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Do we have any other zombie-bakers in the house? If so, this post is dedicated to you.

Every time I visit a baking website or store I come up with new ideas for Halloween recipes and creepy food presentation. If you’ve been to the site before you may have realized this already. So far I’ve covered this year’s new Halloween-themed cupcake and cake options, and I’ve finally found some cookie cutters that befit our creepy kitchens. Cuz we know the traditional pumpkin and cat shapes are old hat.
In the shapes of hands and feet, these small cookie cutters will make a delicious spread fit for zombies and cannibals alike. This could actually be one of the most simple, yet impressively presented, homemade treats in your spooky arsenal. I picture just small amounts of red icing on the fingertips & toenails (or almond slivers, as many “witch’s fingers” recipes suggest) and some of the digits being snipped off or malformed before baking. Unlike other roll-out/cookie cutter recipes, you won’t have to spend copious amounts of time frosting each one to make it look fantastic, and you won’t have to resort to those nasty pre-made dough packages from the store. One more upswing is less frosting = less sugar during a time when everything is loaded with sugar. Here’s an idea of what a stack of hand cookies looks like, and how deforming the hands and feet can give it an even creepier appearance.

Traditional cookie cutter recipes tend to be of the white flour & white sugar variety, but I’ve got a great recipe that comes out a rich brown (“rotting hand brown”, shall we say?) and can be considered a low sugar treat. It’s actually sweetened only by molasses (which is actually a very concentrated sweetener!) but you can add a bit of maple syrup or sugar/fructose/stevia/xylitol before baking or sprinkle the unbaked hands and feet with a light dusting of sugar before popping them into the oven. I make this recipe frequently, and everyone except the ginger-hating crowd has given them great reviews.

Molasses Sweetened Ginger Cookies

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (I like 1/2 spelt, 1/2 w.w.)
  • 2 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup margarine (Earth Balance brand is great)
  • 1 cup unsulfered molasses (corn for lighter taste or blackstrap for a full-bodied taste)
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup or unbleached sugar (optional)

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately then add together to form a thick, soft dough. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Grease cookie sheet. For rollout cookies, shape dough into 2 large balls and roll out on floured surface for cutting out. For drop cookies, roll into small balls and flatten with the bottom of a greased glass. 1/4″ thickness will produce crispy texture, and thicker cookies will be softer. If desired, sprinkle lightly with sugar before baking. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.

Let us know what you think of this recipe, and if you make some hand or feet cookies we’d love to see pictures!

Posted on September 25th, 2006 in
Halloween Food by Lauren

Miss Horrorfest“She is cold, she is beautiful, she is evil… she is Miss Horrorfest. Do you have what it takes to be the Queen of Horror?” taunts the lush lips in the YouTube video. Horrorfest is a weekend of 8 films taking place November 17-19, 2006. It’s put on by After Dark Films, and they’re looking for a new Queen of Scream. The Grand Prize winner will receive $50,000 and reign as Miss Horror Fest for 1 year. If you ever wished you could be Elvira or Vampira, this is the perfect contest for you. It’s judged on physical presentation, best costume, scariest appearance, and personality, with each criteria being worth 1/4 of the score. You can either upload a video to their YouTube page (where voting also occurs), or participate in one of the 5 live auditions.

We agree with the majority of the comments regarding the current entry videos: no thanks. But this is great news for the women who are genuinely interested in being involved in the horror film industry, and have the skillz and personality to pull it off. Ladies, you still have an excellent chance at winning! I think everyone would like to see some more quality entries, so polish up that macabre character you’ve been working on and get those camera rolling.

Posted on September 24th, 2006 in
Halloween Events, Halloween Fun by Lauren

In Case of Zombie...I know these pictures are quickly making the rounds through the Interweb, but they’re too awesome not to mention. In preparation for the Zompocalypse, a few crafty individuals have created their own (cool-looking but non-functional) Zombie Preparedness kits. The original seems to have come via Gizmodo, and might have been a promo item for the slaughtering-zombies-in-a-mall 360 game, Dead Rising (although one person claims it originated in the SomethingAwful forums). They consist of a shadowbox containing a gun, bullets, and some clever stencilling and/or Photoshop magic. They’re probably not a particularly time-consuming or difficult project, but would definitely set the mood and start some interesting conversation where ever they are placed! If you create your own Zombie Preparedness kit (for Halloween decor or as a precautionary measure), we’d love to see your take on the idea. Your options are pretty much limitless.

In Case of Zombie...As expected, there has been some discussion of the weapon choice on the various websites that these have been mentioned. The tourists balk about the absence of a flame-thrower or chainsaw, and Zombie Survival Handbook purists have lots of suggestions of their own. (The latter is one of my favorite groups of people, as they are the only ones who will engage you in a passionate explanation of how to properly re-dead the undead.) Personally, I’m torn. Looks-wise, a big old solitary shotgun is going to create a visual impact that no other weapon will. However, as someone who actually works on a plan of attack for the Zompocalypse, I want to see an assortment of mid-sized blades and rifles and way more than a couple boxes of bullets. In Case of Zombie... Maybe I’m taking this project too seriously? Eh, I doubt that’s possible. Perhaps someone should just make a compromise. Maybe start with a big wall safe where all the real anti-zombie supplies are kept and cover it with your artistic In Case of Zombies shadowbox. Okay, that’s your new assignment kids; get to building!

