Tag Archives: Halloween

Chocolate Halloween Pretzels

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An alternate heading and photo I probably should have led with:

What Not To Do When You Move

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In the spirit of putting away some extra food for a rainy day, I have a 5-gallon bucket full of chocolate chips (of various varieties). Shown above: what used to be a bag of Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chips, Costco-sized bag. My favorite.

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Don’t judge my food storage choices. When the zombie apocalypse hits, what do you really want to eat: cracked wheat porridge or chocolate?

Before moving last year, I did not think about the effects that a month of sitting in the back of a moving truck in June/July, would have on my precious bucket of chocolate chips. So instead of a bucket full of chocolate chips, I had a bucket full of chocolate bricks. I have finally made it through the last bag!

The struggle is real.

This is certainly a lemonade from lemons kind of first-world dilemma. We ended up with some fun chocolate dipped pretzels to share at a recent Fall Fest.

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Don’t want to bother remelting the chocolate block? It also makes a good paperweight.

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Filed under Candy, Desserts

Halloween Spider Cookies

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Looking for an easy way to turn a chocolate chip cookie into a chocolate spider cookie? A few melted chocolate chips and a piping bag are all you need!

Use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (mine is below) and cut the normal amount of chips you use about it half. After baking, add 3-4 chocolate chips to the tops of the hot cookies. Melt some more chips in a piping bag (or Ziploc bag) and use a narrow tip to pipe legs onto your spider bodies.

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Chocolate Chip Spider Cookies

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¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 Tbs cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat into butter mixture. Stir in ½ cup chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonsful onto baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Gently press 3-4 chocolate chips onto the top of each HOT cookie (these will be the spider bodies). Cool cookies on wire racks.

Place remaining chocolate chips (about 3/4 cup) in a pastry bag or Ziploc bag. Microwave for 30 seconds. Knead bag with your fingers to melt chips. Heat for an additional 10-15 seconds, if necessary.

Using a very thin tip, pipe legs around the spider bodies (chocolate chips). Let chocolate harden completely before storing.

Makes 3 dozen cookies


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Roasted Pumpkin (Squash) Seeds

What to do with all of the seeds from your recently carved Jack-o-Lantern or roasted pumpkins and winter squash? Whatever you do, don’t throw them away! Save them for a super delicious (and nutritious) snack that will keep you out of your kids’ Halloween candy.

Seeds from any variety of winter squash or pumpkin can be roasted and eaten.

Scrape pumpkin/squash and remove pulp and seeds.

Separate seeds from pulp, discarding pulp. Rinse the seeds and pat dry with paper towels or a dishtowel. Place the dry seeds in a shallow pie plate or roasting pan.

Seeds can be cooked immediately, or allowed to further dry first. Drying the seeds longer will make them less chewy, more crisp. This will help if you tend to get things stuck in your teeth or dental work.

To dry, let seeds air dry in a shallow pan for several hours up to several days, stirring occasionally, to keep them from sticking to one another.

Stir in seasonings and roast seeds until they are a golden brown.

Roasted pumpkin, butternut squash and acorn squash seeds.

Roasted Delicata squash seeds (small yellow squash with green stripes). These are especially delicious. Very tender.


Roasted Pumpkin or Squash Seeds

2 cups rinsed and dried pumpkin or winter squash seeds
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp hot (spicy) Hungarian paprika

Place seeds on a foil lined (I like non-stick foil) baking sheets. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter and stir in remaining seasonings. Pour over seeds in pan and stir until well coated.

Roast for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until seeds are golden brown. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Yield: 2 cups roasted seeds


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Filed under Appetizers, Tips and Tutorials

Halloween Humor

Why did the Mushroom get invited to all the parties?

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‘Cuz he’s a fungi!

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Pumpkin Oat Waffles with Cinnamon Syrup


Happy Halloween!

