How to Make Pumpkin Pie Spice (or the Best Substitute to Use)
Making a Thanksgiving dessert, but forgot the pumpkin pie spice? Try mixing these ingredients for DIY pumpkin pie spice—or use this easy substitute.
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Caramel Almond Pears
Caramel apples may be more traditional, but caramel pears are way more fun. For easy dipping (and eating), look for small, firm-ripe varieties, such as Seckel. After dipping each one in the homemade caramel, we rolled the pears in chopped almonds to add a nice salty crunch. But feel free to use whatever nut you please: toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, or peanuts would all be delicious. Though it may be tempting to devour immediately, letting the treats cool to room temperature will help the caramel firm. Serve them as a fun after-dinner dessert, or put them out at your Halloween party.
9 Spooky Halloween Cupcakes
Sometimes, the world of Halloween desserts is a scary place. That “bloody brains bowl” looks a little too much like, well, bloody brains to be appetizing. But have no fear: these nine cupcakes strike the perfect balance between cute and spooky. Like the surface of a round sugar cookie, cupcakes are the perfect canvas for your artistic creations. Take your pick between options like gorgeous glittery pumpkin cupcakes, adorable “Fraidycat” cupcakes, or appropriately creepy vampire cupcakes. Each recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients, no more than 6 total. If you have some extra time, whip up a batch of your favorite cupcakes and frosting because fresh is always better. However, if you’re in a pinch the great news is you can always buy premade cupcakes from the bakery section of your grocery store and decorate those. Or make your own cupcakes and frost with store-bought icing. We recommend picking up an inexpensive small offset spatula to help with a super neat and speedy frosting job. You’ll be assembling each cupcake with a variety of toppings, so small glass bowls that keep your decorating station organized will be your best friends. If you’re making ahead, store them on a large plate or tray or cake stand and loosely tent or wrap them in plastic to keep them fresh. When you’re displaying your cupcakes, try dispersing several votive candles between them for an extra festive, extra shadowy touch.
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Easy Caramel Apple Lollipops
We whipped up our own adorable version of one of our childhood favorites with these caramel apple lollipops. Start with green apple flavored hard candies (we like Jolly Ranchers). Melt them slowly in a medium pot, but watch carefully: you don’t want them to take on any color. Pour the melted candy onto a silicone baking mat, then gently lay a lollipop stick on top. While you may be tempted to work on a baking sheet, just be sure it’s rimless—it’s easier if the sticks can hang over an edge. Melt the caramel candies in the same way and drizzle or dip as you like.