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October 31, 2008

Halloween and Braces Can Still Be Sweet!

NatOrthHealthMonth.jpg by you.
grimreaper.jpg by you.

Tomorrow night the ghosts, goblins, grim reapers, and spongebob squarepants characters come out to play and beg for candy, and from what I can tell, a few of them are going to be wearing braces.  So, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and Celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello wanted me to tell you how to make this Halloween a little less frightful for your orthodontic goblin.  And to do that, I am sharing some fantastically fun and easy-to-make braces-friendly treats with you from Chef Chiarello himself!

How about we start with ...


Green Goo SlimedooThe Gooey Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream
2 ounces sugar
2 ounces butter
2 pounds white chocolate
6 to 12 drops green food coloring
2 bags of thin pretzel sticks
Strawberries, bananas and thinly sliced apples for dipping
Candy sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a non-reactive double boiler set over medium-low heat, bring the cream, sugar, and butter to a boil. Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into small chunks - a serrated knife works best for this.

Add the chocolate chunks to the cream mixture in the double boiler, whisking, until it is melted and incorporated into the cream. Finally, add the food coloring until it is the desired shade of green.

Keep mixture warm in a fondue pot. Set out the fruit and the pretzels for dipping with long wooden skewers next to the fondue pot. Guests can dip their pretzels or fruit into the fondue and then roll them in the candy sprinkles, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

Or how about some ...

Yummy in your ghastly tummy

CupCake SandwichesThe Sweet Goblin Ingredients:

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 can of chocolate frosting or store-bought chocolate mousse
1 container of whipped topping
Assorted braces-friendly candy pieces, such as chopped peanut butter cups, chocolate bars and melt-in-your-mouth candies.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

Combine cocoa powder, water, and mix until smooth. Fold in mayonnaise. (Make sure cocoa mixture is not to hot to prevent breaking of mayonnaise). Add vanilla and whisk until smooth.

In mixer, combine sugar, cake flour, baking soda and salt and mix slowly until well incorporated. Add wet cocoa mixture, mix on medium-high until well blended. Scrape down the sides and blend for 30 seconds.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 way full of batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack.

Slice each cupcake in half, horizontally, and serve the halves with chocolate mousse or frosting, whipped topping, and assorted candy pieces. Kids build the sandwiches by spreading one-half of a cupcake with mousse/frosting or whipped topping, sprinkling on candy pieces and placing the other half of cupcake on top.

Makes 12 sandwiches.

Or maybe some ...

Don't tell Big Bear, okay?

Black & Orange Bon BonsThe frightful Ingredients:

1 quart vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup powdered orange drink
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, in chunks


With a small ice cream scoop or melon baller, scoop balls of vanilla ice cream onto a cold cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Place in the freezer to reset the ice cream balls to firm.

Put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at medium until liquid, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stop and stir every 30 seconds until melted, be careful not to burn it.

Spread the orange drink powder onto a large plate. Roll the ice cream balls in the powder and return them to the cookie sheet. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the ice cream balls. Return to the freezer until ready to serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Well, I'll be, here are some more fabulous braces-friendly recipes from Chef Michael Chiarello:

Wowza!  Check this out!  If this doesn't make your frightful family jump to the table, nothing will ...

just be sure they eat this "before" they go running around the community hoggin' as much candy as they can from the neighbors.

PastaThe Ghastly Ingredients:

3/4 pound spaghetti or spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup sliced garlic
1/2 teaspoon finely minced Calabrian chilies, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pint small cherry tomatoes, stems removed, crushed between your thumb and forefinger
Sea salt, preferably gray salt
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, each torn into 2 or 3 pieces
Wedge of Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook until the slivers are golden brown and crisp, then add the chilies and cook for about 30 seconds. Raise the heat to high and add the tomatoes. Simmer briskly to soften the tomatoes and thicken the juices, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

When the pasta is al dente, scoop out about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the warm pot off the heat. Add the sauce and the basil and mix well. Add some of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and grate Parmesan over the top to taste. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Now I really love Apple Pie and anything with apples in it, but this just may take the cake ...

Wooh Nellie, do these look delicious!

