Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

These Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes are SO MUCH FUN to make (and eat!) and very, very rich.

If you’re a chocolate lover, then you need to try these!

To make them a little less decadent, you could make regular cupcakes in place of the brownie base, and even try a milder flavor like yellow cake dyed orange.

But I was in need of some heavy-duty chocolate.  This hit the spot.

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The first thing I did was make some of my Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins with my girls.  We made them the day before.

Then we melted some white candy melts to make the chocolate bones using this skeleton mold from Wilton.

We crushed up a handful of Oreo cookies in a plastic bag for our graveyard “dirt,” and we baked up some box brownies according to the package directions.

I’d thought about making the brownies in a big pan to construct a large graveyard scene, but then switched to the cupcake idea.

I was going to use regular cupcake lines and write RIP in icing on some Milano cookies for the gravestones, but then I found these cute graveyard cupcake liners that come with their own paper gravestones on toothpicks.  I happened upon them at Walmart, but there are similar products online and at other stores, too.

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We let the brownies cool completely, then iced them with chocolate icing.

We pressed in the graveyard picks and some pumpkins and bones into the icing, before sprinkling over a little of the Oreo dirt.  (If you sprinkle the cookie crumbs first, the chocolate pieces won’t stick into the icing.)

Then we savored the festively decedent chocolate culinary celebrations.

I recommend you share them, and not attempt to eat 18 thick piles of chocolate all by yourself.  Because:  wow.  ;)

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Happy Halloween Baking!

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Spider Web Peppermint Patties

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I am enchanted by these Spider Web Peppermint Patties!

Seriously easy and super cute Halloween treats are my favorite.  Like my Vampire Donuts or Oreo Ghosts or Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns.

And these are in that vein.  (Is that a Halloween pun??)

Candy plus icing, and done.

I used peppermint extract to flavor the icing, which was nice with the peppermint candy, but you could also use vanilla.

Spider Web Halloween Peppermint Patties

I made icing with a scoop of powdered sugar, a sprinkle of meringue powder, a dash of peppermint extract, and a splash of water.

(You can see the actual recipe on my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but here I used peppermint extract instead of almond.)

I put the icing in a baggy, snipped off the end, and drew the webs with the icing on top of the York Peppermint Patties.  I drew an asterisk, then made a swishy circle in the shape of a spider web.

I lost the plastic spider-shaped rings I thought I had, which would have looked cute in the photos, but the candy still looked good.  And the kids were super happy!

Happy Halloween Snacking!

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July 4th Fireworks Painting and Cookies

July 4th Fireworks Painting Activity and Iced Cookies with Roaming Rosie

Happy Fourth of July!

This year, my kids and I did a painting activity and a cookie project that mimicked fireworks.  First, we stamped fireworks with toilet paper rolls, and then we baked some chocolate cookies and iced them in patterns to represent bursts of color.

Both of these things were done on dark backgrounds to make it look like our paint and sugar fireworks were exploding against a nighttime sky.

Even threw in some glitter (edible and not-so-much) for a little extra spark!

Fireworks Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls and Glitter 1

First up:  the painting project.

We reused some toilet paper rolls by transforming them into stamps.

To make the firework-shaped stamps, cut slits around one side of the cardboard roll, making the incisions about a quarter-inch wide (my kids made a few slivers; don’t aim for uniformity here), and then bend back the strips against the palm of your hand to make the pieces stick out.

I put some red, white, and blue (washable) paint into three small paper plates, and we dipped the stamps into the plates and then pressed them into the paper to make our fireworks.

To get a neat effect, overlap your stamps.

Fireworks Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls and Glitter 2

After you’ve covered your paper in fireworks, sprinkle with glitter for a fun sparkly touch!

Allow the paint to dry before shaking off the excess glitter and displaying your art.

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 1

These cookies were not only fun to make – they were delicious too!

Just like the painting activity, we used the red, white, and blue colors against a dark background (in this case chocolate) to represent the fireworks bursting against a night sky.

We used the recipe that I made for my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but I made double the batch of icing.

You don’t actually NEED to double the icing – the recipe already makes plenty – but I wanted to make extra, double, totally sure that we’d still have enough icing if my girls ended up squirting most of it onto the counter instead of the cookies.

It turned out, one batch probably would have been more than enough . . . except that one of my containers burst and half of the blue icing spilled out onto a couple of cookies.

But that’s an anomaly.  (Hopefully.)

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 2

When you make the icing, be sure to stir it well until there are no lumps and it drips easily from the fork or spoon in thin ribbons.

Not watery – just thin.  If it’s too thick or clumpy it will clog your spout.

I used my Wilton Candy Making Decorating Bottles.  Mine are quite old but they usually work fine only sometimes explode.  (But seriously, this is the first time I’ve had a problem.)  I’ve been meaning to pick up some new ones anyway.  They’re pretty easy to clean and my girls just love using them.

But if you don’t have bottles like these, you could just as easily put the icing into three separate plastic baggies and snip off the ends to squeeze out the patterns.

If you’re using the bottles, I poured the white icing into them and then mixed in the food coloring with a wooden skewer, the kind used for making shish kabobs.  You could do the same with the baggies, or, if you’re not lazy like me, you could put the icing into three bowls and add the red and blue food coloring to two of them, and mix them before pouring them into the containers.

