Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake

Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake

We topped elegant strawberry shortcake with a ghoulish white chocolate skull in this spectacular Halloween dessert. Pour over the hot strawberry sauce to reveal the surprise inside!

Level: Intermediate

Total: 2 hr 45 min (includes chilling and cooling times)

Active: 1 hr 10 min

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Chocolate Skull:

4 ounces white chocolate melting wafers

1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil

4 ounces strawberries, sliced

Cake and Filling:

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook’s Note)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

8 ounces strawberries, sliced

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 cups sweetened whipped cream

Strawberry White Chocolate Sauce:

8 ounces strawberries, finely chopped

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 ounces red candy melting wafers

Directions

 

1. For the chocolate skull: Add the white chocolate melting wafers and coconut oil to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.

2. Pour the chocolate mixture into the front and back cavities of a 2-part medium plastic skull mold (3-by-4-by-4-inch) and tilt to swirl the chocolate around until coated entirely (you can also use your finger to swirl the chocolate around). Tap out any excess and freeze until the chocolate is set, about 5 minutes.  

3. Reheat the melted chocolate, if needed, and brush the sides of the mold cavities with a second layer. Freeze until set, about 5 minutes. 

4. Carefully unmold the skull halves and fill one with the sliced strawberries. Microwave the melted chocolate again until smooth, about 30 seconds. Use the melted chocolate as glue to carefully attach the skull halves. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

5. For the cake and filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 6-inch round cake pan with 3-inch sides with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and spray the paper. 

6. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  

7. Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low just to incorporate, then beat on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and continue to beat until creamy, about 2 minutes (the mixture will look curdled, but will come back together after everything is combined). With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. 

8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 

9. Bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan, turn the cake out onto the rack, remove the parchment and cool completely.  

10. Meanwhile toss the sliced strawberries and granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the strawberries to release their juices. 

11. Cut the cake into 3 layers with a long serrated knife. Place a cake layer on a cake stand and top with half of the strawberries. Spread 3/4 cup of the whipped cream on top. Repeat with another cake layer, the remaining strawberries and 3/4 cup whipped cream. Top with the final cake layer and remaining 1/2 cup whipped cream. Position the skull in the center of the whipped cream.

12. For the strawberry white chocolate sauce: Add the strawberries and granulated sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have broken down and thickened slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and return the liquid to the saucepan (discard the solids). Add the cream and red candy melting wafers to the sauce and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until melted and hot, 10 to 15 minutes. 

13. When ready to serve, pour the hot sauce over the center of the chocolate skull.

 

 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)


Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake
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Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake
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Mummy Hand Pies

Mummy Hand Pies

This easy, Halloween-inspired recipe can be made ahead and served later as a scary-good party dessert.

Level: Easy
Total: 55 min
Active: 25 min
Yield: 6 hand pies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Kosher salt

 

2 refrigerated pie crusts, thawed if frozen

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1 large egg

12 raisins

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, optional

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

  • Add the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine.

 

  • Roll out 1 pie crust on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to form a rectangle about 9 inches by 12 inches. Square off the crust with a knife, reserving the scraps for decorating. Cut the pie crust into 6 equal rectangles, each about 3 inches by 6 inches. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

 

  • Roll out the other pie crust to the same thickness as the first. Cut into thin strips about 1/4 inch wide and 7 inches long. Repeat with the reserved dough scraps. Transfer the strips to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

 

  • Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling to the center of each rectangular crust. Use the back of a spoon to spread out the filling, leaving about a 1/2-inch border around the edges. 

 

  • Lightly beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush the edges of the pies with the egg wash. Layer the strips of dough, varying the angle of each strip to create a “mummy” look. Seal the edges with a fork and use a paring knife to trim the overhang. Lightly brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash. Add 2 raisins to each hand pie for the eyes. ‘

 

  • Bake, rotating the pan halfway through for even color, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a baking rack slightly, about 5 minutes. 

 

  • Serve as is or decorate with a simple icing. Combine the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon water. Stir until smooth and glossy. Transfer the icing to a resealable plastic bag and snip off the corner. Pipe the icing onto the hand pies using the stripes of pie crust as a guide. Serve.

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Easy Crab Cakes with Remoulade

Easy Crab Cakes with Remoulade

I just love Crab Cakes, don’t you?  What’s not to like?  They’re crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside and delicious to boot!

