Tag Archives: Halloween
22 Oct

Nerds cupcakes with Laffy Taffy Frosting

 

Remember when I told you last week that I was going to show you lots of ways to turn your Halloween candy into cupcakes?

It’s happening.

We’re all about to have more candy than we know what to do with.

It’s inevitable.

Why not turn that candy into cupcakes?

Not because any of us needs more sugar, but because it’s just so darn fun.

For these particular cupcakes, we’re using up some Laffy Taffy candies and Nerds because those are two candies that will be in almost every kid’s trick or treat bag.

For the cake part of the cupcake, just use your favorite vanilla cake recipe. You can even use a boxed vanilla cake mix if you want.

Just before you fill your lined muffin cups, fold in a few small boxes of nerds candy, and bake according to your directions.

While the cupcakes cool you can get started on the frosting.

 

Laffy Taffy Frosting:

Adapted from Bake it in a Cupcake.

12 pieces of fun-sized Laffy Taffy (use one flavor)

2 Tbsp heavy cream

2 sticks of butter

2 cups powdered sugar

food coloring if the color isn’t dark enough for you.

 

Add the Laffy Taffy and heavy cream to a small sauce pan set over low heat and stir until everything is melted together.

Remove from heat so the mixture can cool a bit.

Using your hand or stand mixer, whip the butter for 3-4 minutes until it is smooth, light in color, and very fluffy.

Slowly add in the powdered sugar a little at a time until it is incorporated into the butter.

Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl every now and then.

With the mixer running, very slowly add in the melted and cooled Laffy Taffy and cream mixture and continue mixing until everything is fluffy and completely incorporated.

The frosting should be very pale in color. If you want your frosting to be a little deeper in color, add a few drops of food coloring and mix until the frosting becomes the color that you want.

Pipe or spread the frosting on top of your cupcakes and top with a few Nerds.

If you prefer your frosting to be piled high on each cupcake, just double the recipe.

Top with Pop-Rocks if you aren’t a fan of Nerds.

 

 

 

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Daily Bento

22 Oct

batty bento

Last year I made one Halloween themed lunch.

One.

Unacceptable.

I can’t promise that there will be a spooky lunch every day leading up to Halloween day but I can tell you that this year there will definitely be more than one.

Cam was Batgirl last year for Halloween. She wants to be Batgirl again this year (luckily the costume still fits) so when I was trying to come up with a theme for the first Halloween lunch this year, I didn’t have to think too hard.

My inspiration 🙂

The only problem that I ran into this morning was the fact that I didn’t have a cookie with the letter R on it so BAT GIRL had to become BAT KID.

No biggie.

She’s still a kid so it works.

In today’s bat-filled lunch, Cam has three bat sandwiches, Newman’s Own chocolate cookies, pretzel “windows” with a bat flying by, a few strawberries to represent blood (these are vampire bats after all), cheesy moons in a pink bat head with another little bat flying by, and some bat-shaped apples.

21 Oct

 

If there is anything that fills me with more terror than animatronics or wax figures, it’s spiders.

I’m sure they mean well, and they have no interest in bothering me at all but I don’t care.

I try to stay as far away from them as possible.

It’s basically why I got married. I have a round the clock spider killer now.

And the best part, other than the fact that he works for free, is that he doesn’t do that stupid thing that men do after they’ve killed a spider for you where they act like they’re going to throw it on you and then laugh as you shriek in terror and start climbing the walls.

So stupid.

That’s grounds for divorce in my book.

I’m pretty sure that any reasonable judge would understand.

“Yes your honor, that’s correct, he pretended to throw a spider at me and then laughed as I ran screaming out the front door and down the street in front of all of our neighbors.”

And can I just say, reparations for emotional damages wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

My spiders aren’t scary. They’re actually pretty sweet even though they do have a bit of an ick factor.

They’re also easy so they are welcome in my house any day.

To make them, the first thing you need to do is make a bunch of Oreo Truffles.

If you have never had these, put them on your to-do list asap.

They’re so good and you can use any flavor of Oreos.

I will say that I prefer to use chocolate chips or candy melts with a little splash of vegetable oil for dipping rather than the Baker’s chocolate called for in the recipe, but you do whatever your heart desires.

To make the spiders, first make two different sized truffles. You’ll need a smaller sized round truffle for the head, and a larger sized truffle for the body. Just use your hands to shape the body so that it looks like a spider’s body.

But before you shape the body completely, add a Gusher (you know those fruit snacks kids love that have the juicy centers?) to the middle and form the truffle around it. That way when people bite into the spider’s body, they’ll get a disgusting yet tasty surprise.

After you’ve dipped the truffles in chocolate, sprinkle on some black sugar sprinkles (this gives them a gross hairy look) and put them on parchment paper to set up. You need to add the sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet though or they won’t stick.

While the truffles are hardening, cut strips of black licorice. You’ll need 8 legs per spider (obviously).

To assemble, just lay the head and body of the spider onto a frosted cupcake. Then carefully tuck the legs into the frosting under the body.

