Sandra's Spooky Treats

Sandra whips up two charmingly eerie treats to give your Halloween celebrations some otherworldly flair.

Sandra Lee works a little Halloween witchcraft with these two showstopping treats. If you're looking for a sweet surprise to grace your table or a creepy cake to end the night on a magical note, then just follow these tips and get ready to enjoy an uncannily perfect party.

Sandra's Magical Mushroom Pots
For these, you'll need the following:
-12 store-bought meringues in pastel colors, or white
-Colored candy dots, for decoration
-1 small tube decorating gel or icing
-2 cups shredded coconut
-Yellow food coloring
-Floral foam
-6 small flowerpots
-12 striped candy sticks

To get started, use a heavy skewer or chopstick, and gently bore a small hole into the bottom of a meringue, being careful not to poke the skewer all the way through.

Now for the mushrooms. Decorate the top of the meringues with candy dots by piping a small dot of icing on the back of the candy and pressing onto the meringues in a random pattern — this is a great activity to get your kids in on. Allow the icing to set, which should take about 30 minutes.

To assemble the pots, place the shredded coconut into a large resealable bag. Add six drops of yellow food coloring and shake the bag to evenly distribute the food coloring throughout the coconut. Place the floral foam into a pot and cover with the shredded coconut. Put a peppermint stick partly through the meringue by gently turning the candy stick. Put the peppermint sticks through the floral foam into the pot at different heights, and place two mushrooms per pot.

Voila — perfectly magical mushroom pots. These would work wonderfully as small party gifts or a uniquely edible decoration, or could even do double duty as place-card holders. The above will get you six pots, but this recipe is easy to size up (or down) for a crowd of any size.

Sandra's Ghost Cakes
These little cakes come together in no time, and with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. To whip up a dozen of these ghostly cuties, you'll need:
-One 16-ounce box angel food cake mix
-2 cups powdered sugar 
-2 tablespoons white chocolate liquor
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/4 cup raw sugar, for garnish
-12 mini Bundt pans (You can play around with these miniature cakes by getting a pan that bakes them into unusual shapes.)

The first step is to mix up the angel food cake batter according to package instructions. Then, pour it out into the mini Bundt pans and bake according to the package instructions.

Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, liqueur and vanilla until very smooth.

When they're done baking, place the angel food cakes on a cooling rack set atop a sheet tray. Using a spoon, pour enough glaze over the top of the cakes to drip partly down the sides. Sprinkle with raw sugar to garnish, and allow the glaze to set about 30 minutes before removing the cakes from the rack to serve.

These tiny treats will enchant any guest, and their small size makes them perfect for serving at parties, either as an individual dessert for a sit-down dinner, or passed around at a more casual affair.

Trick or treat!

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