Chef Jamie Gwen shares sweet treats to celebrate spooky season

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Chef Jamie Gwen offers Halloween dessert ideas that are “scary good.”

HALLOWEEN RECIPES BY CHEF JAMIE GWEN

SPOOKY KRISPY TREATS

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • One 12-ounce bag marshmallows
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 colors gel food coloring
  • 8 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, melted

Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil. Spray with cooking spray.

Divide the marshmallows evenly between two large microwave-safe bowls. Divide the butter between the two bowls. Microwave one bowl until the marshmallows begin to melt, about 45 seconds. Stir well and microwave again until completely melted, about 30 seconds more. Add gel food coloring and stir to turn the marshmallow mixture an even, vibrant color. Add half the rice cereal and stir to coat completely. Repeat the melting process with the second bowl of marshmallows and butter, tint with another color and mix in the cereal.

Grease your hands with cooking spray and drop blobs of both colors of the cereal mixture into the prepared pan. Press the mixture into the pan to smooth the top. Let cool to set, about 1 hour.

Drizzle the treats with melted white chocolate and let set. Cut into squares and adorn with plastic spiders.


PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Spray a 10-inch square baking pan with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar and using an electric mixer, cream the mixture until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla and pumpkin, and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes and then remove from the oven. Let cool before cutting and serving.


WITCH’S HAT CUPCAKES

  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 can (15-ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • For the frosting:
    • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • For the Witches Hats
    • 12 round chocolate wafer cookies
    • 12 mini ice cream cones
    • 4 ounces melted chocolate

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Using your electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin and mix to combine. Combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and ginger. Add the dry mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Fill 12 extra-large paper-lined muffin cups about three-quarters full. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Frost the cupcakes.

To make the Witches’ Hats, place a chocolate wafer cookie on top off the frosting. Brush the exterior of a mini ice cream cone with the melted chocolate and attach it (using melted chocolate!) to the top of the wafer cookie.


HALLOWEEN SNACK MIX

  • 1/2 cup Almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 9 cups Rice Chex cereal

Combine the almond butter, butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time at 50% power, stirring between intervals, until melted and smooth.

Place the cereal in large bowl and add the melted chocolate mixture.

Stir well to coat the cereal. Place the coated cereal in a large resealable plastic bag and add the powdered sugar.

Seal the bag and shake well until the cereal is well coated.


PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BARS

  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons melted butter
  • For the pumpkin layer:
    • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • For the cheesecake swirl:
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper or foil.

In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until crumbly. Press into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the mixture on top of the graham cracker layer.

In a third bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer until smooth. 


Spoon the cheesecake filling by tablespoon on top of the pumpkin layer. Use the tip of a sharp knife to swirl the cheesecake mixture into the pumpkin mixture to create a marbled look.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the center is set. Cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until well chilled. Slice and serve.


SPIDER WEB HOT COCOA

  • 4 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows

Heat the milk, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a small pot over medium heat. Cook, whisking, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth and steaming. Add the chocolate to the pot and whisk until fully dissolved.

Put the mini marshmallows in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until puffy, about 20 seconds. Stir until smooth.

Pour the hot cocoa into mugs. Wearing disposable gloves, lift up some of the melted marshmallow and drape it over each mug, zigzagging strands of marshmallow across the top.

This segment aired on KTLA 5 Weekend Morning News on Oct. 23, 3021.

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