Apple BomboloniThe Yummy, lick your lips Ingredients:

Rustic Dough*:
9 ounces cake flour (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoon cold water

Apple Sauce Filling:
4 Granny Smith apples
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water

Diced Apples:
4 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 lemon, juiced


For the dough*: In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, add the dry ingredients and mix for 5 seconds to blend. Add the butter and vanilla and mix until the butter is about the size of peas. Add the cold water and blend until the dough just comes together. Form the dough into a roughly shaped ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Applesauce filling: Peel, core, and slice the apples. Put the apples with the rest of the ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and cook until the apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and refrigerate.

Diced apples: Peel, core, and cut the apples into large slices. Toss with the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and set aside.

Assemble the bomboloni: Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll out to1/4-inch thick round. Cut into 6-inch rounds. Place about 1/4 cup of the Apple Sauce Filling onto the center of each round. Top with a few pieces of the Diced Apples. Pull the sides up towards the center to form a bundle, pinching the dough together towards top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before baking

Bake the bombolonis: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the bombolonis from the refrigerator and place them on a greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

*Time Saving Step: Use store-bought pie crust

Makes 5 servings.

Now here are some more Halloween Recipes from the American Association of Orthodontics created especially for those little witches and Caspers with braces - and even those without the braces will love ALL OF THESE great recipes!

PUMPKIN COOKIE POPS ... Now I know that this would make a great treat for all the kids in the neighborhood!

Pumpkin Cookie PopsThe poppin Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup canned or fresh cooked pumpkin
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
20 wooden sticks (tongue depressors or Popsicle sticks work best)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine with electric mixer the butter, brown sugar and orange zest. Add the pumpkin, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix.

Gradually add the flour and spices. Mix with your hands to create a soft dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into two pieces. Roll out each piece to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into pumpkin shapes with cookie cutters.

Place on ungreased baking sheet and securely insert a wooden stick into the bottom half of each pumpkin cookie.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Decorate with favorite frosting.

Adapted from www.pumpkinnook.com

Or how about ...

The green drink

Slimey Lime Fruit PunchThe Ingredients with a Punch:

Powdered lemonade mix to make 2 quarts
1 peeled and sliced orange
1 sliced lime (approx. 1/8" slices)
1 pint raspberries
2 tubes red decorating gel
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon meringue powder
2 liters seltzer
10 drops green food coloring
4 drops yellow food coloring


Squeeze red gel down the inside of 12 small, clear glasses. Let dry about 10 minutes.

In an extra-large bowl, combine lemonade mix, sugar and meringue powder. Slowly pour in seltzer, whisking continually until combined. Stir in green and yellow food coloring. Add sliced fruit and berries for color.

Pour punch into glasses and serve.

Adapted from Parent Magazine

Ouch! These look good! ...

Hmmm.  I really don't like spider bites, especially considering how our NC backyard has every spider known to mankind and a few thousand more trying to make their way into our house and doorways.  But - I think we can handle these spider bites, don't you?

Spider BitesThe Ingredients with a bite:

1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon. salt
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 package black rope licorice, cut into short 1-inch pieces
1 small tube of green (or color of choice) decorating gel


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine shortening, sugar, water, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add eggs into the mixture and blend. Slowly mix in flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder using low-medium speed.

Drop tablespoon helpings of mixture onto ungreased cookie sheets and roll each helping into a ball. Bake 9 minutes at 375 degrees. The batch should produce around three dozen cookies. Let cookies cool for about 10 minutes. Then using a toothpick, create four small holes in either side of the cookie.

Still using the toothpick, push one end of a piece of the cut licorice into each hole, creating the "legs" of the spider. Keep licorice pieces short so as not to harm braces. Once all eight pieces are in place, create eyes or decorate at will using the green decorating gel.

Recipe idea adapted from "The Braces Cookbook" by Pamela Waterman

And last but certainly not least ...


The Sweet Ingredients:

1 package yellow or white cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup water (add 2 tablespoons of water if eggs are small)


Put cake mix in a large bowl. Make an indentation in the center and pour in the oil and one egg. Mix using mixer, then add the rest of the eggs one at a time, beating after each one.

Add pumpkin, sugar, spices, and then water.

Bake in greased and floured tube pan in 350 degree oven for 60-70 minutes (depending on oven calibration). Cool before removing from pan.




Happy Holidays

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