Better Budgeting: Pumpkin Centerpiece with Apples and Caramel Dipping Sauce

Pumpkin Centerpiece with Apples and Caramel Dipping Sauce

Frugal Crafts and Homemade Gifts (featured column)
Submitted by Betsy West

Pumpkin centerpiece with apples and caramel sauce 1

Last year I went to a Halloween party and needed to take a snack to share. For an inexpensive and seasonal appetizer, I decided on apples and caramel dipping sauce. To make it more festive, I "dressed it up" for the occasion and put the sauce inside of a pumpkin. I drew a jack-o-lantern face on it, put it on a platter, and encircled it with sliced apples. It was a hit! After the party, I got my money’s worth out of that pumpkin decoration too.

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Items Needed:

Small pumpkin
Pre-made caramel dipping sauce (found in the grocery store produce department)
Apples
Platter
Black marker
Pencil
Sharp knife

Instructions:

With a pencil, draw a circle around the bottom of the container of caramel sauce on the top of the pumpkin.

Cut the pumpkin along the circle. Remove the top and clean out the seeds. Reserve the seeds.

Set the container of caramel into the top of the pumpkin.  It should push down so that the top of the container is flush with (or close to flush with) the top of the pumpkin.  If it does not fit at first, carve a little more around the opening of the pumpkin and try again.  Continue this process until the container of caramel fits.

Draw a jack-o-lantern face on the front of the pumpkin.

Set the jack-o-lantern with the caramel sauce in the center of a platter.

Slice apples and arrange them on the platter around the jack-o-lantern.

Now, you have a very cute, very yummy centerpiece for a Halloween party.

After the party, there is more…

Clean off the seeds that you removed and reserved from the pumpkin.  Roast them for another snack.

Pumpkin centerpiece with apples and caramel sauce 2

Slice the pumpkin in half and roast it. Peel off the skin. Put the pulp in the blender to make pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin centerpiece with apples and caramel sauce 3

Pumpkin centerpiece with apples and caramel sauce 4

Pumpkin centerpiece with apples and caramel sauce 4

Use the pumpkin puree to make pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cookies, or another one of your favorite pumpkin treats. Read our recipes for Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Seeds.

Out of my little pumpkin, I made 2 loaves of pumpkin bread and 3 dozen pumpkin-apple muffins (not pictured). I also had some apples leftover after the party that went into the muffins.

Pumpkin centerpiece with apples and caramel sauce 5

Except for the skin and the plastic caramel sauce container, there was really no waste from this cute little centerpiece!

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Copyright © 2009 Betsy West. All rights reserved.

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