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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

A few days ago I blogged about some Halloween Baking Pans for making full-size cakes and mini cakes. How did I forget to talk about my favorite of all cake sizes, the cupcake?! Along with shaped pans, another baking item that I find indispensable are reusable silicone cupcake liners. They are traditionally available in bright colors, but for Halloween they roll out the black, orange and purple ones. Instead of using disposable papers or greasing a muffin pan, silicone baking molds are totally non-stick so you barely lose a crumb and there’s no greasy mess or paper to dispose of. They are dishwasher safe and can withstand temperatures up to 500°F. The only downside is that people can sometimes tend to think of these as freebies or trash and some may “disappear”. For that reason they seem best suited for older kids and events where you know most of the people in attendance. Alternately, you can remove the wrapper before serving.

Cupcakes are easier to serve at parties and events rather than full size cakes because no plates or serving utensils are required. Less mess, and the added bonus of having a higher frosting to cake ratio! But if you don’t have a large table or counter, fitting more than a dozen cupcakes into the space can be hard. That’s where cupcake stands come in. There aren’t any Halloween-specific stands, but you can order a custom stand or make your own and deck it out spooky-style.

Posted on September 9th, 2006 in
Halloween Food by Lauren

Halloween is a time for reinvention and trying new things. We take ideas that seem mundane on any other day, and with an added creepy kick, they become unique Halloween entities. Pretty prom queens become zombie prom queens, pumpkins become jack-o-lanterns, and cupcakes become skull cakes. Mmm, skull cakes…

I love experimenting in the kitchen so I own a lot of interesting “novelty” baking items, and they never disappoint. Put a regular old cupcake into a pan shaped like a skull (or anything else unconventional) and the recipients are twice as appreciative. Presentation is an important part of creating or serving food that is frequently overlooked. If you bring in some cake to the office, your kid’s class, or a Halloween party, try using a shaped pan and see how everyone fawns over it. The large (full cake pan size) and small (large cupcake size) skull cake pans shown above are perfect for this. The simple eye and teeth details make icing a breeze since you just need to put a thin layer of frosting to cover everything and then follow the indentations with a smaller frosting tube. Even total baking novices can create a spooky Halloween cake with these pans!

UPDATE: Halloween Cupcakes for parties and events, when a whole cake just isn’t convenient.

Posted on September 6th, 2006 in
Halloween Food by Lauren
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