Next to Christmas, Halloween with its air of mystery, its costumes, and its treats is a favorite holiday for many children. And if you have pint-size ghosts and goblins at home, what better way to celebrate than with a party?
The small fry can dress up and invite their friends. Get the whole family involved in decorating the house, and pick up some pumpkins for carving and apples for bobbing. Line up a few games for the kids to play. If you have a fireplace, or live in an area where it's still warm enough to barbecue outside, roasting marshmallows can be a fun way to top off the evening.
Sweets have always been a part of this night, but if the kids are heading out trick or treating after the party, you may want to offer them snacks that are a bit more nutritious. Hot dogs and hamburgers make a good start, served up with All Hallow's Eve punch. Instead of chips, substitute roasted pumpkin seeds. For dessert, try pumpkin cookies and granola - or, if the kids aren't planning to go trick or treating, butterscotch crunchies, ice cream cups, and glazed brownies. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds 2 cups pumpkin seeds 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter or oil 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (or as desired)
Remove fiber from unwashed pumpkin seeds. Measure seeds and add butter and salt. Spread in a shallow pan. Bake at 250 degrees F. for about 30 minutes or until crisp and brown.
Stir occasionally. Recipe can be doubled or tripled. All Hallow's Eve Punch 1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed 1 6-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed 1 quart chilled apple juice or apple cider 2 quarts chilled ginger ale 1 pint orange sherbet
In a large punch bowl, combine concentrates and apple juice. Stir in ginger ale. Spoon sherbet into bowl and serve immediately. Wholesome Pumpkin Cookies 2 cups whole-wheat flour 1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked 1 1-lb. can pumpkin or 2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1 cup margarine, room temperature 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine together first 5 ingredients. Cream together and beat until fluffy the margarine and sugars. Combine egg and vanilla and add to sugar mixture. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture. To this add 1 1-lb. can pumpkin or 2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin.
Drop by teaspoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Decorate with raisins, if desired.
Makes 5 dozen cookies. Goblins' Granola 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup mixed nuts 1/2 cup shredded coconut 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ 1/2 cup honey 2 tablespoons cooking oil 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1 cup dried apricots, snipped 1/2 cup raisins
Stir together first 4 ingredients. Combine honey, oil, and allspice. Drizzle half the honey mixture over oat mixture. Toss. Repeat with remaining honey mixture. Spread mixture in a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 300 degrees F. oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer to another greased pan. Cool without stirring. Break mixture into bite-size pieces. Stir in apricots and raisins. Store in an airtight container. Makes 7 cups. Trick or Treaters' Favorite Chocolate 1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup golden raisins 3 tablespoons orange juice 4 squares semisweet chocolate 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup butter or margarine 4 eggs 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Sweet Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
Toast almonds and set aside. Grease 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Line bottom with waxed paper and grease again. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Combine raisins and orange juice in small bowl. Set aside. Cut chocolate in chunks. Chop coarsely in food processor or blender with almonds and 1/2 cup of the sugar.
Beat butter in large mixer bowl until soft. Beat in remaining sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well. Stir in flour, nut, and raisin mixtures, the carrots, rind, and vanilla. Pour into pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove and cool on rack. Top with Sweet Chocolate Glaze.
Sweet Chocolate Glaze 1/2 package (9 squares) sweet baking chocolate 2 tablespoons water 2 teaspoons butter or margarine 3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
Melt chocolate with water and butter in saucepan, stirring constantly. Gradually blend in confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth. Makes about 1/2 cup. Butterscotch Crunchies 1 cup butterscotch bits 1 cup chow mein noodles 1/2 cup salted peanuts
Melt butterscotch pieces over hot water. Remove from heat. Stir in noodles and peanuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand 20 minutes to set. `Silly-Face' Ice Cream Cups Ice cream of your choice Fluted paper muffin-cup liners Candy corn, bits of licorice, M & M's (decoration)
Put a scoop of ice cream in each muffin tin with a fluted paper liner. Decorate with candy ``faces.'' Store in freezer until serving time.