Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cookbook Review: 'Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook'

✰✰✰✰½ At last there is an easy cookbook with kid-friendly recipes dedicated to my favorite holiday of the year...Halloween! I've been searching for quite some time to find a cookbook featuring spooky treats to make for the little goblins in my neighborhood. Finally, I have found what I've been looking for.

Tucked inside the Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook are seasonal recipes for cooks of all skill levels. After a brief introduction on planning a Halloween party, the book is divided into four sections. Choose from appetizers and drinks; main dishes; cupcakes and cakes; and cookies and other frightfully fun treats. Additionally, there's even a small section for "giftable goodies." Tempting treats to make include: Mummy Toes, Spider Bites, Serpent Subs, Creepy Crawler Cupcakes, Munchable Mice, and more.

Each recipe features a full-color photograph to show you what the finished product should look like. Both the ingredients and the instructions are listed in an easily readable format. Plus, each recipe includes nutritional information. Finally, the cookbook includes "terrifying tips," a metric conversion guide, recipe testing information, and an index. These recipes are so appealing and fun, you'll want to try them all.

Taste Test Notes: The nearly 100 recipes were so tempting that I had a difficult time picking just one to try. My first choice was the Graveyard Bones with Dip on page 36. Unfortunately, my local grocery store did not carry the Pillsbury refrigerated breadsticks, nor did it offer a substitute. Therefore, I moved on to my second choice:  Spooky Spiderweb Pizza on page 78. Once I had gathered all my ingredients, it was a cinch to put it all together. This would be a fantastic recipe to make with kids in the kitchen. They get to work with their hands and enjoy a yummy treat when finished. Surprisingly, the most difficult part of this recipe was getting the pizza dough to fit my round pizza pan. After prebaking the crust, the rest was simple layering. The result was a tasty treat that was completed in 45 minutes.

Spooky Spiderweb Pizza before baking
Nana's Cooking Tips: 1.) You can easily change the toppings to suit your family's tastes. 2.) When it comes time to drizzle the Alfredo sauce on top, be sure to cut the tip of the plastic bag sparingly. You can always go back and cut off a little more.

The Bottom Line: Kids of all ages and adults who are kids at heart will simply adore the delightfully spooky snacks and dishes served up in this Betty Crocker cookbook. The directions are easy so kids can join in the fun by picking out recipes and helping to prepare them. I enjoyed browsing through this cookbook so much that I wanted to give it five stars. However, I did experience some difficulty locating ingredients; thus, the final rating is 4.5 stars. This is a highly recommended purchase for both library and home cookbook collections. Aspiring chefs of all skill levels will find something fun and spooky to whip up for Halloween.

Details: Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook by Betty Crocker. Paperback published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in 2012. 208 p. ISBN: 978-1-118-38894-5

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