A Trick or Treat Tasting

by Landy Erlick ’19

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If you noticed some bright orange signs and balloons on the sidewalk recently, you may have been lucky enough to stumble upon Harvard Scare in Harvard Square, the October 29th festive start to an event-filled weekend hosted by the Harvard Square Business Association. In keeping with the spirit of Halloween, the food sampling was both spicy and sweet.

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The set up boasted tables from great restaurants and shops in the Bow and Arrow district, including Boston Burger Company, Follow the Honey, Salt and Olive, Grafton Street, Hong Kong Restaurant, and Zinneken’s. To add to the ambiance, a talented jazz band called Scubaphone played through the whole event, clad in Halloween costumes no less!

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What the event lacked in grandiosity, it made up for in flavor. Grafton Street offered a beautiful spoonful of tuna tartar, and Follow the Honey – whose staff was decked out in fancy beekeeping gear – had a great selection from which you could taste.  Zinneken’s waffle bites were a delicious treat to end the night. Since they’re made from a dough and not a batter, they have a great, thicker texture that makes them all the more satisfying.

IMG_0166The sampling might be over, but these restaurants are here to stay.  ‘Till next year!IMG_0171

Salted Caramel Candy Corn Bark

by Caroline Gentile ’17

For me, bark is usually something that I don’t make until Christmas.  It makes a great gift, and is always a quick and easy treat to whip up at the last minute during all of the holiday craziness.  Melt some chocolate, let it set, sprinkle on toppings. That’s all it takes.  Perhaps the best thing about bark, besides the fact that it is delicious and easy to make, is how versatile it is.  Basically, you can make bark with any kind of chocolate and whatever toppings your heart desires.

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I love salted caramel and I love candy corn, but I couldn’t think of a way to combine the two.  And then it dawned on me- bark! Make it into bark!  So I did, and the result was perfection.   I used milk chocolate for the bottom layer, homemade salted caramel for the middle layer, and of course, candy corn on top. The sweetness of the candy corn was offset by the saltiness of the caramel, and the smooth milk chocolate layer balanced out the chewy caramel and crunchy candy corn.  This bark is definitely my new favorite Halloween treat.

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For the chocolate layer:

1lb milk chocolate, chopped (or dark chocolate, depending on your preference)

 

For the salted caramel layer (adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction):

1 cup granulated sugar

6 T salted butter, cut into 6 pieces

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp salt

 

For the candy corn layer:

1 bag of candy corn

Line a 9×13 baking dish with aluminum foil.  Make sure that foil is hanging over the sides. Set aside. Melt all but 3/4 cup of the chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water.  Stir using a wooden spoon until melted, heating in intervals of 10 seconds on the heat and 20 seconds off.  This may take time, but you really want to make sure that you do not burn the chocolate.

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Once it is all melted, remove from heat and add the remaining chocolate into the melted chocolate.  Stir until all of the chocolate is melted.  Pour all of the chocolate onto the foil in the baking dish. Using a spatula, spread out the chocolate across the bottom of the dish.  Allow to set for 30 minutes at room temperature. Do not cheat and put it in the refrigerator! This will cause the chocolate to become too hard. During this time, make the salted caramel!

Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to ensure that the sugar does not burn.  The sugar will eventually form clumps and turn into an amber-colored liquid as you stir.

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Once the sugar is entirely melted, add the butter immediately.  Be careful! The melted sugar will boil rapidly once the butter is added.

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Stir the butter into the sugar until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.

Very, very slowly, add the heavy cream.  Again, the mixture will bubble vigorously and may splatter, so be extra careful.  Allow to boil for 1 minute.  The mixture will rise in the pan as it boils.

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Remove from heat and add the salt. Stir.  Allow to cool before using.

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Once the salted caramel is cool, pour over the hardened chocolate layer (make sure that the chocolate layer is hardened before adding the caramel!)  Immediately sprinkle the candy corn over the salted caramel, pressing each individual corn into the caramel. Allow the bark to set for 30 minutes to an hour.  Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Halloween Treats

by Danielle Leavitt ’17

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Fall leaves, apple cider, donuts…and Halloween! To those who eat gluten-free, Halloween may, at first glance, seem like a trick. With so many delectable candy options, how can one know which are gluten-free? You would be very surprised to find out that something that does not look like it has gluten in it— like Twizzlers, for example—actually contains gluten. To make things easier, I have found two lists with the latest updates on Halloween candy on reputable websites. However, remember to use these lists only as a guide as ingredients and formulas can change at any time, and as always, make sure to read labels.

Complete 2014 list of Gluten-Free Halloween Candy:

http://celiac.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2014-Halloween-Treat-List.compressed.pdf (Celiac.org)

Quick list of Gluten-Free Halloween Candy, including CVS brand items:

http://surefoodsliving.com/2014/10/gluten-free-halloween-candy-quick-list-2014/ (Surefoodsliving.com)

For the “stay at home trick-or-treater,” or for a festive Halloween party, here is a simple recipe for caramel apples that is easy to make, requires very little time, tastes amazing, and is, of course, gluten-free!

ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 medium apples, washed, well dried
  • 1 bag (14 oz.) Kraft Caramels* (Kraft Caramels are gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Popsicle sticks

Directions

Insert one wooden Popsicle stick into stem end of each apple. Cover a large plate with waxed paper; spray with cooking spray.

apples

Set aside. Place caramels in medium saucepan. Add water; cook on medium-low heat 3 minutes, or until caramels are completely melted; stirring constantly.

caramel

Dip apples into melted caramel until evenly coated, spooning caramel over apples if necessary. Allow excess caramel to drop off. Scrape bottoms of apples; place on prepared plate. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Store any leftover apples in refrigerator.

You can roll freshly dipped caramel apples in toppings like chopped peanuts if you’d like. Or melt 2 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate and drizzle the chocolate over freshly dipped apples before setting them aside to cool.

Halloween can truly be a frightening holiday, but with gluten-free candy guidelines and great make at home gluten-free Halloween recipes, you will still have a ghoulish time!!