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A Halloween goodie

October 22, 2009|By ARLENE BURNETT / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Here's a Halloween recipe geared for children -- a little gross and scary -- but could be fun for an adult party, too. It's not hard to make gross food on purpose -- and it can be lots of fun this time of year.

PECAN CARAMEL SPIDERS



(Tested by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The original recipe includes homemade caramel. I shortened the recipe and prep time by using Kraft Caramel Bits.

1-1/2 cups toasted pecans
11-ounce package Caramel Bits
5 ounces thin black licorice strands, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
Chocolate curls or jimmies, optional

Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Mound 30 small clusters of pecans (about 3 or 4 pecans) each spaced a couple inches apart on the pan.

Ladle a couple tablespoons of warm caramel over some of the nut clusters, to make the spider bodies. Then press 6 pieces of licorice into the warm caramel to make the legs. Repeat with the remaining caramel and licorice. (It's helpful to have an extra hand here, since the caramel can set quickly. If caramel hardens, warm over very low heat.) Let spiders cool 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, put the chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Or put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue to heat until completely melted, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each spider. Sprinkle with jimmies or chocolate curls, if desired. Let cool until firm.

Makes 30 spiders.

-- FoodNetwork.com

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