Category Archives: Halloween

Meringue Ghosts

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…What.

It is October 31st, Halloween, and there is snow outside.

WHAT IS GOING ON?

In case you hadn’t heard, us in the Northeast of the U.S. got hit with snow a few days ago. It has never, ever snowed in October during my lifetime. It ruined my Halloween plans and makes walking to work a pain in the ass.

At least I can still bake! Though, I almost didn’t because I woke up this morning with my fourth cold sore this month, and was hardly in the mood for making cookies (i.e. a ‘throwing myself around the bed and kicking my legs in rage’ kind of mood). But, around 11, I got bored and decided to just suck it up and do it.

I was originally going to make these pinwheel-esque Halloween cookies, but I didn’t have the time and, after thinking for a minute, decided to make Ghost Meringue cookies instead. I’ve made French Meringue cookies before, but I never got around to posting about it on here.

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Meringue cookies don’t require a lot of ingredients — just four egg whites, a cup of sugar, half a teaspoon of cream of tartar, and some vanilla extract.

And whipping. Lots and lots of whipping. (No, not that kind of whipping, you sick freaks. You should be ashamed of yourself. And your family.)

It was nice to forget about my problems for a while as I separated four eggs, whipped them into a nice foam, added cream of tartar and sugar a little bit at a time, and watched it form into nice, shiny, glossy, stiff peaks. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

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See? Ain’t it purdy?

They say stress can trigger cold sore outbreaks, and I’ve certainly been under a lot of stress lately. Baking can either help relieve my stress… or, sometimes, it can stress me out even more. Kind of a crap shoot, really. I got lucky this time, though, and nothing went too terribly wrong. …Except that I ran out of parchment paper. But I sprayed a bunch of Pam on my cookie sheet and hoped that would work.

And it did, mostly. About half of the cookies came off the tray without any problems, and the others… well. They broke. Even when I gently ran my knife under them to loosen, they still fell apart. These things are fragile, man. You gotta be careful with them.

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AWWWW, AIN’T THEY ADORABLE? They taste pretty good, too. This is a very unique type of cookie. Odds are you’ve never really eaten something like it. The texture is dry and thin and cracks in your mouth, but it’s also sugary and chewy and still tastes good, somehow.

But when I was taking photos of these little guys, my camera stopped and said “BLINK DETECTED”, then drew an outline around one of the ghosts in the back. W-what. Are… are these cookies haunted???? SPOOOOOOOKY!

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*insert Twilight Zone music here*

Have a Happy Halloween, everybody! Or, if you don’t celebrate, Happy Monday!

Meringue Ghosts

4 large egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup caster sugar (if you don’t have this, just use regular granulated sugar and it should be ok)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Pour your four egg whites into the bowl of your electric mixer that’s fitted with a whisk attachment (I didn’t use a whisk but you probably should, if you have one). Beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, then add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time until glossy, stiff peaks have formed. Put the meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a plain, round tip, and pipe 2-inch mounds on a cookie sheet. You can press two candy eyes or mini chocolate chips in each mound right now for eyes, or pipe on eyes later.

Bake for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the cookies are dry and crisp to touch. Turn off the oven and let them cool in there for a while. Then serve and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

IT’S HALLOWEEN! A time for scary things! Like spiiiiders.

Okay, so originally I was going to make Jack O’ Lantern cake pops. And I did, actually, start making them yesterday. But something went terribly, terribly wrong!

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I made the actual cake balls, and no problems arose. But then, when I put the orange candy melts in my Pyrex container and melted them in the microwave… they burned. Badly.

I tried several more times, but they burned and burned and burned until I had no more candy melts left. I threw out my cake balls in frustration and decided to do something entirely different. I hate making cake balls anyway, so nyah nyah to cake balls. I don’t know what I’m going to do with these leftover lollipop sticks, though.

I flipped through my Betty Crocker Fall Baking magazine thingy, and found something relatively easy to do — Peanut Butter Spider Cookies!

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You can either make the cookies themselves from a mix or with a from-scratch recipe. I went with the mix because I’m crunched for time and I knew the spiders themselves would take a while to assemble. But if you want to be a purist you can do it from scratch.

I made the cookie mix, and while that was baking I unwrapped all of the Reese’s cups. The original recipe said to use these caramel candy things, but I couldn’t find any so I just went with these, since they are roughly the same size, plus it’s more peanut butter. The recipe instructed me to immediately place the candy on top of the cookies once I took them out of the oven, and I did.

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They melted quite a bit, but I guess they were supposed to, so you can stick the M&M’s and licorice legs on. And, as I suspected, it took me a little while to do that. I recommend doing one at a time and putting them on a plate in the fridge, then putting them in the freezer so they can set and the legs don’t fall off.

And the final touch — the pupils!

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(I couldn’t find black decorating gel so I just used red)

These things are super adorable/scary, and they are (probably) delicious. Now, the problem is how to transport them to my friend’s house tonight…

Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

adapted from Betty Crocker

1 pouch of peanut butter cookie mix

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon water

1 egg

36 Reese’s miniature cups, unwrapped

Black string licorice (or you can cut up black Twizzlers, like I did)

M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces

Black or red decorating gel

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium bowl, stir mix, vegetable oil, water, and egg together until dough forms. Shape the dough into small balls and place two inches apart on baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Immediately press 1 Reese’s cup into center of each cookie, then let cool for two minutes on sheet. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Press two M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces onto the front of the candies. Then cut the licorice into small strings and stick three on each side. Place in fridge after each cookie is assembled, then transfer to freezer to let it set. Take out, then use the gel to make pupils on the eyes.

 

Oh, I almost forgot! I picked up this little thing at the bookstore yesterday —

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Should come in handy!