It is not feeling much like Halloween here in western Pennsylvania. On Monday, in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, school was cancelled (Tue) and delayed (Wed), trick-or-treating was moved to Saturday, and school Halloween parties and parades moved to Friday. Gratefully, we had much less of an impact from the storm than was predicted, so kids are back at school today (on time!). But with all of the Halloween activities for today postponed, it feels like just another wet, slushy Wednesday.

We were all prepared to wake up on Tuesday without power, but instead we had a great day at home together with nothing on the schedule! I love days like that. Days that can start with a great breakfast full of healthy things like pumpkin and oats and topped with unhealthy things like a thick homemade cinnamon syrup.

New at waffle making? Try these Tips for Making Great Waffles.


Pumpkin Oat Waffles

  • Servings: Makes 20 small waffles
  • Print


2 cups flour
¾ cup rolled oats
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

2 cups buttermilk
4 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup brown sugar

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix. Combine wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. Use a mixer to beat thoroughly. Beat in dry ingredients until just mixed. Do not stir batter after mixing.

Use a ladle or measuring cup to pour batter evenly into hot waffle maker (about 2 cups for the 4 small Belgian waffles in my waffle maker). Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or according to directions on your waffle maker. Remove waffles from waffle maker and place on a wire rack (not a plate). Serve immediately or keep warm in a warm oven (very low heat).

Makes about 5 large Belgian waffles (20 small squares)

Cinnamon Syrup

¾ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbs butter
½ tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm.


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Filed under Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Condiments/Sauces

Chocolate Covered Bat and Mummy Cookies

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Mummy Cookies have long been a tradition for Halloween baking at our house. It is our only Halloween baking tradition. Until today! We have now added chocolate covered bat cookies to our short list of Halloween favorites.

I added mint extract to a chocolate cut-out cookie recipe and covered the cookies in a dark chocolate coating. These quickly became the adult favorite. Neither Brian nor I are a big fan of white chocolate. But a cookie that tastes like a Girls’ Scout Thin Mint cookie? Absolutely!

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I used an orange gel icing for the eyes, but it didn’t set firmly. Next time I will use a bright orange melted colored candy coating to make eyes. I had a pale green colored chocolate that I thought would look nice, but it was too pale, so I went with the gel icing.

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A naked bat ready to take the plunge:

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These white chocolate covered chocolate mummies are still the kids’ favorite (except for Little A- I usually make a few vanilla mummies for him, and he picks the eyes off).


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For recipe and details on making Mummy Cookies, click HERE.


Chocolate Covered Bat Cookies

  • Servings: about 4 dozen
  • Print

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2 ½ cups flour
1 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
10 Tbs butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1  tsp pure peppermint extract, optional
about 2 pounds dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
colored candy coating or frosting for eyes

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add eggs and peppermint extract. Slowly add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated.

Divide dough in half and place on two large pieces of plastic wrap. Wrap dough securely in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1-2 hours, or several days.

When ready to bake, place dough on a new piece of plastic wrap. Press with hands to make a thick disk of dough. Place another piece of plastic wrap over dough and use a rolling pin to flatten dough to about 1/4 inch. Remove top piece of plastic wrap and cut out cookies with a cookie cutter.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until dry to the touch. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool.

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler (melt chocolate slowly). Dunk cookies into melted chocolate. Use a fork to turn the cookie over in the chocolate. Pick up the cookie with the fork, let excess chocolate drip off, and gently scrape bottom against edge of bowl. Place on parchment (or waxed paper)-lined baking sheets. Let chocolate harden. (TIME SAVING NOTE: You can also just use your fingers to hold the cookie and only dunk the top and sides of the cookie, gently scraping the excess chocolate off of the top of the cookie before placing it on the parchment paper) To make eyes, place melted candy coating in a Ziploc or pastry bag. Poke a small hole in the end with a toothpick and pipe eyes onto bats.

Makes about 4 dozen, depending on the size of your cookies.

Cookie dough recipe adapted from Martha Stewart



Filed under Cookies, Desserts