You can pipe or dab on bright green frosting for the eyes, or you can just attach candy eyes while the chocolate is still wet.

 

18 Oct

candy corn cupcakes

Here’s the thing…

These cupcakes are another baked treat that was made way before I ever thought about starting a blog.

So… they’re not exactly what I’d call picture perfect.

Obviously, that yellow layer should be a bit larger but I think you get the general idea here.

In fact, this whole concept is so easy that I’m not even going to post a recipe.

You just need white cake batter.

You can use a boxed mix.

You can use a scratch mix.

The mix doesn’t matter here, just the method.

Whatever cake recipe or mix you use, adding 1/2 tsp of almond extract will make your cupcakes taste very similar to candy corn. It’s not necessary but it sure does make them taste yummy.

Once your batter is all mixed up and ready for the oven, pour half of the batter into one bowl and add a few drops of orange food coloring. Add the rest of the batter to another bowl and add a few drops of yellow food coloring.

If you don’t have orange food coloring, just add a couple drops of red and a couple drops of yellow and mix. Repeat the process until you get the shade of orange that works for you.

Mix both batters until each color is well incorporated.

See where I’m going with this?

Now fill your cupcake liners about 1/3 of the way with the yellow batter, and fill another 1/3 of the way with the orange batter.

Bake until the tops spring back when you press them gently and frost with your favorite white frosting once they’ve cooled completely.

To make candy corn flavored whipped cream frosting or any candy flavored whipped cream frosting for that matter: Put a big handful of candy and 3 cups of heavy cream into an air-tight container. Seal it up and leave it in your refrigerator overnight.

When you’re ready to make the frosting, strain the heavy cream and whip it on high until soft peaks form. Then slowly pour in a little sugar and continue mixing until it becomes stiff enough for you to pipe or spread on your cooled cupcakes.

How much sugar?

Good question. It largely depends on the candy you’re using. I usually just add a bit, and then taste, add a bit and then taste, until it’s sweet enough.

The candy corn will make the cream pretty sweet so you shouldn’t need too much sugar.

When it comes to candy flavored frosting, it’s best to stick with one flavor. Like banana Laffy Taffy Frosting and not a mish-mash of different flavored Laffy Taffy.

Things can get weird in flavor town.

Once all of your cupcakes are frosted, place a candy corn on top to drive the concept home.

16 Oct

I hope you’re ready to talk cupcakes.

Because that’s what’s happening today… and then for the next few days after that.

There will be cupcakes with surprises inside and cupcakes with creepy things on top.

We’ll even use a few different cupcakes as a way to use up some of that Halloween candy we’re sure to have lying around on November 1st.

Today we won’t be doing any of that though.

Today is for cupcakes that are easy and quick.

Cupcakes that only require two ingredients, a little mixing, and a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla frosting on top.

I’m partial to the whipped cream on top of these cupcakes. It really makes them taste as close to an actual root beer float as they’re ever going to but if you prefer to use canned frosting, go for it! Just make sure it’s vanilla flavored.

As I always say, if you’re opposed to convenience foods like boxed cake mixes, look away now.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes:

1 box white cake mix

1 can of your favorite root beer

1. Lightly grease your muffin tin or fill with paper liners.

2. Dump your cake mix into a big bowl.

3. Add a can of root beer.

4. Mix until there are no lumps.

5. Fill your muffin tin about 3/4 of the way with the cake batter

6. Bake at the temperature printed on the box of cake mix until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when you touch them.

7. Let the cupcakes cool completely and then frost with whipped cream or vanilla frosting.

To make whipped cream:

Whip about a cup of heavy cream with half of a teaspoon of vanilla. Once it has stiffened a bit, slowly pour in a couple tablespoons of sugar and continue whisking until the sugar is dissolved and the cream is stiff enough to pipe or frost the cupcakes with.

You can leave the cupcakes just as they are at this point or top with Halloween colored candies. I used Sixlets.

15 Oct

I really hope you guys like cupcakes because I have quite a few to share with you over the next couple of weeks.

If you’re looking for cupcake ideas for your upcoming Halloween party, or even some ideas for how to use up all that candy you’re sure to have very soon, I may have some ideas for you. 😉

Those two cupcakes up there might look time-consuming but actually, they’re pretty easy if you have access to a silicone mold.

I found my skull molds at my local dollar store but you may also find them at craft and baking supply stores as well.

Making the skulls is easy, just pour some melted white chocolate or white candy melts into your molds (assuming you have the molds of course) and wait for them to set up completely. I put mine in the freezer because I’m impatient.

Once the skulls are set, you can literally just pop them right out of the molds and use them however you like.

If you want to make red or blood-shot eyes, just dab a little red food coloring on the inside of the molds with a paper towel or small paint brush before you pour the white chocolate in.

The skull on the left is sitting on a heart made of marbled fondant. I’m a big fan of homemade marshmallow fondant. But if you’re not interested in making any, you can always use the packaged stuff from a baking supply store. It won’t be nearly as tasty though.

This is the recipe and method that I use to make fondant.

