Spiderweb Cinnamon Rolls

spiderweb cinnamon rolls

This is one of those recipes that’s so stinkin’ cute but also super easy.

Halloween is a time of year when we eat a lot of “fun” foods.

(Yeah I said “time of year.”  It ain’t just a single day in this family – we celebrate for at least a month … but I’m always up for something spooky.)

So I like to spruce up meals and snacks when I can.  Which means some are quite elaborate and others… well, are like this!

This dish that has essentially two ingredients:  a can of cinnamon rolls and a bag of chocolate chips.

spiderweb cinnamon rolls 2

To get this platter of spookiness, bake the cinnamon rolls according to package directions and place the finished rolls in a circle on a plate.

Melt some candy melts or chocolate chips.  Candy melts are smoother but I didn’t have any on hand.  If you melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, do it at half power 30 seconds at a time.

Put the melted chocolate into a piping bag or a baggie with the corner cut off, and squeeeze out the chocolate into a big and little circle for a spider’s body, along with eight legs, onto one of the rolls.

Then draw a web over the rest.  I did this with the straight lines first and then spiraled around to make it look like a web. And don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect – it’ll be gobbled up soon anyway!

Happy Early Halloween!

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Jack Skellington Rice Krispies Treats

I love me some Nightmare Before Christmas.

So Jack Skellington recipes are kind of a given.  This Halloween treat is made with a Rice Krispies base and decorated with candy melts.  The pattern in black and white is striking and it really pops on a platter.

It’s a fun project to make, with (or even without) kids.

To start, make a batch of Original Rice Krispies Treats (links to recipe from Kellogg’s site). I often throw in a splash of vanilla extract to the melted marshmallow mixture for a nice touch of extra flavor.

Once you have your pile of sticky cereal, spread it out on a large pan or cookie sheet that’s been prepped with non-stick spray.  Flatten it with your fingers (spraying them with non-stick as well) until it’s as smooth as you can get it.

Then cut out circles with round cookie cutters like these or these, or whatever else you have lying around.

Dip the circles in a shallow bowl of melted white candy melts, and shake them a bit to make sure the candy isn’t too thick before you set it back down to set.  I recommend doing all this on top of waxed or parchment paper.

Instead of the white candy melts, you could also use an icing like this one that I made for my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies.

Next, melt some black (or dark chocolate) candy melts in a piping bag (or a baggie with the corner snipped) and draw on those smiling faces.

It’s great because the faces are easy to make.  A couple of large eyes, small nose dots, and a string with lines for teeth and voila!

jack skellington rice krispie treats 3

This was the display I brought into work.  I loved the way the Jack Skellington faces stood out.  Actually all of the treats pop – even in the recycled take out containers!

Yummy AND cute!

The spiderwebs on the right are tiny Peppermint Patties.  You can see the larger version of them that I did on this post.  Another super simple recipe that makes a big visual impact – my fave.

And for the pumpkins in the middle, I tried out something new for my kids.  Specifically the youngest who is obsessed with Nutella.

I took some silicone pumpkin molds (not really sure which store I picked them up at) and coated the inside of the mold with some melted orange candy melts.  Once that set, I put a tiny scoop of Nutella into the center of the mold, then drizzed more of the orange candy melts over to cover the Nutella.

The pumpkins took a little more time and effort to get right, but were definitely worth a try.  Plus, they’re filling so a few go far in a party setting.

jack skellington rice krispie treats 2

Sooo much sweetness in this post!

I love it though.

Of course, this is also why I make so many savory Halloween dishes – to balance out the sugar!

I’m not sure what Halloween is going to look like this year, when it comes to trick-or-treating or parties, but I sure know one thing:  we’ll have some eerily festive food.  ;)

Follow me on Pinterest for more recipes!

Happy Early Halloween!

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Cheesy Ghosts and Pumpkins … aaand I’m Back!

Halloween Cheesy Ghosts and Pumpkins open faced sandwiches

So I took a look at when I last published a post on this blog and … *gasp* it’s been HOW long?

Well, my attempt at balancing work and kids and going back to school for my masters and planning a wedding all at the same time did not work out as planned.  And things got even more complicated this past spring when we all went into lock down and I was both working from home and home schooling my girls.

I still access this blog all the time, especially for recipes.  And heaven knows I’ve never stopped taking pictures of what my girls and I get up to.

But with the craziness that’s surrounding us all right now, I’ve decided to start writing again.  There aren’t suddenly more hours in the day, but I miss doing this.  Plus, it calms my anxiety (extra important in these stressful times!) and, hey, I love sharing food with you guys.

Halloween is practically around the corner – it IS August after all.  So I’m going to start by sharing Halloween recipes and ideas.

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This recipe here is for an age-old favorite of mine:  open faced cheese sandwiches.

These are so much fun.  And in the fall especially, my girls wind up getting some variation of these for lunch quite a bit.

