Celebrate Halloween with these yummy treats

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Halloween was a huge holiday when I was growing up in a small town in Illinois. It wasn’t just trick-or-treating and candy back then. For instance, the grade school kids (and teachers) had a costume parade down the main street that the whole town turned out to see.
The town’s good cooks (like my grandma Dillon) would fix old-fashioned treats for all the ghouls and goblins. Popcorn balls, pulled taffy and cookies. Momo’s caramel apples were legendary. Everyone wanted one.
Besides all the treats, the tricks were a big part of Halloween back then. Trees, cars and trucks were toilet-papered, windows were soaped, and bags of manure were set on fire. One year some teenage boys put my dad’s little Fiat car up on the steps of the Methodist Church! 
Some of the older kids would not go trick-or-treating, but they would jump out of the bushes to scare the kids who were. One guy with a werewolf mask jumped out from behind a tree and scared my friend and me so bad we screamed and ran all the way home. I’ve always been afraid of werewolves; I still am.  You would never catch me out under a full moon, no siree.
However you celebrate the holiday, here are some treats you can make. The tricks are optional. Happy Halloween from Susan’s Kitchen!

Crockpot Candy
2 lbs. roasted and salted peanuts
1 large bar dark chocolate
1 (12oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
2 (20oz) pkgs. almond bark
Put all together in crockpot.  Cook on low three to four hours, then drop by T. onto wax paper. Makes five to six dozen.

Peanut Butter Macaroons
½ c. creamy peanut butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 c. flaked coconut
Combine all ingredients and drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Makes five dozen.

Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops
3 large bananas
9 popsicle sticks
1 (12oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
2 T. shortening
1 ½ c. coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts
Peel bananas and cut each into three pieces. Insert popsicle sticks into each piece. Put on wax-paper lined plate, cover and freeze till firm. Melt chocolate chips and shortening together (I use microwave.)  Dip each frozen banana into warm chocolate, covering completely. Let excess drip off, and immediately roll in chopped peanuts. Cover and return to freezer. Serve frozen. Makes nine pops.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Drops
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
½ c. miniature marshmallows
½ c. chopped peanuts
¼ c. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
Melt chocolate chips and stir in sweetened condensed milk and marshmallows. Cook, stirring constantly, till marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat; stir in peanuts, peanut butter and vanilla. Drop by T. onto waxed paper or put in mini-muffin cupcake liners. Makes three dozen.

Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies
½ c. butter, softened
¼ c. peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
½ c. Hershey’s chocolate syrup
Blend butter and peanut butter in large mixing bowl. Add sugar and brown sugar; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Blend in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to peanut butter mixture. Spread half the batter in greased 9x13 pan. Spoon syrup over the top. Spread remaining batter on top. Swirl with knife for marbled effect. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, till lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares. Makes three dozen.

Giant Pizza Cookie
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
½ t. vanilla
1 c. flour
¾ c. old fashioned oats
½ t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Cream together butter and brown sugar; beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread onto a 12” pizza pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes or till golden brown. Cool. Spread with icing (can use the canned chocolate frosting) and decorate top with Halloween M&Ms. Serves 10 to 12.