A Spooktacular Sunday
October 30, 2011
Trick or treat! Trick or treat!
Trick or treat for Halloween!
When ghosts or goblins by the score,
Ring the bell at your front door,
You better not be stingy or
Your nightmares will come true!
Trick or treat! Trick or treat!
Trick or treat for Halloween!
When trick or treaters are feeling beat,
Sit at home to rest their feet,
No more candy, what can they eat?
Well here's the treat for you!
(Original lyrics by Paul J. Smith, new lyrics by
Halloween is a festive time of the Autumn season and
while most kids and trick or treaters are excited about dressing up
and filling their bags with candy, one must not forget the other
seasonal favorite that comes along this time of year: Pumpkins!
In recent years, I've found I absolutely love
anything with pumpkin. It could just be the flavor of pumpkin and
pumpkin spice used in pumpkin infused and inspired dishes and
desserts. Though I think part of it is the strong association
between pumpkin flavors and the Autumn season. In Florida, it's
awfully rare to get that feeling that it is a blustery day in
October. While many vacationers are enjoying the warm Florida
weather, I find myself missing the crisp Autumn air, the cloud
covering sky, the crunch of fallen red and orange leaves-in short, a
Florida Fall in the daytime is pretty much like a non-humid Florida
summer. Still, part of feeling like it's Autumn can be credited to
seasonal goodies, and pumpkin flavored treats did just the trick to
remind me of how October should be.
The first treat is actually a place, not a treat.
The best place to celebrate Halloween year round is Sleepy Hollow, a
refreshment stand in Liberty Square, right by the bridge to the hub.
Themed to the Legend of Sleepy Hollow segment of The Adventures
of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, you can usually find pumpkins in the
windows, representing the Headless Horseman-s temporary head. This
stand regularly features ice cream, funnel cakes, Mickey waffles,
and other tasty treats year round. I've read online that in the Fall
they also serve Pumpkin Ice Cream, though I have not confirmed this
to make sure. I did take a picture while walking by one night of
their Halloween display:
The second treat we shall look at is the Pumpkin
Cheesecake, available at Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion at
Epcot. This seasonal cheesecake is pretty straightforward: pumpkin
and pumpkin spice flavored cheesecake with a dollop of cream cheese
frosting and a candied walnut on top. The cast member at the dessert
counter highly recommended it and I agree with her, it was
The next treat is the Pumpkin Cupcake at the Board
Walk Bakery. As we have discussed before, the Board Walk Bakery
changes the gourmet cupcake offerings as the year goes by and sadly,
the Pumpkin cupcake replaced the Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake. On a
brighter note, the pumpkin cupcake is amazing! It is probably a good
way to get a little of that pumpkin flavor for a sense of that
seasonal gourd. The base is a vanilla cupcake with a pumpkin mousse
filling. It is topped with a nutmeg whipped cream frosting with
praline crunch on the sides. This cupcake actually went through a
few makeovers since its premiere this year. We had a vote in the
bakery to see which was better. There was the existing one as it is
sold today and also one with buttercream cream cheese frosting. I
definitely preferred the latter as cream cheese and pumpkin go
together so well and is what is traditionally done. I"m guessing
among the bakers and front of house staff, the lighter, whipped
cream version won out. Another change was in color. First the
cupcake had white frosting, with a dark chocolate pumpkin. Then they
changed the pumpkin to an orange colored white chocolate. Now they
colored the frosting orange as well. Whatever the color, the pumpkin
cupcake is pretty delicious and has been selling wonderfully,
especially to those visiting from the North!
Our last seasonal treat is a treat that catches you
by the nose. Imagine, walking through Epcot, trying your hardest not
to think about food and buying everything in sight at the Food and
Wine Festival when suddenly your nose perks up and senses the smell
of Autumn. Before you know it, you have made your way to the Funnel
Cake stand at the edge of the American Adventure pavilion.
The powerful smell of pumpkin spice wafts through
the air as the Pumpkin Spice Funnel cakes are frying away. There was
no question about it; though I had just enjoyed several tasty bites
from various Food and Wine marketplaces, I knew I had to have a
Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake! The batter was made with pumpkin spice,
though it was hard to tell if actual pumpkin was used. It is a bit
tricky in working with pumpkin in foods because it has such a high
moisture content but at the same time a sort of paste like texture.
I once made pumpkin tuille (tuille are very thin cookies used to
garnish dessert plates), and I failed miserably because the cookies
burnt before they could dry out enough to be crisp and crunchy. The
solution was to use less pumpkin, but at the same time, lose a lot
of the pumpkin flavor-which is why it was hard to tell whether the
Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake had any pumpkin at all. My only indication
was that this funnel cake was a bit more moist and chewy than plain
Chef Duffy presents the Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake!
My one precaution though to pumpkin seeking guests:
this funnel cake has a powerful pumpkin spice flavor. The strength
of the aroma as they cook should be warning enough. Each bite was
packed with pumpkin spice and I found it invigorating. While some of
the pumpkin treats at Disney had subtle or medium flavors, this one
was strong! If you're a casual pumpkin fan I do not recommend
getting this funnel cake as some may feel overwhelmed by its
flavors, but pumpkin lovers rejoice, because you will enjoy this
feast of pumpkin spiced funnel cake!
Before we leave, there is one last Halloween treat,
though not pumpkin flavored, to make this a spooktacular Sunday
Brunch: the Wicked Cupcake of the East.
Actually, I'm not sure what it was officially
called, but I felt that was an appropriate name! My good friend RJ
got this treat at the Main Street Bakery and was kind enough to let
me photograph it for this blog. This fun, Halloween cupcake mimics
the iconic scene from The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy finds her
house has squashed the Wicked Witch of the East. A plain vanilla
cupcake sits upside down on a plate with black and white chocolate
sticks as her stocking covered legs and red sprinkled gummies as the
ruby red slippers. This just goes to show how easily you can turn a
simple dessert like a cupcake in an easy to make and cleverly
designed Halloween treat!