Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I dressed up and trick-or-treated well into my, ahem, teenage years, until my boyfriend gently suggested that we could just buy our own candy and attend a costume party to get the same effect. I put away my cape and hung up my candy bag, but I still have plenty of accoutrements for this season.
Rubber and acrylic stamps.
Cookie cutters and other miscellaneous baking accessories.
This year, though, we were going to be out of town the entire week before Halloween, getting back the afternoon of the 30th. This somewhat curtailed my Halloween activities this year, but I still rushed to put together my cards. I got them glittered just in time.
It's hard to see, but the brown border is cut-out spiders, and the text is from Edgar Allen Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher". Love.
I always bake for Halloween. I initially made ghosts to go in gift boxes, but my royal icing was too thin and the black ran into the white.
No matter. I used the extra royal icing to make "monster eyes" and decided on my old fall-back: cake pops.
Cake pops are so easy to make. A box of cake mix, a can of frosting, and a bag of candy melts, and you're in business. Bake up the cake, crumble it, and mix in between 1/2 and 1 cup of frosting to obtain a Play-Doh-like texture.
I always use Wilton Candy Melts, which are around $2 a bag and come in many colors. I melt them and thin the consistency with a little canola oil. Works like a charm. This year I bought green and pink candy melts, because I decided to make zombies and brains.
I had a 'brain' plastic mold, so I used my (clean!) fingers to spread some melted pink candy inside.
I froze the mold for 4 minutes so the candy could harden. Then I removed it from the freezer and pressed cake into the cavity.
I spooned a generous portion of candy on top and spread it out with my fingers.
Back in the freezer for 5 minutes, and they're done. They can be stored at room temperature for over a week...the candy acts as a seal and keeps the cake moist.
In the immortal words of Eymorg Kara on the original Star Trek: "Brain and brain! What is brain?"
The zombies were just as easy. I rolled rough round-ish balls of cake. The green candy melts were melted, and I rolled the end of a lollypop stick in the liquid and inserted that end into the cake pop. I froze them for 20 minutes. Next, I just dipped the ball in the green melt, tapped off the excess, and attached two "monster eyes" - asymmetrical for effect.
I let them harden on the edge of a cooling rack...
...and in holes punched in an egg carton.
They are completely dry within 30 minutes.
I bought the lollypop sticks at a craft store, along with little plastic bags to protect them in shipping. The ties? Black cotton thread.
Zombies and brains...a perfect pair for a Halloween snack.
Hopefully next year I can publish a Halloween craft/recipe before the actual holiday, but these are quick and easy enough to get a few together in a few hours if you've got the time before tonight. I used one box of cake mix, most of a can of frosting, and two bags of candy melts for 12 brains and 26 zombies.