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Mushroom & Sausage Skull Calzones

Mushroom & Sausage Skull Calzones

Perfect for a Halloween dinner – not-so-scary meat, veggies, and cheese stuffed inside skull calzones floating in a pool of delicious marinara tomato sauce. These sausage, mushrooms, onion, red pepper, mozzarella, and ricotta Halloween twisted calzones will make a delicious and fun start to your evening festivities.

Calzones
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
One pound pizza dough, home-made or high-quality store purchased
4 spicy Italian sausages, pork or chicken, casings removed
½  large red bell pepper
1 cup of onion, sliced thin
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
8 ounces ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons parmesan
Special Equipment – Nordic Ware Halloween Mini Skull Cakelet Pan

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Lightly brush the skull pan with olive oil. Cut the pizza dough into 6 equal pieces. Stretch or roll into 4”x 8” pieces. In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the sausage. Cook until slightly brown then add the bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms and cook 10 minutes longer or until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the mozzarella, ricotta cheese, and parmesan. Working one at a time, lay dough into a skull cavity. Add one sixth of the mixture. Gently stretch and fold the dough over the fillings and pinch together to seal. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place in the oven and bake 30- 35 minutes. Rest for 5-10 minutes, remove from molds and place in a shallow bowl of the marinara sauce.

Quick Marinara
16 ounce can chopped Italian tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Combine tomato sauce, olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a blender and process to a slightly chunky consistency. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and heat on the stovetop or in a bowl and microwave until warm. Pour a small amount to just cover the bottom of warmed serving bowls and serve with a skull placed in the center of each bowl.

Black Chocolate Brownies with Marshmallow Spider Webs

Black Chocolate Brownies with Marshmallow Spider Webs

Black cocoa powder, a super-dark Dutch-process cocoa, will make these the darkest chocolate brownies you’ve ever seen. Perfect for Halloween and covering with stretchy melted marshmallows to make tasty, but scary, spider-filled webs.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for the pan
6 ounces semi-sweet Guittard chocolate baking bars, broken into small pieces
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup black cocoa powder
1 ½  teaspoons kosher salt
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9” baking pan with parchment, letting excess extend over sides of pan and lightly grease with butter. In the top of a double boiler, place the chocolate pieces and the butter. Cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Turn off heat, and whisk in sugars. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. 

 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, black cocoa, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Add half of beaten eggs to chocolate mixture, whisking until combined. Add remaining beaten eggs, and whisk until combined. Whisk in vanilla. Fold in flour mixture until just combined. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake until a pick inserted in center comes out with only a few crumbs, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan and remove the parchment.

 

Marshmallow Spider Webs
INGREDIENTS:
8-10 full size marshmallows
White sanding sugar
Plastic Spiders, cleaned & washed

 

INSTRUCTIONS:
Melt the marshmallows in the microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth. Using your fingertips, grab small pieces of the marshmallows and stretch it over the brownies, attaching on the edges of the brownies. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and top with the plastic spiders.

Pumpkin Hummus With Sage, Garlic, and Pepita Topping

Pumpkin Hummus With Sage, Garlic, and Pepita Topping

Smooth and creamy then topped with sautéed garlic chips, pepitas, and fresh sage, this delicious Pumpkin Hummus has amazing flavor. It’s guaranteed to become a regular on your Fall party buffet. We like to serve it with toasted pita chips, but it’s just as delicious with fresh veggies.

15-ounce can Cannellini beans
¾ cup pureed pumpkin, fresh or canned
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
½  teaspoon ground roasted cumin
½  teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon coriander
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Sage, Garlic and Pepita Topping
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8-10 small sage leaves
¼ cup pepitas

For serving: Toasted Pita Bread

Rinse and drain the cannellini beans. Then add to a food processor or blender along with pumpkin, lemon juice, tahini, roasted cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, and cayenne. Purée until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Process again until incorporated. Pour into a serving bowl and swirl to create grooves in the surface to hold the topping.

For the Topping: Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic, sage, and pepitas and sauté for a few minutes to brown slightly.  Pour over the pumpkin hummus and serve with warm toasted pita bread.

Apple Butter with Sage & Smoked Cheddar Biscuits

Apple Butter with Sage & Smoked Cheddar Biscuits

Delicately flaky, tall, and full of melted smoked cheddar cheese and thinly sliced sage. Perfect for a Fall Breakfast to go along with this easy Apple Butter recipe.

Apple Butter
3 pounds apple, mix of sweet and tart apples, peeled, cored, chopped
3 cups apple cider
1 cup granulated sugar
3 three-inch cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Bring apples, cider, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt to a boil in a large wide pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and apples are very soft, about 2 hours. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Blend with an immersion blend or place in a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Place in four one-cup jelly jars and refrigerate or freeze.

 

Sage & Smoked Cheddar Biscuits
4 cups White Lily flour, plus more for cutting 
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups grated smoked cheddar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
¾  cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 ½  cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450˚F. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add cheddar and sage and whisk to combine. Add butter and cut into the flour with butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces butter remaining. Add buttermilk and with a wooden spoon stir until just combined.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead just until it comes together.  Gently pat unto a large round. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough to a 3/4-inch thickness. With a floured 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out  the biscuits. Cut until you have 12 biscuits by rerolling and cut scraps. Place biscuits on a baking sheet, 1 ½ inches apart, and bake until puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with the Apple Butter.