Keep a creepy eye on these Halloween treats
Are ghouls and goblins haunting you this Halloween? Try giving them an evil eye. Or even a whole platter of them.
With a bit of ingenuity and some basic craft and kitchen skills, it’s easy to create an army of eyes to keep watch over the season’s spooky happenings. And don’t worry about precision; disfigured eyes are all the better.
The folks at Martha Stewart Living magazine use radishes and green olives to create “Eyeball Highballs” – grotesque eyes frozen in cubes of ice. They suggest the eyes are perfect for a macabre martini.
To make these eyes, peel small red radishes until mostly white (just a bit of “blood” red skin is left for effect). Cut a small, 1/2-inch hole at one end and insert a green olive with pimento. Fill an ice cube tray with eyes, then cover with water and freeze. (See marthastewart.com and search for “eyeball highball” for further details.)
For a sweet take on eerie eyeballs, switch from radishes to marzipan, a clay-like paste of ground almonds and sugar that is easily molded. Marzipan is widely available in the baking section of most grocers. When buying, be sure it is soft.
In this recipe, the marzipan is rolled into balls. An “iris” and prominent bloody veins are painted onto each using tinted white chocolate. A final glaze of light corn syrup gives the eyes that authentic glassy, half-dead look.
For a simpler (though less convincing) version, knead severals drops of red gel food coloring into a 7-ounce package of purchased decorating marzipan. Divide the marzipan into 12 pieces, roll into balls, then press a chocolate chip into the center of each to create a pupil.
And for ghoulish eyes that give you the chills, use a melon baller to create eyeballs of vanilla ice cream suspended in red Jell-O.
(Start to finish 24 hours, 1 hour active)
1 thick magic marker
4 thin bristle paint brushes
Mini cupcake liners, optional
7-ounce package cake decorating marzipan (which differs from baking marzipan)
2 ounces good quality white chocolate, divided
Blue, green and red gel or paste food coloring (available at baking supply shops)
12 chocolate chips
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
Divide the marzipan into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. If the marzipan is too sticky to work, dust the counter and your hands with powdered sugar. Place the balls on the baking sheet.
Gently press the bottom of the magic marker into the top of each ball to emboss a circle. Leave the balls uncovered for 24 hours, during which time the marzipan will dry slightly.
After 24 hours, break the chocolate into small pieces and divide evenly between two small glass bowls. Microwave the chocolate in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted.
Use a toothpick to add blue food coloring, a drop at a time, to one of the bowls of chocolate. Stir between each addition until you achieve the desired color. Repeat the process to color the second bowl of chocolate green.
Use the brushes to paint the embossed circle (the iris of the “eye”) of each ball either blue or green. Carefully press a chocolate chip, point-side down, into the center of each iris to form a pupil. Allow the chocolate to dry several minutes.
Mix several drops of red food coloring with 1 to 2 drops of water. Use a brush to paint “veins” along the whites of the eyes. Be generous to give the eyes a bloodshot look. Allow the veins to dry several minutes.
Once dry, use another brush to paint the eyes with corn syrup to give them a glassy, shiny look. Once dry, use a spatula to transfer the eyes to a tray or small cupcake liners. Cover and store at room temperature for up to a week.
Makes 12 eyes.
For a step-by-step photo slideshow of these directions, go to: http://www.odense.com/recipes/orr.cfm?recipeid91
(Recipe provided by Andre Prost Inc., importers of Odense Almond Paste)
(Start to finish 30 minutes)
10 small serving bowls (clear is best)
Two 3-ounce boxes of red Jell-O
1 pint vanilla ice cream
20 chocolate chips or candy coated chocolate chips
20 gummy worms
Make the Jell-O according to package directions in a large measuring cup with a pouring spout. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, use the melon baller to scoop two balls of ice cream. Arrange the balls next to one another in the center of one serving bowl. Gently press one chocolate chip into the center top of each ball. Place the bowl in the freezer and repeat process with remaining bowls.
Once the Jell-O has cooled (but not set), remove one bowl from the freezer. Pour just enough Jell-O in the bowl to come halfway up the ice cream “eyes.” Place the bowl in the refrigerator and repeat the process with remaining bowls.
To serve, garnish each bowl with gummy worms.
Makes 10 servings.
– J.M. Hirsch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
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