Halloween is all about family time: carving pumpkins together, decorating the front porch, and picking out a great costume. Chef Ashley Mendel from Le Cordon Bleu culinary school says it’s also a great time for cooking together. She shared three easy recipes for Halloween treats in this week’s Cooking with WCCO from the Cambria Studio Kitchen in Minneapolis.

Spooky Monster Cupcakes


  • Buttercream icing
  • White fondant
  • Cooked cupcakes, your choice of batter
  • Colored icing
  • Decorator tips
  • Disposable frosting bags

Method of Preparation:

  1. Bake any type of cupcake batter and let cupcakes cool.
  2. Frost the cupcakes using the icing color of your desired monster!
  3. Tint fondant with your choice of color to contrast cupcake and roll into 1/16-inch thick strip. Use to make horns, ears, teeth and anything spooky!
  4. Let fondant sit out for 48 hours for to ensure it keeps its shape.
  5. Make eyes with buttercream frosting, tinting black to create the center.
  6. Serve and enjoy this Halloween!

Ghost Meringues


  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • Decorative icing gel, black
  • Disposable frosting bags
  • Large round decorator tip

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 220⁰F.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites for a few minutes on high speed until bubbles appear.
  3. Gradually add sugar to mixer.
  4. Add Cream of Tartar.
  5. Continue to whip the mixture until stiff peaks form.
  6. Prepare baking sheet with a layer of cooking spray.
  7. Place meringue mixture into a frosting bag.
  8. Using frosting bag and icing tip, continually press the meringue mixture directly down onto the sheet tray. Press down and lift up to create layered stacks for each ghost.
  9. Bake meringues for about 45 minutes or until they look slightly toasted.
  10. Add eyes and mouths to your ghost with black icing gel! Boo!

Pumpkin-Frosted Sugar Cookies


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

Buttercream frosting


  • ⅔ cup butter, softened
  • 3 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • Food coloring as desired

Method of Preparation (Cookies):

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and mix well.
  3. Add milk and mix again.
  4. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a patty about ¼-inch thick.
  8. Cut your cookies with a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter and place on baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or to desired level of chewiness.
  10. Let cool, frost and enjoy!

Method of Preparation (Buttercream Frosting):

  1. Cream butter in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy whipping cream and beat until smooth and creamy. Add more powdered sugar and/or heavy whipping cream as needed to achieve desired consistency.
  3. Split buttercream into 3 bowls.
  4. Tint one orange, one green and one brown.
  5. Place frosting into piping bags and decorate away!