Chef K’s ‘Spooky Foods’

RICHMOND, Va. – Fan favorite Chef K was back in the kitchen with three festive dishes that you can put together for Halloween, including her “Monster Finger” Sugar and Almond Cookies. For more information you can visit http://www.facebook.com/ChefKCooking

Monster Fingers
• 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 2 egg whites
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into finger like shape Press 1 whole almond in the end of each finger to represent finger nail and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Brush each almond with egg white wash.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Icky Eyeballs
1 container fresh Mozzarella Balls1 14 oz. can Medium Ripe olives1 14 oz. jar your favorite prepared marinaraToothpicks
Heat marinara in a sauce pot. Pour just enough marinara to cover bottom of serving dish . Place mozzarella balls in marinara. Cut the tip off of each ripe olive and top each mozzarella ball with olive tip. Serve with toothpicks on the side for you guests to us to pick them up.

Chef K’s Cheesy Pumpkin Cider Soup
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
Salt and pepper to taste 
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ bottle (3/4 cup) pumpkin hard cider or pumpkin beer
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1½ cup heavy cream
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cinnamon

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a medium pot and place over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until onions become translucent. Add garlic and celery, season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, then stir in thyme. Add beer or cider and broth and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetable mixture is fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

In another medium pot melt butter. Whisk in heavy cream until mixture thickens. Stir in pumpkin puree until smooth. Toss cheese together with lemon juice before stirring into the pumpkin mixture. Stir until cheese sauce is smooth. Mix in nutmeg and cinnamon.

Pour broth mixture and cheese mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour both mixtures back into the same pot and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until soup thickens slightly. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve immediately with toasted sourdough or your favorite crackers or bread.