For some reason I used to think Crab Cakes were something you ordered as an appetizer at a fancy restaurant, that is until I realized just how easy they are to make at home.  Actually what prompted me to explore the making of crab cakes were the Crab Cake burgers they had on the menu at Ruby Tuesday’s.  I loved them!  Then for whatever reason they disappeared from the menu, boo!  In the end I decided that Carb Cakes were super easy to make, and guess what, you can even make a bunch to freeze for later use!

So know not only do we make homemade Crab Cakes for those Crab Cake burgers, we make them for potlucks, game days, birthday parties, and other events.  They’re great appetizers and snacks too of course!

For the best Crab Cakes I use Jumbo Lump Crab meat or if I can’t find that Lump Crab meat is the next best thing.  I avoid using canned crab meat as it’s too shredded and in my opinion has a fishier smell and taste.

So here’s my recipe for Crab Cakes and Remoulade, which is a must have!  Remoulade is the dipping sauce for the cakes and I also use it as a condiment when making crab cake burgers.

Crab Cake

Ingredients:

1 Lb. Jumbo Lump Crab meat

1/4 Cup Panko

2 Tsp. fresh parsley chopped

2 Stalks Green onions chopped

1 Tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

1 Egg

1/2 Tsp. Dijon Mustard

1 Tbs. Mayonaise

Oil for frying

Directions:

Combine crab, panko, parsley, green onion, and Old Bay in a bowl.  Mix well, it should be lumpy so don’t over mix it.

In a separate bowl beat egg, mayo, and mustard together.

Combine with crab mixture until it’s evenly distributed.

Form into patties – larger patties for burgers or small ones for appetizers.

Place on a sheet covered with parchment paper and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour or until firm.

Heat oil in pan and pan fry patties until it turns brown and crispy on the outside, gently turn over and fry other side.

Drain on paper towels before serving.

Remoulade

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Mayonaise

1 stalk green onion chopped

1 Tsp. relish

1 Tsp. Hot Sauce (I use Crystal or Louisiana)

1 Tbs. Horseradish (not the creamy type)

1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard

1/8 Tsp. Cayenne Red Pepper

Directions:

Mix everything together.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

 

Easy Crab Cakes with Remoulade
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SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS

SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS

Ginger Snaps are a family favorite. These old fashioned Ginger Snaps are nothing like the boxed cookies you’ll find in many stores during the holidays. Those boxed cookies are crunchy and taste pretty much like store bought gingerbread.

If you’ve never tried homemade old fashioned ginger snaps, then you’ve never truly had ginger snaps. These home made cookies sparkle with a dusting of sugar, they’re lightly crisp on the outside and slightly chewy in the center. And they’re oh so delicious!

My Christmas baking wouldn’t be complete without these yummy Ginger Snaps. I usually make 3 batches; 2 for gifting and 1 for our cookie jar. Let me tell you, the cookie jar empties out pretty quickly!

Here’s the recipe for Savvy Nana’s Old Fashioned Ginger Snaps. Be sure you make a couple of batches because I guarantee they’ll disappear in a blink of and eye!

By the way they’ll fill the house with a wonderful Christmas aroma while they’re in the oven!

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsulphered molasses
2 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sugar topping – mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon together to make this topping

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Fit standing mixer with a paddle attachment
  3. Place sugar, shortening, salt, and baking soda into the mixing bowl and mix until smooth and creamy
  4. Add egg and mix until well blended
  5. Add molasses and mix until well blended
  6. In a separate bowl mix flour and spices together and add dry mixture to shortening mixture
  7. Blend well
  8. Using a 1” cookie scooper or tablespoon make 1” dough balls.
  9. Drop each ball into sugar topping and roll in the mixture until well coated
  10. Place sugared ball on a parchment or silicone mat covered baking sheet about 1” apart
  11. Bake for 10 minutes
  12. Remove from oven and let cool for 4-5 minutes
  13. Using a spatula carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely
  14. Store in airtight containers
SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS
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Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread

“This is everyone’s holiday favorite, even the busy cook’s, because it is so easy to make.”

See how to make soft, spicy gingerbread for the holidays.

This soft and spicy cake is flavored with molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Serve it with fresh whipped cream!

 

Ingredients

*1/2 cup white sugar

*1/2 cup butter

*1 egg

*1 cup molasses

*2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

*1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*1 teaspoon ground ginger

*1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

*1/2 teaspoon salt

*1 cup hot water

*Add all ingredients to list

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.

 

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 375 calories; 11.2 g fat; 65.3 g carbohydrates; 4.4 g protein; 48 mg cholesterol; 435 mg sodium. Full nutrition

 
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Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread
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