Shrunken Head Punch

We are in full Halloween mode here: decorations are up, costumes are in progress, treats have been purchased. And something I’m extra excited about this year: we’re having a trick-or treat party.

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Every year while growing up, our house was home base for trick or treating friends. We’d all meet up there, my parents would order lots of pizza, and we’d spend Halloween coming and going and eating too much candy.  This year, we’re having some friends over to do the same thing with our kids, and I’m totally geeking out about it.

If you’re hosting a trick or treat party – or other Halloween party – this is the perfect spooky drink to make. Leave it virgin for the kids, or spike it up with caramel vodka, vanilla vodka, or Fireball for the adults.  You can make the apples ahead and mix up the punch in less than five minutes when you’re ready for it.

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Carving the shrunken apple heads is the most difficult part of this, but the beauty is it’s Halloween – they can be perfectly imperfect. You can also make the faces to match the crowd – scarier faces for an older crowd while silly faces would be perfect for a preschool gathering.

We had a lot of fun with this – the kids especially got a kick out of “the faces floating in there”!

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Shrunken Head Punch
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Serves 12

3-4 apples
1/4 cup lemon juice

6 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups pear nectar
4 1/2 cups ginger ale

Optional: Vanilla vodka, caramel vodka, or Fireball, to taste

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Working with one apple at a time, peel and core the apples, then cut in half. Using a paring knife or other tool, carve faces into the apple halves and dunk in the lemon juice.

Lay the carved apples on a rack over a baking sheet. When they are all carved, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 1-2 hours, until the apples appear shrunken. Remove from the oven and cool.

Combine the apple cider, pear nectar, and ginger ale in a punch bowl or large pitcher. Add the cooled apple heads, and alcohol, if desired.

Fresh Corn Salsa

Looking for more Halloween inspiration? Here you go! And check back on Thursday when we’ll have another round of Halloween goodies ready for you!

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Cider-Glazed Roasted Chicken #appleweek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with AppleWeek . I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

For me, it is so, so easy to go into these event weeks and make all sweet dishes. The desserts are always a treat and while #appleweek is a great excuse to try out some really fun ones, I always try to make a conscious effort to work in some savory things too.  Getting to try out this Swiss Diamond XD Nonstick Roasting Pan was a great reason to make this  gorgeous chicken for our dinner one night and it was so, so good.

Because you’re starting with a whole, fresh chicken, it does take longer to cook – but the time is largely hands off. I threw potatoes, onions, and apples in the pan too, so this was pretty much a on-dish meal for us – I just added a simple side salad.

Also, this pan is totally dreamy. I never knew a roasting pan could cook so evenly! Or clean up so easily! While I’ve typically only used my roasting pan for holiday turkeys, this pan will surely be in heavy rotation around here.

You can enter to win a cookware set from Swiss Diamond, and lots of other great prizes from #appleweek sponsors, here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cider-Glazed Roasted Chicken
(adapted from The Comfort of Cooking)
Serves 4-6

3-4 lb. whole chicken
1 lb. new potatoes
1 onion, cut into wedges
2 apples, cored
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 sprig rosemary, removed from the stem and roughly chopped

1 cup apple cider
1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. sherry cooking wine
1 tsp. grainy mustard

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In the bottom of the roasting pan, combine the potatoes, onion, apples, and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Toss to evenly coat and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top. Rub with remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and liberally sprinkle with rosemary.

Cook the chicken for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.

About a half hour before the chicken is done, combine the cider, brown sugar, sherry cooking wine, and mustard in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.

When the chicken is done, pour the cider glaze evenly over everything, and tent the pan with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Fresh Corn Salsa (9)

Want to see what other apple dishes are cooking up today? Here are Thursday’s Recipes:

Disclaimer: Thank you AppleWeek Sponsors: Swiss Diamond, Nordic Ware, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, The Spice House, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oats and Nairn’s  for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek  recipes. All opinions are my own. The AppleWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The AppleWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the AppleWeek posts or entry.

 

Apple Cider Cutout Cookies #appleweek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with AppleWeek . I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Guys, I have been chomping at the bit to share these adorable cookies with you! These are such a fun treat for the season – not only do they look like apples, they’re also loaded up with apple cider flavor! I added apple cider mix to the cookie dough, and  apple cider to the icing, so you get a nice apple bite all the way through.

Also, even though these look impressive, they’re really easy to decorate – a great first project if you’re new to royal icing!

