you want a safe destination for young children after limited door-to-door trick-or-treating, a party could be a marvelous idea. If you have invited a large number of guests, consider having your party in an alternative location such as a community hall or firehouse.

Make a Guest List and Send Invitations: Make your list ahead of time and double-check it before sending invitations -- that way you'll be sure not to forget anyone. If you're going to mail your invitations, be sure to mail them far enough in advance to give them time to be delivered.

If you need to spice up your party space, here are some recommendations for perfect Halloween decorations that are imaginative and low-cost:

-- Ghostly Furniture Covers: To set a ghostly mood for your celebration, just adorn party furniture with lots of white sheets. Old or new, the condition of the sheets doesn't matter -- just keep them white.

-- Instant Atmosphere with Colored Lights: Replace normal light bulbs in the party room with colored bulbs (available at your local hardware, craft or party store). Black, red, blue, and green bulbs cast eerie, yet festive, glows. If you have a lamp that uses two bulbs, combine a red and a blue bulb to create a cool double-vision effect. NOTE: Make sure the colored bulbs do not exceed the recommended wattage of your lamp. Also, make sure to leave enough light to allow guests to easily move about the room.

-- Webs Overhead and Creepy Crawlies Underfoot: Purchase spider webbing, plastic rats, spiders and snakes at your local craft or party store. Place the webbing on lamps (don't place too close to the light bulb), in the corners of the ceiling, across the tops of doorways -- anywhere you want to create an aged and creepy look. Place the rats, spiders, and snakes in corners, under tables, and other unexpected places. In low light they look scary -- and very real.

No party is complete without treats. Here are two crowd-pleasers that are easy to make and fun to see before the guests dig in.

-- -- --

This is an easy dessert for a Halloween crowd. Since it makes 18 servings, you can invite plenty of ghosts and goblins to stop in for some party fun. The total time to prepare this treat is about two hours.

GHOSTS IN THE GRAVEYARD

3 cups cold milk

2 packages (4-serving size each) Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding

1 (12-ounce) tub Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed (divided use)

15 Oreo cookies, crushed (divided use)

Assorted decorations:

3 Cameo Creme Sandwich Cookies

Decorating gel

5 candy pumpkins

10 pieces of candy corn

Yields 18 servings.

Pour milk into large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir in 3 cups whipped topping and 1/2 the cookie crumbs. Spread evenly into 13x9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, decorate creme sandwich cookies with decorating gel to resemble tombstones. Set aside until ready to use.

To serve: Insert decorated cookies into top of dessert just before serving. Add candies. Drop large spoonfuls of remaining whipped topping onto dessert to resemble ghosts.

Cover and store leftover dessert in refrigerator.

Tip: Use snipped pieces of green chewy fruit snack rolls to create "grass" around the graveyard.

-- -- --

No Halloween is complete without caramel apples. Make sure you wash and dry the fruit thoroughly so that caramel adheres to the apple peel.

CARAMEL APPLES

5 medium apples, washed, well dried

Butter, for greasing wax paper

1 (14-ounce) bag Kraft Caramels (about 50)

2 tablespoons water

Yields 5 caramel apples.

Into the stem of each apple, insert wooden pop stick (from bag of caramels). Cover large plate with waxed paper; grease paper with butter. Set aside.

Place caramels in large saucepan. Add water; cook on medium-low heat until caramels are melted, stirring constantly.

Dip apples into melted caramel until evenly coated, spooning caramel over apples if necessary. Allow excess caramel to drip off. Scrape bottoms of apples, then place on prepared plate. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

For extra-special treats: Prepare apples as directed, rolling bottom of each freshly dipped apple into one of the following:

10 coarsely chopped Oreo cookies

1 1/2 cups Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallows mixed with 1/4 cup sprinkles

1/2 cup Planters Cocktail Peanuts, chopped

1 1/2 cups Post Selects Great Grains Crunchy Pecans Whole Grain Cereal, coarsely chopped.

Another option is to drizzle dipped apples with 2 melted squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate.

(c) Creators News Service

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