Fall is a special time of year for Pam Antonio.

One of the biggest draws for her is Halloween, and she’s been known to go all out for the holiday.

“Someone said to me, ‘Halloween is your holiday,’” she said on a recent night inside the Moscow home she shares with her husband, Rich, and daughter, Julia, 13. (Stepson Richie, 23, is away at graduate school.) “I just love Halloween. The decorations, the parties — it’s so much fun for me.“

And what better way to celebrate the spooky season then with her homemade Graveyard Cups. The recipe — which earned her a $50 gift card to Riccardo’s Market, 1219 Wheeler Ave., Dunmore — are dessert parfaits layered with different kinds of homemade mousse, whipped cream and some sort of either chocolate cookie or graham cracker crumbs. She tops them off with a cookie decorated to look like a headstone and candy bones.

Antonio, a business education teacher at Abington Heights High School, began to make the recipe years ago when she hosted big Halloween parties for family and friends. The cups always were a big hit.

“They’re just so light, and you can pick them up and eat them so easily,” she said.

Antonio made chocolate mousse and peanut butter mousse cups for her guests, though she said cooks can use whatever they like. They can do a mix with layers of each or add their own spin on it, such as by adding fruit or candy.

The mousse in the parfaits she recently prepared felt creamy and light, and each layer complemented the next. They also were as fun to eat as they were to look at, making them the perfect treat to serve at your next spooky get-together.

Growing up, Antonio baked with her mother and grandmother, and to this day, she prefers to make items from scratch rather than buy anything in a store. When her daughter was diagnosed with a peanut allergy as a toddler (which has since gone away), Antonio started experimenting with different flavors. Fall is her favorite time to bake, and some of her creations include Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake; Pumpkin Muffins; pumpkin, banana and apple breads; and Cinnamon Donut Bread.

Just as her mom and grandma instilled in her a love of baking, one of the most important things to Antonio is building family traditions and passing them along. Fall is a wonderful time for that, she said. Ever since the kids were little, the family visited pumpkin patches, carved pumpkins and roasted the seeds every year. Julia loves to go to stores when Halloween decorations come out, and the family loves to watch Halloween television specials and, naturally, Food Network Halloween specials. Her daughter also has shown an interest in baking, learning to make the traditional family recipes and developing some of her own creations.

“It’s an important tradition that I embrace and want to share with her,” Antonio said. “From the things we do as a family to the goodies we bake, it’s all about building those traditions that we’ll pass along for generations to come.”


Pam Antonio’s Graveyard Cups

For chocolate mousse:


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream (divided into
  • 3/4 cup and 1 1/2 cups)


  1. Combine the chopped chocolate and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan, bring 3/4 cup heavy cream to a simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for one minute. Then, whisk until smooth. Let cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer, whip 1 1/2 cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Pour whipped cream onto cold chocolate and fold with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.


For peanut butter mousse:


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar (divided into
  • 1 cup and 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream


  1. Using an electric mixer, whip together the cream, 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  2. Cream together cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add 1 cup powdered sugar. Fold half of the whipped cream mixture into the peanut butter mixture.


For whipped cream:


  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Chill mixing bowl and beaters in freezer for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In shield mixing bowl, add cream, powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form.


To finish:


  • Crushed Oreo cookies (for chocolate mousse cups) or crushed graham crackers (for peanut butter mousse cups), for layers and to top off parfait as “dirt”
  • Chocolate sauce (for peanut butter mousse cups)
  • Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies (for “gravestones”)
  • Black icing (to decorate “gravestones”)
  • Candy bones (to decorate “graveyard”)


  1. Line bottom of cup with either crushed Oreo cookies or graham crackers. Then, layer desired flavor of mousse. (If making peanut butter mousse cups, drizzle chocolate sauce over mousse.) Then, top with layer of whipped cream. Repeat layers until you reach top of cup. Sprinkle either Oreo cookie or graham cracker crumbs to top it off as “dirt.”
  2. For the final touch, use black icing to decorate Milano cookies and push one, vertically, into top of parfait.
  3. Decorate with candy bones.