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I portioned out just a little icing for the leaves and stems, then colored the rest red. After outlining all of the apples, I thinned the icing a little to flood the outlined area. Squeezed on a little stem and some leaves and voila! Apples.

The face and highlights were added with a food-safe marker (an easy way to add some extra decoration without making more icing colors)!

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These were the perfect use for the sugar Imperial Sugar sent us, too! To get the depth of flavor, the cookies use both white and brown sugar, and the icing uses powdered sugar, too!

If you want to win a prize pack from Imperial Sugar, including # pounds of sugar, be sure to enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Fresh Corn Salsa (8)

Apple Cider Cutout Cookies
(adapted from Semi Sweet Designs and Nifty Spoon)
Makes about 18 cookies, depending on cookie cutter size

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 packets hot apple cider mix
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. meringue powder
2½ cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. apple cider
3 Tbsp. water

In a stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, baking powder, and cider mix and beat until well incorporated.

Mix in flour, one cupful at a time. If the dough is sticky after all the flour is well incorporated, add additional flour, 2 Tbsp. at a time, until no longer sticky.

Sandwich the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out until 1/4″ thick. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Once the dough is hard to the touch, cut out shapes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. You want to remove them before the edges start to brown. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.

When the cookies are fully cooled, make the icing:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the meringue powder, powdered sugar, cider and water. Mix until thick and glossy – about 7 minutes.

Remove 1/3 cup of the icing  – tint half brown and half green. Tint the remaining icing red.

Using a piping bag, outline the cookies with the red icing, then add 1 Tbsp. cider to the remaining red and use it to flood the outlined cookies, spreading the frosting gently when needed.

Pip the stem and leaves on using the brown and green icing.

Let dry for several hours or overnight. Store in an airtight container.

And there are so many more Monday’s Recipes:

  • Apple & Lentil Andouille Crockpot Stew by Faith, Hope, Love & Luck 
  • Apples and Chai Smoothie by Our Good Life
  • Apple Cider Cutout Cookies by Kate’s Recipe Box
  • Apple Cider Pancakes by Family Around the Table
  • Apple Cinnamon Pull Aparts by The Freshman Cook
  • Apple Crepes by Caroline’s Cooking
  • Apple Crisp Ebelskivers by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
  • Apple Fritter Monkey Bread by Mildly Meandering
  • Apple Herb Stuffed Pork Chops by West Via Midwest
  • Apple Pudding by The Anthony Kitchen
  • Apple Raisin Oatmeal Cookies by The Monday Box
  • Apple Cinnamon Scones with Maple Sugar Butter by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
  • Apple Stuffed Chicken Breast by Seduction in the Kitchen
  • Apple Upside Down Cake by Lemon Blossoms
  • Appledoodle Cookies by Cookaholic Wife
  • Applesauce Coffee Cake by An Affair from the Heart
  • Applesauce Muffins by A Day in the Life on the Farm 
  • Baked Apple Donuts by Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
  • Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples by Simple and Savory
  • Bourbon Apple Pecan Bread Pudding by Soulfully Made
  • Caramel Apple Crumb Cake by The Redhead Baker
  • Caramel Apple Jam by Books n’ Cooks
  • Gingersnapple Tart by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
  • Chicken Salad Apple Bites by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
  • Dutch Apple Cobbler with Cheesecake Topping by Who Needs a Cape?
  • Dutch Apple Coffee Cake by Daily Dish Recipes
  • German Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup by House of Nash Eats
  • Grilled Cheddar Cheese with Apples and Hatch Chile Hot Sauce by Culinary Adventures With Camilla
  • One Pot Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Apples by Jonesin’ for Taste
  • Oven Roasted Apple Butter by Savory Moments
  • Salted Caramel Apple Crumble by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
  • Savory Skillet Chicken and Apples by Cooking With Carlee
  • Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Bacon by The Anthony Kitchen
  • Slow Cooker Pork with Apples by Palatable Pastime
  • Sugar Free Apple Pie with Crumble Topping by Tip Garden
  • White Cheddar and Apple Chicken Chili by 4 Sons R Us
  • Vegan Caramel Apple Galette by The Baking Fairy
  • Disclaimer: Thank you AppleWeek Sponsors: Swiss Diamond, Nordic Ware, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, The Spice House, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oats and Nairn’s  for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek  recipes. All opinions are my own. The AppleWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The AppleWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the AppleWeek posts or entry.