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Halloween recipes - 29 October

For Astar's Halloween craft click here

Pumpkin Patch Party Cakes

2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or just mixed spice and cloves in equal parts)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
300g Pure Pumpkin mashed without any additions
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
250gr 1/3 less fat cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
6 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks

- PREHEAT oven to 350?F (175?C). Spray two 6-cavity mini-fluted tube pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt and baking soda in medium bowl.
- Beat butter, brown sugar and white sugar in large mixer bowl for 3 to 4 minutes or until creamy.
- Add eggs; beat well.
- Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
- Spoon  evenly into prepared cavities (about 1/2 cup batter in each). Gently tap pan on counter to release air bubbles.
- BAKE for 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cakes comes out clean.
- Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
- With serrated knife, carefully cut bottoms off all cakes so surface is level/flat. (Cook's tip: save the bottoms for enjoyment later!)
- BEAT cream cheese and orange extract in large mixer bowl until smooth.
- Gradually beat in icing sugar.
- Spread 1 tablespoon mixture over cut side of 6 cakes to within 1/4-inch of edge (be sure to spread mixture over hole in center).
- Place the 6 cakes without icing on top of cakes with icing.
- ADD 2 tablespoons milk to remaining cream cheese mixture; beat until smooth.
- The consistency should be thin enough to drizzle; add more milk as needed.
- Drizzle over cakes (use any leftover icing for the cake bottoms above).
- Before serving, push one cinnamon stick in center of each "pumpkin" (stick should rest on cream cheese mixture in center of cakes).
Makes 6 cakes or (12 servings total).


Spooktacular Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups plain flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup vegetable shortening or margarine
3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
3/4 cup water
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Assorted lollies (optional)
- Heat oven to 350?F. Line muffin cups (2 1/2 inches in diameter) with paper baking cups.
- Stir together dry ingredients in large bowl.
- Add shortening, buttermilk, water, eggs and vanilla.
- Beat on low speed of electric mixer 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
- Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
- Fill muffin cups 1/2 full with batter.
- Bake 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.
- Prepare PEANUT BUTTER CREAM FILLING; place into pastry bag fitted with large star tip.
- Insert tip into center of cupcakes; pipe filling into cake.
- Remove tip from cake; garnish top with swirl of filling.
- Decorate with lollies, if desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cupcakes.
Makes about 3 dozen cupcakes.
* To sour milk: Use 2 1/4 teaspoons white vinegar plus milk to equal 3/4 cup.

125gr  cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup  Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups icing sugar
- Beat cream cheese and peanut butter in large bowl until blended.
- Add milk and vanilla; beat well.
- Gradually add icing sugar, beating until smooth.
- Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary, until desired consistency.
Makes about 2 3/4 cups filling.

Boo-ti-ful Ghosts

Wax paper or silicon paper
2 cups White Melts
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening - cremelta
12 lollipop sticks (found in craft stores)
Assorted candies for decorating (such as mini m and m's)
- LINE baking sheets with wax paper.
- PLACE melts and shortening in large, microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute 30 seconds;
- STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted; cool slightly.
- PLACE lollipop sticks on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 6 inches apart.
- SPOON melted morsel mixture halfway over lollipop sticks into ghostly shapes. Decorate with candies. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set.
Makes 12 ghosts