It’s October and Halloween build-up is officially on. I’ve been seeing huge bags of assorted candy in the stores since August. I saw my neighbors start to put out their Halloween yard art in September. But I have a hard and fast rule: no Halloween anything until October. But now it’s October: Unleash the kraken (always wanted to say that but anyone know what it means?). It’s all out, full on Halloween season. There’s a chance that I may not do much complaining about my kids in my posts this month. I’m just too busy this time of year.
Front door crime scene
When my kids were little, I’d have Halloween treats daily, decorations all over the place, a costume party at the house for all their friends with treats and crafts and games (OK, and maybe adult drinks for the parents). I was not just a Room Mom for both of their classroom Halloween parties, but was usually assigned Head Room Mom (literally running back and forth between the two parties). I would dress in costume at the school, and again for whatever adult parties Rick and I were going to that year. In later years, when my boys had outgrown school parties I would fill the basement with home-made treats and kids would pour in. We could have 40 kids down there (but at least I knew where they were).
Now I have no excuse, so I make no excuses. My boys are older and have outgrown Halloween to a great extent (although they still think they should ring a few select doorbells and grab some candy just for old time’s sake). Unfortunately for them, their Mom hasn’t quite caught up. I haven’t outgrown Halloween and wonder if I ever will. On October 1st I decorate the house and start baking. For the past few years I’ve driven all of my FB friends crazy posting pictures, two and three times a week, of whatever Halloween treats had caught my attention and been attempted in my kitchen. My sister put it best: “you sure know how to amuse yourself this time of year”.
On your mark. Get set. GO! Let the amusement begin. You certainly won’t hear my kids (or their friends) complain.
Towards the end of the month, if the boys are going to have kids over on Halloween, we vote for our favorite treats from the month and that’s what I make for Halloween night. A few times a week this month I’ll share some of the all-time favorites that win every year, and some of the new favorites that will make the cut for next year. Here’s one of Older Son’s favorites from years past, it’s a mini cookie we call "Candy Corn” Poppers:
"Candy Corn" Poppers
Use either your favorite cut-out cookie dough or use a pouch of store bought sugar cookie mix, mixed with: 5 ½ Tbsp butter (softened), 1 egg and 1 Tbsp of flour until it forms a dough.
Yellow food coloring
Orange food coloring
3 Tbsp baking cocoa
*Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap so that the wrap spills over all ends of the pan.
*Divide the dough into thirds. To one third, add the orange food coloring, to one third add the baking cocoa and the other third you can leave as is or add yellow food coloring.
*As best you can roll out the orange dough between sheets of plastic wrap until approx. the size of the loaf pan.
*Put this dough into the bottom of the pan. Manipulate it so it covers the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
*Roll out the brown dough in the same way. Place gently on top of the orange dough. Get it as even as you can, but don’t press down. You don’t want the colors to mix, you want one on top of the other.
*Repeat with the yellow dough. Refrigerate 1 ½ hours until firm. I often just do this the day before.
*When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take dough out and cut into slices about ¼ inch thick. Lay each slice flat and cut at an angle so you’re making small triangles:
*Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Cookies will hold their shape better if you put them into the fridge on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before you bake.*Bake 6-7 minutes. Watch them, don’t let them get brown. Cool one minute, then remove from cookie sheet.