I made the icing while the cookies were in the oven.  You could make it much earlier in the day, but the longer it sits, the more likely to thicken and then you’ll have to worry about mixing in more water or stirring it to thin it again.

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 3

As you can see, we took the easy way out with these “cut out” cookies:  no cookie cutters.  We just sliced them up with a pizza cutter.  Easy Peasy.  Re-roll and slice again.

(If you’re wondering, that’s cocoa powder sprinkled over the counter to keep the dough from sticking, which you can use instead of flour when making chocolate cookies.)

We made the cookies into rectangles or large squares, all slightly different.  Once baked and fully cooled, I spread some waxed paper to catch the drippings and we all drizzled the icing onto the cookies, overlapping the colors, in a bit of a star burst pattern so that they would kind of look like fireworks exploding.

And, before the icing could harden, we added some white sparkling sugar to add a little extra spark to our cookies and to match the glitter on our paintings.

Again, you can find the cookie recipe on my post for Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies.

Happy Fourth!

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Valentine’s Day Power Word Pom Pom Toss

Valentines Day Heart Power Words Pom Pom Toss Game

Yesterday, I posted our Power Word Hopscotch, and I also wanted to share this game that we played to practice my daughter’s vocabulary (or sight words) for Valentine’s Day.

This was a versatile way to play with some of the words she needs to know.  Her school calls them power words, so this is our Power Word Pom Pom Toss.

And since it was February when I made it, I just had to do it with cute little hearts!

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I picked up some Valentine-colored pom poms and dollies at the dollar store.

Being February, it was easy to find these things in red and pink, but you can often get this stuff when it’s not Valentine’s Day.  For example, you can buy heart dollies most of the year, sometimes in the cake baking section of a large retail store, or in a party store, and the pom poms are usually stocked in the craft section all year, though maybe not with little hearts on the label.  :)

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My daughter had a list of 60 power words, so I bought two packs of 30 dollies each and wrote out each word on a separate heart.

Then we would pick a handful and lay them out on the floor.  For the game above, we would call out a word and then try to throw a pom pom onto that word.

Even for me it took a few tries, but that allowed up to repeat the word a few times.

Then, we would trade those few words out for a few others.

Valentines Day Heart Power Words Pom Pom Toss Game 4

Then, we did a game where we would call out each word and hop onto them, kind of like our Power Word Hopscotch from yesterday.

Just be careful with this one, and be sure to put the dollies onto carpet or something similar.  If you put them onto tile or some wood floor, they will slip right out from under you when you jump onto them.

Valentines Day Heart Power Words Pom Pom Toss Game 5

And for the younger crowd, like preschoolers, you could substitute individual alphabet letters for the sight words!

Have fun!

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Glitter Glue Pumpkins

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Last Fall, my daughters and I bought a variety of pumpkins and went at them armed with glue, glitter glue, and lots and lots of glitter!

(And one of these years, since it IS spring as I write this, I’ll maybe actually remember to try this with Easter eggs…)

The pumpkins in the background resemble some of our past pumpkin decorating efforts.

But this year I changed it up just a little and decorated a couple of the mini pumpkins with nothing but silver and gold glitter glue.

I started at the center of the top of the pumpkin, slowly pouring out the glitter glue in a tight circle around the stem.  I did a gold circle, then a silver one, then gold, et cetera, keeping the circles tight and touching each other until I had the entire top of the pumpkin covered in a thick layer of glitter glue and it was just barely starting to drip down the sides in the creases.

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That’s it!  Just drew circles with the glue.

And look how pretty!

Please share your pumpkin photos with me on my Facebook page!

Happy Crafting!

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Construction Paper Mummies Halloween Craft

Halloween Construction Paper Mummy 1

Another project we had some fun with around Halloween was making some Construction Paper Mummies.

These were great for letting the girls get creative with patterns.

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While they were in school I cut out some basic body shapes out of black paper and some strips of white paper that were only about as wide as the body.

You could also let your kids do this part, if you prefer.

Halloween Construction Paper Mummy 3

Then I just handed over some glue and some googly eyes and let them go to town.

We did it on an opened Whole Foods bag, to keep the extra glue off the floor.  And they used their scissors to trim down some of the white strips too.

Halloween Construction Paper Mummy 4

My girls also decided they’d like to color the mummies, so we pulled out some colored pencils.

Ignore the golf ball, tho.  I don’t know how that ended up there.  :)

Happy Crafting!

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Vampire /Monster Teeth Doughnuts for Halloween

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These Vampire Donuts were the biggest hit of our last Halloween season.

I always do a lot of crafts and recipes with my girls during Halloween, as it’s my second fave holiday (following quite closely on the heels of Christmas).  But these right here?  Totally made it to the top of the list of awesomeness.

And how incredibly ridiculously EASY???

Seriously.  I went and picked up a dollar bag full of vampire teeth and stuck them in some glazed donuts from Publix.

I had to push open the holes a little to make the teeth fit, but that was no big deal.

You could mix it up with some chocolate or autumn-flavored (apple or pumpkin spice anybody??) donuts instead, and you could dress it up by adding a little red gel icing to look like blood dripping from the fangs too.

But I’m a big fan of sweet and simple.  :)

Share some pics if you try it!

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