Cheese and bread make a great base for a lunch since they go with so many different sides.  I can throw these on a plate with pretty much whatever fruit is on hand and it works.

Halloween Cheesy Ghosts and Pumpkins open faced sandwiches

 

For the pumpkins and ghosts pictured above, I used yellow American cheese and white Provolone.  You could also substitute another white cheese like Swiss, Mozzarella, white Cheddar or Monterey Jack, depending on your family’s favorites.

I placed the cheese slices on the bread and microwaved it for about 8 or 10 seconds, just until the cheese started to melt.  This makes sure it doesn’t fall apart in their lunchboxes.  You could also try warming it in a toaster oven instead – just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

I personally like mine with crispy half-burnt cheese, but well, these aren’t for me…

Once the cheese is melted to the bread, simply use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.  I can’t remember the brand of cutters I have, but they are similar to these and these.

I was able to get two pumpkins out of one slice with the size cookie cutters I have.  And, really, I often just save the scraps to eat as part of my own lunches.  Or, you know, midnight snack.  If they make it till midnight.

You could also use them as cheesy croutons in tomato soup.  If yours last longer than mine…

Here is a similar way I like to change it up:  Jack O Lantern Cheesy Bread

Follow my Halloween Pinterest Board for more ideas!

Happy Early Halloween :)

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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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Glitter Glue Pumpkins

Glitter Glue Pumpkins 1

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.

Glitter Glue Pumpkins 2

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.

Halloween Construction Paper Mummy 2

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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Candy Corn Counting Math Worksheets {Free Printables}

Candy Corn and Pumpkins Free Printable Halloween Worksheets 1

Sooo… Easter’s kind of around the corner and I’m over here like, gee… I haven’t posted any of my Halloween stuff yet…

Well, better late than never, right?

Hopefully you agree.  :)

Candy Corn and Pumpkins Free Printable Halloween Worksheets 2

For last Halloween, I made these to help my kids practice counting.  My girls are in preschool and kindergarten, and these worksheets have a variety of activities for them, including counting the shapes, matching the candy to the shapes, figuring out which is biggest and smallest group, and tracing the numbers both as figures and as words.

For the Candy Corn Counting worksheet we used regular candy corn.  For the Pumpkin Patch Counting worksheet, we used the pumpkins out of a bag of mixed mallowcremes, but you could also get a bag of just the pumpkins, or even something like these jelly pumpkins.

If you’re trying to avoid giving your kids any extra candy, you could pick up some Halloween erasers instead, which you can usually find at a dollar store if it’s actually, you know, around Halloween.  Or you could pick up some on Amazon instead.  The erasers are also good because you can keep using them for other math activities afterwards.

Or, you could avoid both the candy and the toys altogether and just color in the shapes.  No toys to lose and nothing to eat.

Even though the eating was, you know, my kids’ favorite part.

Candy Corn and Pumpkins Free Printable Halloween Worksheets 3

Here are the free printable worksheets – just click the names to download the PDF:

Candy Corn Counting

Pumpkin Patch Counting

Enjoy!

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Open Faced Pumpkin (Jack O’ Lantern) Cheesy Bread

Open Faced Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Cheesy Bread

This Jack O’ Lantern “Pumpkin” Cheesy Bread is another fun lunch idea to serve up in October!

I love playing with food and this is one of those things that makes my kids a little more excited about eating non-candy foods.  Granted, an open-faced cheese sandwich might not be the healthiest thing in their lunchbox, but it’s filling.  And you can make it with whatever kind of bread you like.  It looks better on wheat than white bread, and even better on pumpernickel.

I used the big pumpkins from this cookie cutter set to cut out the bread.  A regular loaf of sandwich bread may be a little small for the big cookie cutter, so you can either use the smaller pumpkin instead, or just flatten out the bread slice a little bit to make it wider.  Like with a rolling pin.  Or your hands, if you’re lazy like me.

Then, take your orange cheese (I used American but if your kids like cheddar, that’s awesome, too) and cut out a pumpkin with the same cutter you used for the bread.  You may have to put two pieces of cheese next to each other to be big enough for the pumpkin, but don’t worry – it’ll all melt together.

On a cutting board, after you’ve cut your pumpkin shape from the cheese slice, use a small knife to carve the face from the cheese.  Draw the face with the point of the knife and then use the knife to lift out the extra pieces.  Then gently transfer the cheese to the bread, lining up the pumpkin shapes.

Put the bread on a napkin and microwave it for 5 to 7 seconds – just enough to barely melt the cheese.  If it melts too much, the face will spread and get mushy.  Remember, you want it to melt just enough to make sure the cheese will stick to the bread and not fall off.

If you’re going to put it into a container for their lunchbox instead of eating it right away, make sure to leave it on the napkin for a minute before enclosing it in plastic, just in case there’s any errant moisture.  Then pack it off, or refrigerate it until the next day.

Happy Halloween!

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