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Come Party With Me: Pumpkin Carving — Menu (Part II)


It’s Halloween, so there should be plenty of treats — both savory and sweet — at your pumpkin carving party. I recommend offering one homemade treat and lots of store-bought goodies. Make pecan bars dipped in melted chocolate, then fill bowls with your favorite Halloween minis: Air-Heads, Reese’s Pieces, Kit-Kats, and candy corn.

Got extra time on your hands? Make spiked (or regular, if you don't drink) Jell-O jigglers in jack-o-lantern shapes. Want these devilish recipes? All you have to do is read more



Pecan Bars
From Ina Garten

Crust:
1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Topping:
1 pound unsalted butter
1 cup good honey
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, coarsely chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
  4. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18 by 12 by 1-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.
  5. For the topping, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, and zests in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.

Makes 20 large squares.



Spiked Jello Jigglers
Modified from Kraft Foods

1-1/2 cups boiling water (Do not add cold water.)
1-cup vodka
2 pkg. (8-serving size each) Jello Brand Gelatin, any flavor

  1. Stir boiling water and vodka into gelatin in large bowl 3 minutes until completely dissolved. Pour into 13x9-inch pan. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or until firm (gelatin does not stick to finger when touched).
  2. Dip bottom of pan in warm water about 15 seconds. Cut into decorative shapes with Halloween inspired cookie cutters all the way through gelatin or cut into 1-inch squares. Lift from pan.

Makes 24.

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