Posted on September 23rd, 2006 in
Halloween Decor, Zombies by Lauren

There are many traditions that we begin on October 1st, and decorating our computers is one of the easier ones. A quick online search and you can convert your desktop and chat program into a spooky experience that evokes Halloween spirit all month long. After Sean created us some amazing banners, I was feeling inspired and decided to make a few buddy icons for 365 Halloween readers. The larger sized ones are compatible with Yahoo Instant Messenger and MSN Instant Messenger, while the smaller ones are geared towards AIM and Trillian users. Of course, you’re free to use them as a message board avatar, on your MySpace, on your website, etc. Just be sure to right-click and “Save As” rather than trying to hotlink, and do not redistribute.

Evil Clown - 100x100Posessed by the Halloween Spirit - 100x100Sweet and Scary - 100x100Evil Clown - 50x50Posessed by Halloween Spirit - 50x50Sweet and Scary - 50x50

But what if evil clowns, wild-eyed pumpkins, and candycandycandy aren’t your thing? I spent a good chunk of time today scouring websites for the best free Halloween icons (both buddy icons and desktop icons) and came up with a few great sites. A lot of what’s available online is fairly hideous, so you can save a lot of time by just heading straight here:

Pixelgirl Presents (desktop icons)- The absolute best. These are beautiful, high quality designs, and there are lots of icon sets. You have to browse through all holiday themed sets, but the section isn’t too huge so it’s worth it. You get even more choices if you’re on a Mac.

Icon Factory (desktop icons)- A close second, with several equally well designed icon sets. Very creative, and again, more selection if you’re on a Mac.

Icon Archive (desktop icons)- Several cute sets, with Hide’s Halloween being the best.

Acme Icon (buddy icons)- There are 7 funny icons that you can customize, and there is a nifty “IM your icon to a buddy” feature.

Iconator (buddy icons)- You’ll have to wade through a lot of the aforementioned hideous icons here, but this is the largest selection and there are some good styles.

Do you have an icon site to recommend? What are your favorite Halloween-related desktop icon sets?

Posted on September 22nd, 2006 in
Halloween Fun, Halloween Websites by Lauren

365 HalloweenWelcome, foolish mortals, to the launch of 365Halloween.com. This website is made for anyone who wishes that Halloween was longer than just one little day. Whether you spend a week or a whole year celebrating Halloween, this website is dedicated to you. Our aim is to fill a void that exists online for interesting, entertaining, and quality Halloween content. During the height of the Halloween season (September & October) we update daily, but when November rolls around we will continue to keep the site fresh with frequent year-round updates.

So please dig into all the tutorials and blog posts that we’ve created for you, and be sure to come back for more everyday. To easily get your daily dose of Halloween spirit, be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed. We’d love to hear your feedback so please leave us your comments regarding the site in the form below. Everything should look essentially the same in Firefox and Opera, but things can get quite flaky in Internet Explorer 6 (but you wouldn’t use IE, would you?). If you see anything (unintentionally) weird around here, do let us know.

And finally, submissions are definitely encouraged! If you have a Halloween themed tutorial, pictures, article, artwork, etc. that you would like to see featured on our site, get in touch.

Posted on September 16th, 2006 in
Site News by admin

Another one of our favorites is the annual showing of The Simpsons Halloween Specials entitled Treehouse of Horror. The first Simpsons Halloween special was aired October 25th 1990 and is arguably still one of the best episodes. The next 9 years everyone got to enjoy a new Treehouse of Horror right before or on Halloween, but then things changed. Fox started airing the episodes after Halloween. Why? Well, according to the Wikipedia page on the subject, Fox’s contract with Major League Baseball’s world series takes precedent over the airing of the newest Treehouse of Horror before Halloween. So now we are stuck with a rerun of last years episode before, or on the 31st and the newest episode is aired after Halloween. The next episode is Treehouse of Horror XVII (17) and is set to air on November 5th 2006 with guest stars Richard Lewis, Dr. Phil McGraw and Fran Drescher.

If you are like us and need your fix of Simpsons Halloween Specials before Halloween rolls around you can purchase the Treehouse of Horror DVD. I want to give you fair warning though that this is only episodes V, VI, VII and XII (5,6,7 & 12). Yes it is disappointing, but when you need a fix, you need it. As of this writing there isn’t a DVD out there with more or all the Halloween episodes. The lowest price we found is from eCampus (less than at Amazon) and if you haven’t ordered from them before don’t worry, they are good. We’ve ordered from them numerous times and they have consistently low prices, fast shipping, and good service. The DVD includes one of our personal favorite episodes “The Shinning” as well as “Nightmare Cafeteria,” “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace,” “House of Whacks,” and more.

For those of you who can’t get enough Simpsons Halloween Specials you can construct a Simpsons Halloween Village, with spooky sounds and lights. These are definitely collectibles as they are hand-cast and hand painted with great attention to detail. Enjoy the figurines of classic Treehouse of Horror characters like a Witchy Marge Simpson, a Bart-headed fly, Devilish Flanders, Count Burns, as well as buildings of The Simpsons family home, and the Kwik-E-Mart. All these and more are available exclusively from CollectionsToday.

Posted on September 10th, 2006 in
Halloween Decor, Halloween Entertainment by Sean
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