Cook's Corner: Kitty litter, anyone?

Published 3:17 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2006

By By Lisa Tindell
If the way we zoomed through September is any indication of how the fall month's will pass, it will be Oct. 31 before you know it. If you plan on recognizing Halloween this year, you may want to go ahead and make some plans now.
Last week I shared some interesting drink recipes with you that are perfect for the special holiday. As promised I've included some pretty good dessert recipes to go with those drinks.
I like a good chocolate cake, or cupcake, as good as anyone I know, but for some reason I've never been interested in eating one that had worms crawling out of it. However, I do believe that in light of the spirit of the season, no pun intended, I think a wormy cake is perfectly acceptable. I hope you agree.
Worm Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
3 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1 (16 ounce) package prepared chocolate frosting
1 (16 ounce) package gummi worms
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter into cupcake pans and bake as directed on cake mix box. Let cupcakes cool thoroughly before frosting. Spread cupcakes lightly with chocolate icing. Sprinkle cookie crumbs on top. Cut gummi worms in half (as many as you like). Put icing onto cut end of the worms and stick to the top of cupcakes. You can use as few or as many as will fit on each cupcake. Let icing set for 10 minutes and then enjoy.
Well, if worms in your cupcakes doesn't turn your stomach, give this next recipe a try. I can't imagine anything more gross that could be called edible than this recipe. For some reason, pre-teen children tend to find that the more gross a thing looks, the more likely they are to eat it. Just a short time back I can remember hearing about kids eating some Harry Potter-inspired jelly beans that had flavors named booger, vomit and the like. Even after The Ant Bully movie came out, there were jelly beans with flavors of dirt, ant hill and others. Just a little to gross for me, but my seven-year-old loved it and so did some of his friends. At any rate, if you're looking for a gross party treat, then this is just the ticket.
Kitty Litter Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (12 ounce) package vanilla sandwich cookies
3 drops green food coloring
1 (12 ounce) package Tootsie Rolls
Prepare cake mixes and bake according to package directions (any size pan). Prepare pudding according to package directions and chill until ready to assemble. Crumble sandwich cookies in small batches in a food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup add a few drops of green food coloring and mix. When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 of the remaining cookie crumbs, and the chilled pudding. You probably won't need all of the pudding, you want the cake to be just moist, not soggy. Line kitty litter box with the kitty litter liner. Put cake mixture into box. Put half of the unwrapped tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until softened. Shape the ends so that they are no longer blunt, and curve the tootsie rolls slightly. Bury tootsie rolls randomly in the cake and sprinkle with half of the remaining cookie crumbs. Sprinkle a small amount of the green colored cookie crumbs lightly over the top. Heat 3 or 4 of the tootsie rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle lightly with some of the green cookie crumbs. Heat the remaining tootsie rolls until pliable and shape as before. Spread all but one randomly over top of cake mixture. Sprinkle with any remaining cookie crumbs. Hang the remaining tootsie roll over side of litter box and sprinkle with a few green cookie crumbs. Serve with the pooper scooper for a gross Halloween dessert.
If you're looking for a more tame way to satisfy a sweet tooth during the Halloween celebrations, this one is exactly right for the occasion. I do love candy corn anyway. Seriously, what could be better than creamy tasting sugar in the elongated triangle shape that has white, yellow and orange food coloring. I even like the candy pumpkins that are made with the same ingredients as the corn.
This recipe also would make a very colorful presentation at any fall gathering. I hope you will give it a try, but be sure to brush your teeth afterwards.
Candy Corn Bark
16 Halloween-colored chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped
1 1/2 cups broken small pretzels
1/3 cup raisins
1 1/2 pounds white chocolate, broken into squares
2 cups candy corn
2 tablespoons orange and brown sprinkles
Spread the cookies, pretzels and raisins evenly onto a lightly greased small baking sheet. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from the heat while there are still a few chunks, and stir until smooth. White chocolate burns easily. Drizzle chocolate with a spoon over the goodies in the pan, spreading the top flat to coat evenly. Top with candy corn and sprinkles. Let cool until firm. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
I hope that your Halloween is filled with happy times and sweet treats. Check back here next week as I am on the search for some savory menu items. We have the drinks and the desserts covered, now it's time to look for a main course.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!