Whether it's a party you're prepping or hungry trick-or-treaters who need sustenance before they head out on their evening rounds, make time for these bites.
CARAMEL, CHOCOLATE AND CANDY APPLES
Note: Some apples have a wax coating that will prevent the caramel from sticking. To remove the wax coating, dip the apples for 4 seconds in 6 cups of boiling water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar. Dry thoroughly before using. From Giada De Laurentiis.
• Vegetable oil cooking spray
• 6 small apples, washed and dried, stems removed (see Note)
• 2 (9.5-oz.) bags soft caramel candies, unwrapped
• 1/4 c. pulp-free orange juice
• 1 (4-oz.) bar 53 percent cocoa dark chocolate, chopped into 1/2-in. pieces
• Assorted small candies, chopped nuts and sprinkles
• Special equipment: 6 craft or thick wooden sticks
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with vegetable oil cooking spray. Insert the craft sticks halfway into the stem ends of the apples.
In a medium, heavy saucepan, over low heat, combine the caramel candies and orange juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the candies have melted and the mixture is smooth, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for 2 minutes. Dip the apples in the caramel until coated and put them on the parchment paper until firm, about 2 hours.
Put chocolate in a medium bowl and set it over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and melted. Using a fork, drizzle the melted chocolate over the caramel. Put the apples back on the parchment paper for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with small candies, chopped nuts or sprinkles and allow the chocolate to harden, at room temperature, for about 3 to 4 hours.
INDIVIDUAL SPOOKY WHITE PIZZAS
Note: The classic white pizza takes a ghostly turn here. Using prepared pizza dough makes this easy recipe even easier, and no sauce to simmer makes it simpler still.
• 1-lb. ball prepared pizza dough
• All-purpose flour, for rolling the dough
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, finely grated
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 c. ricotta cheese
• 1/3 c. grated Parmesan
• 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
• 1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella (about 6 oz.)
• 4 pitted black olives, ends trimmed and each cut into 3 rounds
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide pizza dough into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll and stretch on a lightly floured surface into an 8- to 9-inch oval. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and pull the end of the dough to one side into a tapered end to create a ghost shape. Repeat with the remaining dough, putting 2 ghosts on each baking sheet. Don't worry if they all look slightly different — it will give the ghosts personality.
Mix the oil and garlic together in a small bowl and evenly brush over the 4 ghosts; sprinkle with a total of 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Bake until the crusts are golden and set, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom halfway through the baking time.
Mix the ricotta, Parmesan and Italian seasoning together in a small bowl and spread over the ghosts, stopping about 1/2-inch from the edge. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and return to the oven until the ghosts are hot and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes more. Place 2 pieces of olive on each ghost for the eyes and 1 piece on each for a mouth. Transfer the ghosts to individual plates and serve.
Nutrition information per pizza:
Calories 570 Fat 26 g Sodium 1,235 mg Saturated fat 11 g
Carbohydrates 55 g Calcium 608 mg
Protein 29 g Cholesterol 48 mg Dietary fiber 3 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 bread/starch, 2 high-fat meat, 3 ½ fat.