Tag Archives: Halloween

Dairy-free Candy Corn Sugar Cookies.

Dairy-free | Soy-free

Who loves candy corn?

I don’t. I do love cookies shaped like candy corn, though!DSC_0052

Sugar cookies feature prominently in many holiday traditions–at least in our home. This became problematic when, on Halloween one year ago, I had to cut dairy and soy out of my diet literally overnight. Let’s just say our Christmas season was a little less merry without Mom wanting to bake up our usual Christmas treats.

So this fall, when candy corn sugar cookies started surfacing again on Pinterest, I thought I would give them a dairy-free go. Here in warm, humid Florida, I have a hard enough time getting my sugar cookies to keep their shape without essentially subbing oil in, but I figured that an easy shape like this left enough room for error to give it a try.

This is basically just a half recipe of my favorite soft sugar cookies, with dairy subbed out, food coloring added, and a lot less rolling, flouring, and cookie-cutter-washing. Even with just a half recipe, these things are small enough that it literally made over EIGHT DOZEN–two cookie sheets’ worth. So prepare to give some away!

Dairy-free Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) Earth Balance buttery stick
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (add additional 1/4 cup if you live somewhere really humid)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (treat Earth Balance like salted butter and decrease the salt in your recipes)
  • red and yellow food coloring
  1. Cream Earth Balance and sugar in a stand mixer until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.
  2. Gradually add dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  3. Divide dough into 3 parts.
  4. Line a loaf pan with wax paper. Press 1/3 of the dough into the bottom of the pan, spreading evenly. (My loaf pan was about 2 inches too long, so I created a wall with my hand behind the wax paper while pressing the dough down with the other hand; otherwise my layers would be too thin.)
  5. Put 1/3 of the dough into a small bowl. Add yellow food coloring (3 drops). Mix it in with the back of a metal spoon, adding additional color if needed. It will look disconcertingly like Play-Doh. This is normal. Spread this layer over your white layer in the pan.
  6. Put remaining 1/3 of dough into the small bowl. Add the same amount of yellow food coloring, plus 1-2 drops red. Mix it in; press into pan on top of yellow layer.
  7. Cover with additional wax paper and chill several hours or overnight.
  8. Preheat your oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and add some sugar to a shallow bowl.
  9. Unwrap your dough. Cut a 1/3-inch slice widthwise, then make 6 angled cuts in the slice to make 7 triangles: DSC_0050
  10. Coat in sugar and place on cookie sheet: DSC_0049
  11. Repeat slicing and coating with remaining dough.
  12. Bake at 400 for 7-8 minutes or until just golden around the edges and set in the middle.
  13. Cool and enjoy!

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Happy Halloween!

I hope you enjoy the holiday with your own ghouls & goblins! What are your plans for the evening?

We’re going to make some delicious Witch Hat Calzones for dinner & take our little Angelina Ballerina out for some early trick-or-treating!

Stay safe, have fun, & try not to eat too much of your kids’ candy after they go to bed. (Oh come on, you know you do it!)


Filed under Holidays

Broomstick Treat Bags.

You’ve probably seen these floating around (pun intended) the blogosphere in the past, but they are so cute & easy I thought I’d share them anyway.

Here’s what you need for each:

  • 2 brown paper lunch sacks
  • 1 pretzel rod or a stick from your backyard
  • treats to fill it with
  • festive ribbon or raffia

Now here’s all you have to do:

  1. Cut a few inches off the tops of your bags. Take 1 bag & cut thin strips down about an inch. Then open the other bag & fold out the bottom so you don’t cut into it. Cut thin strips almost all the way down the length of the bag.
  2. Now here’s the hardest part of the whole process: putting bag #1 inside bag #2. Open both bags, then pull the bag with the long strips around the bag with the short ones. Horrible explanation, I know. You can figure it out & say it better than I can, I’m sure.
  3. Fill the bag with goodies. Then place the pretzel rod in the middle & gather the bags around it. Make sure all of the strips make it into your handful.
  4. Tie the ribbon around it. Really tight. Then pull the pretzel rod out a couple inches so it’s still firmly in there, but the broomstick looks more to scale with the bottom of the broom.
  5. Fluff out the little strips above the ribbon, & you’re done!

In addition to working for Halloween, they’d be great at a Harry Potter party. Just finish them off with a golden Snitch nametag & (this brilliant idea comes from My Husband Who Refuses To Read The Books But Still Knows Everything About The HP Series) a hippogriff feather!

