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Video: Halloween treats for your pumpkins

updated 9/18/2008 1:00:19 PM ET 2008-09-18T17:00:19

Recipe: Chocolate-Hazelnut Kisses

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup orange sprinkles (orange sugar)
  • 1 9-ounce package of chocolate kisses, unwrapped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl place the chocolate-hazelnut spread, butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Using a hand mixer, cream the ingredients together, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and blend until incorporated. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.

Shape the cookie dough into walnut-sized balls. Rolls the balls in the orange sprinkles, pressing to adhere. Place the cookies on a heavy cookie sheet about 4 inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. Quickly place a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 3 minutes. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Yield: 36 to 40 cookies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Limoncello Frosting

  • Cupcakes
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • Orange juice (instead of water in cake mix)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 cup diced candied orange peel (about 8 ounces)
  • Special equipment: Cupcake liners, 2 muffin pans
  • Frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened (1/2 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons Limoncello (you can substitute with 2 tablespoons lemon juice for minors)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup finely diced candied orange peel, for garnish

To make the cupcakes: Mix the chocolate cake mix according to package instructions, substituting orange juice for the water. Toss the chocolate chips with the flour. Fold the chocolate chips and the candied orange peel into the chocolate mixture. Line the muffin pan with the cupcake liners. Fill and bake the cupcakes according to package instructions. Let the cupcakes cool for 1 hour on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting: Combine all the ingredients except the candied orange peel in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Using a small spatula, place about 1 tablespoon of frosting on top of each cupcake. Top with a small sprinkle of candied orange peel.

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Recipe: Chocolate Almond Apricot Brittle

  • Vegetable oil for greasing the cookie sheet
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup thinly sliced dried apricots
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Grease a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil. In a small bowl, toss together the almonds, chocolate chips, and apricots. Put them on the baking sheet, spreading them out into an even single layer across the entire baking sheet.

In a medium saucepan stir together the sugar and the water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Do not stir after that.  Instead, using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush the sides of the pan a few times to incorporate any sugar that has stuck to the sides of the pan.  Continue cooking until the sugar syrup turns golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully pour the caramelized sugar over the nut mixture on the cookie sheet. Also, be careful not to move the cookie sheet after the sugar has been poured. The baking sheet will be very hot in the beginning. Let cool for at least 2 hours.

Break the brittle into pieces and place on a serving dish.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Recipe: Italian Fruit Punch

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chilled sparkling water
  • 1/2 cup Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello
  • Ice
  • Black licorice, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients, except the licorice in a pitcher. Stir to mix. Pour into glasses and garnish with a stalk of licorice.

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes


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