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Extension Education Highlight: Halloween delights

Halloween spider cake

Mummy Meat Pies (Hand held)

1 ½ cups shredded frozen hashbrowns

½ cup chopped bell pepper

½ pound ground beef

½ pound ground pork sausage (mild or hot-your choice)

½ cup chopped onion

1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic, chopped

½ teaspoon mustard powder

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon dried sage

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Pie crust or puff pastry

Olive slices, for eyes of mummy

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large fry pan brown ground beef and sausage. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, thyme, sage, cloves, salt, and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until meat is evenly browned. Stir in shredded potatoes and continue cook 5 more minutes.

Roll out pie crust into rectangles about 4x8 inches. Cut small ½ inch strips along the 4 inch sides, and only about a third of the way into the middle. These are to be overlapped over filling. Fill with meat mixture down the middle and bring the strips up and slightly over the filling from both sides. If there is any remaining dough top with the remaining pie crust in additional strips to look like a mummy. Trim any excess dough, then crimp the edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Prick top crust a few times with a knife to vent steam. Cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil.

Bake in the preheated oven until crust is browned, about 25 minutes.

Bat Wing Pasta Salad

16 ounces dry pasta farfalle

2 tsp. salt

½ teaspoon super black gel food coloring, OR substitute squid ink or black bean pasta

8 white button mushrooms

16 marinated, mini mozzarella balls

2 tablespoon basil pesto thin with olive oil if too thick

5 whole pitted black olives medium or large

1 large orange or yellow Bell Pepper

1 large orange bell pepper stem and seeds removed

1 cup shelled edamame, cooked and cooled-or can use frozen

½ cup red or purple onion, chopped

½ to 1 cup Italian dressing

mini cookie cutter triangle, star, half-moon, cat, etc. for bell pepper shapes

Prepare pasta according to package instructions, in salt water.

Run cooked pasta under cold water until completely cooled.

Fill a pan or bowl with cooked and rinsed pasta and just enough water to cover.

Add black food coloring and stir to combine well. Soak the pasta for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to distribute the color.

Place the colored pasta in a strainer and rinse well until the water runs clear.

Put colored pasta in a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Use the mozzarella balls and olives to make "eyes" on top of the salad.

To make mushroom skulls (or alien heads), wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth to clean, removing any dirt and debris. Trim off the very end (small amount) of the mushroom stem with a paring knife to get a nice, clean end.

Serve and enjoy!

Note: You can also cook the pasta in water colored with the food coloring if you prefer.

Spider Cake (Bundt Cake)

1 cake mix (flavor or your choice)

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

½ cup water

1 pkg. instant pudding (flavor to complement cake flavor: vanilla with yellow; chocolate with chocolate; spice with pumpkin; etc.)

½ cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, water and oil. Mix until combined.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool for 20 minutes. Remove from pan, cover with plastic wrap and let refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or overnight.

Buttercream Frosting (Source: Cake by Courtney)

2 cups (452g) unsalted butter slightly chilled

6 cups (750g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted

3-4 tbsp (57.75g) heavy whipping cream

2 tsp (8.4g) vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

*This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.

 In a large bowl, mix butter until creamy yellow, fluffy, and smooth…2-3 minutes. Add vanilla. Beat again.

Gradually add in powdered sugar while stirring. If it looks too thin (stiff peaks do not form), add more powdered sugar. If it looks too thick add 2 tablespoons of cream...more if needed.

Divide the frosting in half. Use half of the frosting to lightly frost the whole cake. Save about a tablespoon of white frosting for the fangs.

To the other half, add ⅓ cup dark cocoa powder and black food coloring and mix until the frosting turns black.

Then, put the black frosting and in a gallon Ziplock bag, snip off the end and pipe 8 spider “legs” going from the center to the edges.

Fill in the middle to make the spider “body” and a little dollop for the head.

Use the extra of the white frosting to pipe little fangs.

Finally, place 2 Red Hots above the fangs for the eyes.

Note: One option we like is before filling the inside of the bundt cake with frosting we like to add Halloween M&M’s or candy corn, or other small candies. Fill about 2/3 full. Then top candies with the spider frosting legs and body.



Shalayne Smith Needham has worked at Utah Public Radio since 2000 as producer of Access Utah. She graduated from Utah State University in 1997 with a BA in Sociology, emphasis on Criminology. A Logan native, she grew up with an appreciation for the great outdoors and spends her free time photographing the Western landscape and its wildlife.