Halloween night isn’t usually a festivity celebrated by Filipinos. We are familiar with fiestas, Christmas, holy gatherings, and New Year’s Eve, but “the night of terror” is often an overlooked celebration all in all. Of course, there are references to it within the Philippine pop culture, often being plotted as the release date of local horror movies and scary documentaries after the evening news. You might have a relative who grew up in the province, claiming spooky stories of apparitions and mysterious happenings at sundown. You might have even seen a couple of Halloween-themed costumes and treats within your nearest grocery stores and malls, signifying that the local businesses are aware of it, capitalizing on its fame (or infamy) in order to boost sales. But compared to our international counterparts, we do not really celebrate it with enthusiasm or enough effort the way that we do with other holidays. There are countless explanations to this, but we can usually attribute that to our longstanding culture and religion.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun during Halloween season, of course. The thing about this particular festivity is that it is often seen as a waste of time and money, with many critics pointing their fingers towards impractical costumes and sweets. Especially with the country’s current situation, every Centavo counts, and if we were to waste money on such a trivial occasion, we may feel the long-term effects within the coming months. Luckily, there are always affordable alternatives when it comes to celebrating every event or happening, and Halloween night is definitely one of them. Workarounds are always in place to ensure that we’ll be able to have fun, without sacrificing much of our budget, and that is most evident with Halloween treats. As they say, nothing brings a family closer than with a fun, productive activity that can teach each and every member something new, and cooking or baking is a surefire way of doing just that. You may ask though, “What Halloween treats or delicacies should I make with my family? What affordable ingredients do I have to buy to make these kitchen creations? Are they even easy to prepare?” No need to worry, as we have prepared a couple of easy-to-follow recipes in making sweet and delectable (no trick) treats for a spooktacular night.
Bingsu or Patbingsu is a well-known Korean dessert, usually made up of shaved ice and condensed milk, topped off with sweet syrup and fruits. You may have tasted one already through your Korean-themed local fastfood, but did you know that it is also fairly easy to make?
For the Red Syrup Topping
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 2 tbsps of sugar
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose cream
- 1 cup of water
- 1 and 1/2 tsps of soy lecithin
For the Milky Ice
- 2 cups of water
- 1 can of evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose cream
- 1/2 cup of condensed milk
For the Fruit Topping
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- Let’s start with the milky ice. You need to blend all of the milky ice ingredients together, after which, you’d need to pour the mixture into an ice cube tray. Leave it overnight in the freezer.
- To prepare the fruit topping, you need to cook the strawberries in a saucepan with sugar. Set the stove to medium heat and cook until the mix is thickened. Make sure to crush the strawberry pieces while you stir.
- Let us move on to the red syrup topping. First, you need to blend the first four ingredients together (strawberries, sugar, all-purpose cream, and water) until it is processed into a smooth mixture, after which, you need to transfer it to a deep glass bowl. Add in the soy lecithin and mix with an immersion blender until the whole mixture begins to foam.
- The milky ice cubes should then be shaved (using a scraper) into a large bowl, followed by the fruit topping and red, foamy syrup.
Keep in mind that you may need to prepare the ingredients the day before (if you’re even planning to serve this on Halloween night itself), as you need to freeze the milky ice overnight.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Nothing screams Halloween louder than a good old pumpkin. It has since been recognized as a Halloween symbol (along with bat and ghost shapes), mostly adorning the outdoor windows, often having carved faces and spooky imagery. But this recipe isn’t all about the decorations, but rather the home-made, creamy goodness to warm up the chilling Halloween night.
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped onions
- 500 grams of cut up pumpkin (also known as squash here in the Philippines)
- 3 cups of water
- 1 piece of bay leaf
- A few bits of salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
- 1 pack of all-purpose cream
- First, you need to melt the butter in a saucepan. Set the stove to medium heat and add in the onions. Sauté until they are all softened.
- Add in the cut up pumpkin/squash and sauté it for about 5 minutes. You’d then need to pour in the water. Add in the bay leaf and season to taste with the salt and ground black pepper.
- Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer until the pumpkin/squash is cooked. Remove the bay leaf then add in both the evaporated milk and all-purpose cream.
- Mix it well. You may even use a hand blender to make the soup as smooth and creamy as possible. You may add more water, salt, and pepper, depending on the taste and texture of the overall mixture.
You may consider this as part of your dinner during Halloween night, accompanied by freshly-cooked rice.
Here’s something cute and boo-tiful to lighten up the mood during Halloween night. Basically, these are strawberries dipped in melted white chocolate, shaped and left to cool in order to create a ghastly aesthetic. Not only is it fun to make, it’s also healthy for the kids.
2 cups of strawberries
1 and 1/2 cups of melted white chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips
1 cup of melted chocolate chips
- First, you need to prepare a baking sheet. Line it with parchment paper.
- Next, you need to combine the melted white chocolate and coconut oil in a large bowl. Stir the mixture thoroughly.
- Here’s the fun part. Dip the strawberries into the white chocolate mixture, then place two mini chocolate chips on the top half of the strawberries for the eyes.
- Place the dipped strawberries on the baking sheet you had prepared earlier and place it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the white dip hardens.
- Pour the melted chocolate chips in an icing bag (a Ziploc with one corner cut by a scissor would suffice as well) and form the mouths on the dipped strawberries. Place it in the refrigerator once more to allow the melted chocolate to cool. 5 minutes may be enough, but again, feel free to leave it in there longer if the melted chocolate hasn’t hardened yet.
All of these treats should be shared, hence, why none of your loved ones would be left out during snack time.
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