Halloween Apple Teeth – Monster Mouth
For the holiday that celebrates sugar in all forms, it is nice to have a snack that is both sweet and nutritious. Slice up some seasonal apples, spread on a generous amount of your favorite nut butter, and place the sliced almond teeth exactly how you would imagine a monster’s mouth to look. My Halloween Apple Teeth, also known as Monster Mouth, are treats anyone can enjoy!
Halloween Apple Teeth
My Halloween Apple Teeth are a nutritious treat and a great way to get kids engaged in the kitchen. These would be a perfect after-school snack or hands-on activity at a Halloween party. Kids can practice all their spooky voices just like I do in the video!
If you are cutting your apples ahead of time to make my Halloween Apple Teeth, place them in an airtight container with a squeeze of lemon. The acid in the lemon (ascorbic acid, or vitamin C) will prevent browning and keep your apples fresh. When apples are cut, they release an enzyme that reacts with oxygen to create a browning effect. This enzyme works best at a pH range of 5-7, so adding an acid (the pH of lemon juice is around 2) will deactivate the enzyme inhibiting its reaction with oxygen. This means no browning! While browning isn’t dangerous or even unpleasant to eat, I think we can all agree that fresh is best. Cranberry juice also has a pH low enough to protect apples from browning.
Nut and Seed Butters
Make your own nut butter
Nut and seed butters are surprisingly easy to make at home and doing so allows you to control your ingredients and find your perfect combination. Some of the more common nuts to use are peanuts (which are actually legumes!), almonds or cashews, but other nuts like pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts are fantastic as well. You can also use seeds like sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or pumpkin seeds. Seeds are great alternatives when you have to be mindful of tree nut or peanut allergies.
Try to purchase your nuts in their raw, unsalted, and preferably skin-less, shell-less form. After choosing you seed or nut mixture, you will want to toast your nuts lightly. This will give your butter a great flavor and help the natural oils release quicker.
To make nut butter you will need a food processor. I don’t recommend using a regular or high-speed blender because your mixture will heat up quite a bit without any liquid and you will be stuck scraping down the sides frequently. Blending your nuts or seeds into butter will take a bit of time (8-12 minutes) and patience. Your mixture will go from looking like broken nuts or seeds, to pebbles, to flour, and finally to smooth butter. This final step may feel like it takes forever, but as the nuts release their oils your mixture will become smooth.
If your nut butter seems to be drier or thicker than you would like, you can always add a small bit of oil. Some nuts like cashews or pecans naturally have more oils than nuts like almonds. Make sure you are adding oil after the nuts or seeds have released their own oils, which as I mentioned can take a while, or you might end up with overly oily butter. Also, never add water! Oil and water do not mix well. Honey will be your best choice for a sweetener because it emulsifies the nut flesh and oil better than maple syrup. Regardless of the other flavorings I am adding, I like to add a pinch of salt at the end.
Nut and Seed Butter Combinations
Here are a few of my recommendations for fun and delicious flavor combinations (remember to add these after the nut or seed butter is creamy):
- Peanuts, vanilla, and honey
- Pecans and dried cranberries
- Almonds, unsweetened shredded coconut, and dark chocolate
- Walnuts, pecans, cinnamon, and ground flaxseed
- Cashews and chai spices (cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
- Tahini (sesame seeds), cacao powder, and espresso powder
- Cashews, almonds, and Freeze-dried raspberries
- Sunflower seeds, molasses, and fresh grated ginger
Homemade nut butters will expire quicker than store-bought so keep in your refrigerator and use within a week or so of making!
Halloween falls towards the end of apple season. Depending on the variety of apple you are after, apple season lasts from about late July through early November. Varieties of apples differ in their flavor, skin texture, and water content. Some are great for slathering on nut butter, others are great for making applesauce, and others are great for baking. For my Halloween Apple Teeth I use granny smith apples because I like their sharp flavor and crisp texture. If those are too tart for your taste you can always use a sweeter Honeycrisp or Pink Lady.
Cooking with apples requires a bit of research. When applying heat, some apples will get mushy and lose their shape where others will remain somewhat firm. If you are making applesauce you would want a softer apple that is going to break down easily. A sweet fuji, tart McIntosh, or sharp Braeburn would work perfectly. If you are making a tart or pie and need your apple to keeps its shape and texture, reach for a Jonagold, honecrisp, Granny Smith, Mutsu, Winesnap, or Pink Lady. The rule of thumb is to choose an apple that doesn’t leave an indent when you press in with your thumb.
If you want to try your hand at some homemade nut butter, follow my recipe for Pistachio Nut Butter. If talking about apples inspired a craving, check out my other recipes featuring apples: Apple Endive Salad; Cabbage Apple Slaw; and Baked Apples.
- 2 apples
- ½ cup nut butter
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Cut each apple into 8 slices (best to take quarters and slice each in half lengthwise)
- Spread each slice of apple on one side with nut butter.
- Line almond slivers (as “teeth”) on top of the nut butter.
- Place a second prepared apple slice on top with nut butter facing down to make a “monster mouth” of apple slices and almond “teeth.”