Scary Halloween Treats & Cool Halloween Monster Cookies
"From ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night..." The next phrase of this well-known prayer calls upon a higher power for deliverance, and normally, I would be right in line for that, but on this singular occasion all bets are off. On All Hallows Eve , every shape and size of ghost and ghoul and beastie is free to roam the streets, begging for all manner of Halloween treats, chocolates and monster cookies - playing Halloween trick-or treat.
My own little Halloween beastie adored trekking from house to house, up and down the streets, ringing our neighbors' doorbells and shouting "Halloween apples, trick-or-treat" at whoever answered. Fortunately we lived in a small town at the time, and knew all our neighbors well, but most years our child's candy predations were constrained to house parties, or the Halloween Spook Fest - a great night of spooky family fun in the school gym.
One particular Fall, when it was my turn to provide treats for our weekly coffee party, I decided to try my hand at Halloween-themed goodies. I have a super recipe for crust-less pumpkin pie, that I baked in ramekins and then carefully decanted onto oak leaf-shaped desert plates, topped off with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
The black-tinted bat and black cat shaped cookies were rich, dark chocolate, decorated with piped-on orange icing details. The goodies were a hit, and one idea led to another. Ultimately, we decided to offer a kid's activity at the up-coming Halloween party at school - Design Your Own Monster Cookie.
Our booth did a roaring business. We charged fifty cents a cookie and advertised that all the proceeds would go to buy new books for the library. At that time, the town library shared space in the school, and relied on donations of pre-owned books. Its inventory was in dire need of replenishing.
A bunch of teachers got together to build and run a Haunted House. They were terrifically creative, right down to the bowl of peeled grape "eyeballs", and spaghetti "earthworms" swimming in lukewarm, slightly runny tapioca pudding - now there was a disgusting texture.
The high school science teacher volunteered a pickled calf's brain, but the smell of formaldehyde was a bit too strong so we passed on that one.
Shortbread Witches Fingers
My favorite cookie for decorating is a plain sugar cookie recipe.
It can be rolled out nice and thick and tinted a variety of lovely Halloween colors - pumpkin orange, witch black, graveyard brown, and bright, slimy green.
I usually make a double recipe and divide the dough into three or four batches, depending on how many colors I want to use.
Some of the cookie dough may be left plain and covered with a white icing glaze for a ghostly effect.
Wilton has a great line of chocolate and chocolate making accessories. I wish they had been available when I was in Halloween party mode.
I have used them as a product demonstrator, though, and I can vouch for the quality of their cany melts. They melt smoothly and quickly in the microwave, and come in a wonderful variety of Halloween colors.
Usually around Halloween, we would feature a series of "kids' clubs" activities at the front of the store. The kids and the customers got a big kick out of them, and they were great for business.
One of the kids' favorite activities, next to making chocolate lollipops in Halloween shapes and colors, was decorating a monster cookie to eat there or take home. Our Wilton instructor would set up her display, and demonstrate decorating cupcakes with scary Halloween faces.
Halloween Spider & Bug Themed Cupcakes
To save time, we used slice-and-bake refrigerator sugar cookie dough, and brought them fresh from home to the event. We always had several flavors and colors of icing for spreading, as well as supply of Wilton tubes of thin decorator icing.
Even though the children's parents were required to sign waivers and guarantee their children were nut-allergy free, we stayed away from any kind of nuts to decorate the monster cookies.
Instead we laid in a supply of M&Ms, seedless raisins, candy fruit slices (great for mouths and ears), candy corn, and colored sprinkles.
The kids used a dab of Royal Icing to secure the candied fruit-slice ears. Some cut off the "rind" and used that for wiggly eyebrows, preferring M&Ms or Skittles for the mouth.
One creative young soul used a piece of "rind" to make a wavy mouth and arranged an uneven row of Skittles "fangs". She had bitten off one end of each candy, and the broken ends protruding from the gaping mouth added a funny, snaggle-toothed look to her monster.
For a home party, barring allergies, you could also add toasted and tinted coconut, halved peanuts, and slivered almonds. Slivered almonds make great scary teeth.
Haystacks, or unbaked chocolate drop cookies, made with rolled oats, coconut, cocoa, and sugar, can be quickly patted into bat shapes for a great variation on the Halloween theme.
You have to work fast though, as the cookies set up quite quickly once they cool. Older kids can help with this activity, but the dough is quite hot at first so care should be taken with little fingers.
More tasty Halloween treats
© 2009 RedElf
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