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Filed under Crafts, Holidays

Witch (or Wizard) Hat Calzones.

It’s Halloween. The kids are so excited for trick-or-treating they don’t want to eat dinner. So they pick at their food & then wind up getting sick from too much candy on an empty stomach. That was a lot of our Halloweens growing up. Fortunately, I have a solution. Meet our most favorite Halloween meal ever:

These calzones are so fun & tasty — the kids get to decorate their own! — that they’ll finally eat dinner on Halloween!

I first found these at BHG, then made the filling tastier & more substantial for eating as an entree instead of an appetizer. 1 calzone would be good for a little kid, while big kids & adults will probably need 2 to keep their strength up for an entire evening of trick-or-treating. These could also be great as “Sorting Hats” for a Harry Potter party.

  • 3.5-oz. pkg. pepperoni slices*
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) crescent roll dough
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • decorations like olives, capers, bell pepper, parmesan, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, etc.
  • pizza sauce, warmed, for dipping

* You can make these vegetarian by using about 3 oz. of very finely diced quick-cooking veggies like peppers & onions.

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 & grease 2 cookie sheets.
  2. Reserve a few slices of pepperoni to cut into shapes for decorations. A sharp paring knife & a few minutes can yield everything from simple triangles (cut a pepperoni slice like a pizza) to stars (cut 5 triangles out of a slice) & even jack-o-lanterns (uhhh… just use your head). You can do this with bell pepper as well if you’re going the vegetarian route.
  3. Then chop up the remaining slices finely.
  4. In a small bowl combine the pepperoni with the cream cheese, parmesan, & mozzarella. Use the back of the spoon to “smoosh” it together to form one mass that sticks together. This will be your filling.
  5. Carefully unroll a package of crescent roll dough & separate into triangles. Place them on your prepared baking sheets. Place a tablespoonful of dough into the center of each triangle & try to spread it out just a little so it’s not just one big lump, but stay at least a 1/2 inch away from the edges of the triangle, & even further than that from the short edge, if you can. (See the triangle on the right, below.)
  6. Then carefully unroll the other package of crescent roll dough & separate into triangles. Add a little water to your beaten egg & brush the mixture around the edges of each triangle & carefully lay a new triangle on each prepared triangle (see above). Be sure to seal the edges with your fingers.
  7. Brush the bottom (short) edge of each triangle with more of the egg mixture & fold/roll it up to form a brim for your hat. Then tweak the top of each hat to make it more crooked & spooky. (Basically I just kind of bend them into a bit of a squiggle.)
  8. Finally, brush the whole thing with more egg & let your ghouls & goblins decorate their hats however they’d like. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden & serve with pizza sauce.

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Filed under Holidays, Recipes

Mummy Dogs.

Unbelievably enough, it’s fall! Though Florida seems to be hanging on desperately to July… What I wouldn’t give for some fall colors right now. & maybe even the chance to wear a sweater.

Even more unbelievably, I’m cooking again! Which means I can start posting again! & maybe even reading other people’s food-related posts again too!

That’s how I realized that what I’m posting is not original. At all. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe posted her version just this morning. But I’m posting it anyway because a) mine is just different enough — it came from BHG — & b) Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays, for the sole reason that it gives me license to make fun food that looks like monsters, jack-o-lanterns, witches, &…


(Most photos will be works in progress until we “fall back” next month because by dinnertime at 7pm there is ZERO daylight.)

  • 12 hot dogs (we use bun-length; if you’re making an appetizer for a party or something, you can miniaturize the recipe with cocktail wieners & thinner breadstick strips)
  • 1 pkg. refrigerated breadtick dough
  • 24 capers for eyes (if you don’t like or don’t feel like buying capers just for this, simply dot on mustard or something like Mel did)
  • condiments of choice
  1. Preheat your oven to 375. Unwrap the breadsticks & use a pizza cutter to slice each in half lengthwise. Stretch them out to 12 inches.
  2. Pat your hot dogs dry, then take 2 breadstick strips (say that 10 times fast) & let your kid help you wrap them around the hot dogs. I like to use my thumb to kind of anchor a strip to the top, then let The Munchkin wrap it. Then I flip it upside-down & do the same with the other strip.
  3. Position your dogs on a lightly greased cookie sheet, then firmly press the capers into the breadstick dough for eyes.
  4. Bake about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Serve to your little ghouls & goblins before they head out trick-or-treating! (I see many 8-year-old boys creating delightfully gory scenes with their ketchup.)

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