Monday, October 28, 2013

Candy Apple Dip Bar Halloween Celebration

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Hawaiian Punch, 7UP and M&Ms make a great #spookycelebration

I sure love all the fun surrounding Halloween! This holiday is specifically awesome for kids, eh? Halloween celebrations are everywhere, including our own homes, in one form or another! Our kids could wear their costumes to functions about ten times even before the night of October 31, right? Sure seems like it to me! I love creating fun little celebrations for my boys at home, too, though- I know we'd all most often prefer to just make our own party instead of head out to be part of a crowd somewhere in town.

I went to Walmart and bought Hawaiian Punch, 7UP and M&Ms in this 55-piece Mars Variety pack. I used these ingredients to create a cute apple dip bar and punch floats for our Halloween celebration- I really was happy with how it all turned out! Couldn't have been easier to pull together and I was happy to know my boys were being given something at least a little healthier in the mix of the candy ;)

The very first thing I did to get our part started was to scoop vanilla ice cream into this skull ice cube tray I bought at the dollar store earlier this fall. I pressed the vanilla down inside each mold and then stuck it in the freezer to harden up. These will come back into the mix of our party prep in just a bit ;)

Next I worked to create the dips for our bar. I first made my normal homemade caramel- the very recipe I use to dip whole apples for creating gourmet versions. We LOVE, love, love this caramel! I've shared the recipe in my Apple Pie Caramel Apples post before, but here it is for you to grab to print again:

The next dip I created was a simple mix of light whipped topping and vanilla yogurt. I really like this mix for lots of things- it makes a great alternative to frosting on a cake too! Just stir the two together well and that's it!

The third and final dip is Cooper's favorite- a mix of cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla. This is a definite go-to for get-togethers all year long around here! There's really no exact measurements involved- soften an 8 oz. square of cream cheese, about 3/4 cup of brown sugar and a tsp or two of vanilla. I then add to taste  from there :) This is best if whipped together with a hand mixer.

Now we're about ready to go with our treat portion! I sliced several granny smith apples and then used my favorite trick for keeping them from going brown...

Remember we bought 7UP for the drink? Pour it over your apple slices in a bowl and let them soak just a bit. This will keep them from browning and save your apples from becoming sour after being coated with plain lemon juice. I use this trick a lot for sending apple slices in school lunch! :) I tamped the slices off with a paper towel and then put then in the dish ready to be dipped!

I set lollipop sticks out as part of our bar and Cooper really enjoyed playing with them in the process of dipping! Not necessary, of course, just something a lil' different. :)

The best part about the whole apple dip bar? The candy toppings! I poured M&Ms from our variety bag into a bowl and the boys sprinkled them onto their apple slices just after dipping- yum! Crushing the Snickers and Twix would be awesome too!

Ryder might have eaten more plain M&Ms than apple slices... Good thing it's Halloween time and he can get away with it I guess! :)

The bar was a definite hit! I will be doing these for parties again no doubt :) Time to share how to make the drink portion!

I filled my cups about a 1/3 way with Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red, then up to about 3/4 full with 7UP. I put a lime slice on top to help keep my skull ice cream cubes afloat longer :) Run a low stream of hot water over the under side of the ice cube tray and your vanilla skulls will pop right out... The boys thought these were pretty fun for sure!

Your ice cream will melt fairly quick, then the kids can mix it up to be frothy and enjoy! Less ice cream involved than a normal float and they loved the flavors! 

You can grab a high value coupon to save on MARS variety packs HERE- a great addition to your trick or treat bowl or your own #spookycelebration at home!

Also find more fun Halloween baking and party ideas HERE and at the Pinterest board below. I love all the creativity of Halloween- hope your family has a great rest of the week waiting for it to finally be here!



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