Annalee, Wyatt and Celia Hughes, the spooky triplets.

Today is Halloween and I arrived back in town just in time to buy goodies for the kiddos! Since our village really was a ghost town last Halloween due to the flood, it will be interesting to see how many cute little goblins we get. Our neighborhood is comprised mostly of empty nesters so we really don’t get a lot of kids on Halloween; however, we really enjoy it when they come by in their cute little costumes.

Even the older middle-school kids are welcome when they ring our bell. I know some people say they are too old to be out trick-or-treating but I say they grow up too fast as it is, so let them enjoy being kids and enjoy the night. Just be home by curfew!

Buying the Halloween goodies this year was a bit hard. I usually buy the huge diamond-shaped hard candy that is stuck on a plastic ring. Why that? Well, to tell the truth, I don’t like them. I won’t eat them, so I know we will have plenty come Halloween. But since I’m starting late on my Halloween décor and candy shopping, I couldn’t find any candy diamond rings, so I gave in and bought full-size chocolate bars and cute glow-in-the-dark rings. I know the goblins and witches will love them both. I just hope that if we have any left over that it’s the bars and not the rings. I like to re-purpose the bars into cookies, bars and bark as well as breaking them up and mixing them into homemade granola.

Halloween Candy Trash

 24 ounces solid chocolate bars; semi-sweet chocolate works best
1/2 cup peanut butter cups, broken into pieces or use the mini versions
1/4 cup peanut or almond butter
1 cup crushed peanuts or any nuts
1 cup crushed pretzels
2/3 cup M&M’s, Skittles or any hard candy-coated dots
(Optional) 1 cup shredded coconut, divided in 2 equal portions

DIRECTIONS: Line a baking dish or sheet with parchment paper. In a small glass bowl, heat chocolate in the microwave on low heat, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Pour into prepared dish, spreading with a spatula to fully cover the bottom. Top this with the coconut, then the peanut butter, drizzling it and then dragging a toothpick over the peanut butter in the opposite direction of the drizzle to create a swirl. Top with nuts, pretzels, remaining coconut and candy and transfer to the refrigerator to set for one hour. Break into pieces and serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator (at room temperature the peanut butter will start to melt).

My, Oh My, It’s Peanut Butter Pie!

Nonstick cooking spray, for pan

CRUST INGREDIENTS
22 Nutter Butters, plus 3 crushed for garnish
8 tablespoons melted butter

FUDGE INGREDIENTS
1 14-ounce can sweetened, condensed milk
3 cups chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
20 Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped, plus 3 rough-chopped for garnish

PEANUT BUTTER LAYER INGREDIENTS
8 ounces crea cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup melted chocolate

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick cooking spray. Make crust: In a food processor, pulse Nutter Butters until fine crumbs form or place in a large freezer bag and, using a rolling pin, smash and roll the cookies until fine crumbs form. Place Nutter Butter crumbs into a medium bowl, add melted butter, and mix well. Press Nutter Butter mixture firmly into pie pan. Bake until the crust looks slightly toasted, 8-10 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes or ‘til crust reaches room temperature. Make fudge layer: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine sweetened, condensed milk, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the chocolate is completely melted and mixture thickens. Pour this fudge into the cooled pie crust. Press Reese’s peanut butter cups into the fudge and refrigerate until ready to use. Make peanut butter layer: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, peanut butter, light-brown sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Set aside and whip the cream. Add whipped cream to peanut butter mixture and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread the peanut butter mixture on top of fudge layer. Drizzle with melted chocolate and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. Top with crushed Reese’s peanut butter cups and crushed Nutter Butters.

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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