Whether you’re using the pre-made stuff or the homemade stuff, you’ll need to color it if you’re going to be doing any marbling. Just add a few drops of color and knead the fondant until you see the marbling that you want.

Then roll out the fondant with a rolling pin until you reach your desired thickness and cut out with a small heart-shaped cutter or the cutter of your choice.

Lay the fondant cut-out on top of the frosted cupcake, set your fancy skull on top, and get ready for lots of ooohs and aaaahs from your friends and family.

I like to use pliable candy like Starburst, Tootsie Rolls, and Airheads to make any additional details like the pink rose buds and bows.

If fondant isn’t for you, you can always use the molds to make the skulls and then just place them on top of your frosted cupcakes…

And… if you prefer a healthier treat, just fill the molds with your kids’ favorite yogurt and freeze until set. I like to add sprinkles or creepy candy eyes to the eye sockets before I fill the molds with yogurt:

14 Oct

That’s right.

I still have a few more tricks and treats to share.

I told you Halloween is my favorite!

These sweet witch hats only require two ingredients and just like everything else I’ve shared so far, are easy to make.

This would be another great project for little hands to help with. If your kids like playing with play-doh, they will love this.

All you need are Tootsie Rolls Minis and caramels. I use the individually wrapped caramels from Kraft for this but use whatever you have as long as it is soft enough to mold.

To make the witch hats:

1. Warm the Tootsie Roll up in your hand a bit by rolling it back and forth.

2. Form the Tootsie Roll into a cone shape. You want it to be wider at the bottom and more narrow at the top. You can do this in your hand or on a flat surface.

3. Take the larger side of your Tootsie Roll and press it down on a flat surface to create the hat’s brim.

4. Pinch the brim a little with your fingers to flatten it out even more.

5. Pinch the narrow end of the Tootsie Roll to make a pointy top. You can leave it pointy or fold it over a bit like I did.

6. Pinch off a small piece of caramel and roll it in your hands to warm it up a bit.

7. Roll it into a log/snake shape.

8. Wrap the caramel around the base of your witch hat.

9. If you want a more fabric-like appearance to your hat, just press lines into the Tootsie Roll using a toothpick.

If the cone-shape thing just isn’t happening for you, don’t worry. Once the Tootsie Roll is warm enough, you can pretty much just shape it by hand.

I put mine on top of some cupcakes but you can use these however you like. Make these a day or two ahead, store them in an air-tight container, and then use them when you’re ready.

11 Oct

These crunchy creepers were made a few years ago, back before I ever thought of starting a blog.

So… unfortunately, I don’t have as many pictures to share as I’d like but I think you can get the idea from the picture above.

Basically, you just make Rice Kripies Treats, mold them a little with your hands while they’re warm, and then use various candies to decorate their creepy faces.

Everything from licorice, to candy corn, to m&m’s, to jelly beans, to chocolate chips – anything goes here.

Use the recipe on the cereal box, or use my favorite treats recipe. I prefer to increase the butter and decrease the cereal called for in the original recipe. I prefer a gooier Rice Krispies Treat.

My go to recipe for Krispies Treats:

Melt 1/2 a stick of butter in a large sauce pan.

Add a bag (usually around 10.5 oz) of mini-marshmallows and stir over low heat until melted.

Turn off the heat and add 5 cups rice cereal. Stir to combine.

To make the heads:

While it’s still warm, grab a handful of the mixture and shape it into a mostly oval shape. Then pinch in the sides a little until it resembles a skull.

Place your candies on top to add facial features. The candy should stick if the treats are still warm. If not, you can use a little frosting or honey as glue.

10 Oct

 

Here’s another super simple and kid friendly treat.

I made these candy corn parfaits for our Halloween party last year and they took me all of about 10 minutes to put together and that included whipping the cream.

The bottom layer is banana pudding, the middle layer is mandarin oranges, and the top layer is freshly whipped cream sweetened with a little sugar.

I had the little wooden spoons left over from Cam’s birthday party so I just wrapped each one with a little Halloween themed sticky ribbon I found on sale at Michael’s and stuck them in the parfait glasses. You can also usually find small wooden and plastic spoons at most party stores.

My “parfait” glasses are actually votive holders that were never used. I ordered a ton of them for my wedding a few years ago and ended up only using a handful so that left me plenty of extras for party parfaits!

I love using them for parties because they’re just the right size for little ones or for adults to have a small bite of something. They’re also much cheaper than parfait glasses.

You can find clear votive holders at most craft stores for a pretty reasonable price. Be sure to look for any available coupons before you go.

 

9 Oct

Have you seen these floating around the interwebs?

I have no idea where the original idea came from but it’s genius.

Seriously, check out how easy these are to make:

1. Cut an apple into thin wedges

2. Smear some peanut butter onto each wedge.

3. Lay a few mini marshmallows on top of an apple wedge.

4. Top with another apple wedge.

That’s it!

For an extra gross factor, you could also add a couple drops of green food coloring to some shredded coconut and mix it up with your hands. Then stick some coconut strands in between the teeth.