Peanut Butter Cups

Happy Halloween! I am happy to report that even in our apartment building– a land of twenty-something professionals and graduate students– we got to see a few mini humans dressed as super heroes tonight. (Apparently plastering a sign that said “Welcome Trick-or-Treaters” ensured that we would not have to eat an entire bowl of candy by ourselves. Phew.)

I would have loved to give the little munchkins homemade treats like these peanut butter cups, but we don’t yet know our neighbors very well, and I didn’t want any paranoid parents thinking I was hiding razor blades in all that sweet, sweet chocolate. So I opted for pre-wrapped twix bars.

My guests last Friday night weren’t so lucky. They had to eat these by the dozen. Poor souls.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful evening, filled with treats and void of tricks. Happy Halloween!

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Witches’ Fingers

Well, spooky winds are blowing, but not just for Halloween. Here on the East Coast, we’re hunkering down for Hurricane Sandy. We have flashlights, candles, water, and food. And by food, I mean mostly sugar-based leftovers from our Halloween Party. Like these fantastically creepy cookies.

The original recipe called for dyeing the almond fingernails red, but that seemed a little bit labor intensive even for me. So I left them cream-colored and figured the almond skin on the edges looked like dirt. Speaking of dirt, I loved the idea of using crushed up sandwich cookies as soil. And I loved the idea of making cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream with the leftovers even more.

I’ll be back in a couple days– provided we don’t blow away– with one more Halloween-ish recipe: homemade peanut butter cups. Although if you’re like me, there’s no way they could ever be confined to just one holiday.

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Eyeball Cupcakes

Gabe and I are busy preparing to host a Halloween party that’s happening in, oh, less than three hours, and we’ve made a smorgasbord of treats. Creepy stuff like this isn’t usually my forte, but I saw these cupcakes and just had to make them. (Perhaps I was channeling my ophthalmologist father who obviously doesn’t find eyeballs creepy?) Kudos to Gabe for the awesome blood-vessel-piping skills!

This was, believe it or not, my first vanilla cupcake that didn’t come from a boxed mix. In the spirit of “make-it-from-scratch-osity” I decided to go super homemade. These little babies delivered. Gabe pronounced them “better-than-Magnolia’s.” At least, I think that’s what he said. His mouth was full of cupcake.

P.S. Here’s a sneak peek of another spooky treat we’re serving tonight! Recipe to follow!

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Homemade Candy Corn

You may have noticed a tiny new feature on the bottom left corner of my blog. It’s a quote from Julia Child that says, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

I put that quote there as a gentle reminder this week, while I was about halfway through a battle with homemade candy corn.

It’s ironic… this recipe was supposed to be my victorious return to the kitchen after my soufflops. Proof that I actually knew my way around a spatula. But I forgot one teensy little lesson I learned last fall: my candy thermometer is off. Way off.

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