Celebrate the season with hot cider and a pumpkin made of cheese
Allhallows E'en, or Allhallows Eve, has always been celebrated with pranks, fun, and wholesome games. Traditional customs include bobbing for apples, making jack-o'-lanterns, and serving doughnuts and fresh apple cider.
But instead of going ''trick or treating,'' many Halloween celebrants may put together amusing costumes and go with friends to parties or community gatherings.
This can be a ''Dutch treat'' occasion, with guests bringing a food item suitable to the Halloween theme: a cheese ball in the shape of a pumpkin to go with cider or fruit punch, cookies, decorated cup cakes, candy apples, or popcorn.
The following Cheddar cheese pumpkin recipe can be enlarged, or you can make several of the 2-cup size and place them where they will be handy for guests, perhaps serving an assortment of crackers with each. Cheddar Pumpkin 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese at room temperature 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup finely chopped salted peanuts 1/4 cup shredded carrot 2 tablespoons minced red onion 1/8 teaspoon dillweed (optional)
Beat cheeses until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill 1 hour for ease in handling. Shape to form a pumpkin. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours to blend flavors. Just before serving, insert a piece of green pepper in top for stem. Makes about 2 cups. Mulled Cider 2 quarts sweet apple cider 20 whole cloves 1/2 cup sugar 12 sticks cinnamon 14 whole allspice 1/4 teaspoon salt Combine ingredients in order listed. Heat to boiling and simmer 15 minutes. Allow to stand 12 hours. Strain and serve hot. Serves 8 to 10. Orange Drop Doughnuts 2 eggs 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons butter, softened 1 cup white flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup orange juice 2 tablespoons grated orange rind Beat eggs. Beat in sugar and butter. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir into egg mixture alternately with orange juice and rind. Heat oil to 375 degrees F. Dip teaspoon into oil, then fill with batter and drop into oil. Turn to brown evenly. Lift from oil with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners' sugar or granulated sugar and cinnamon. Makes 3 dozen 1 1/2-inch doughnuts. 'Funny Face' Pumpkin Cookies 4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour 2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar 1 cup granulated sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 16-ounce can pumpkin 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels Assorted icings or peanut butter Assorted candies, raisins, or nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, oats, soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter. Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate morsels.
For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Spread into pumpkin shape using a thin metal spatula. Add a bit more dough to form stem. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. until cookies are firm and lightly browned.
Remove from cookie sheets. Cool on racks. Decorate, using icing or peanut butter to affix assorted candies, raisins, or nuts.
Makes about 32 large cookies. Taffy 'Apple Annies' 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup molasses 2 tablespoons boiling water 1/2 cup butter 2 tablespoons lemon juice 8 small apples Round candies Walnut halves Red candy hearts Toasted shredded coconut
Boil first 5 ingredients to ''brittle'' stage. Dip apples into taffy mixture, then place on oiled paper. Make faces by using round candies for the eyes, walnut halves for the ears, candy hearts for the mouth, and coconut for the hair. Makes 8 ''Apple Annies.''