Sunday, December 16, 2018

Krampus Brownies


I made a lot of different Krampus treats last Creepmas, but I didn't feel like any of them truly embodied the essence of Krampus. These brownies on the other hand are like Krampus himself melting in your mouth.  It's almost a religious experience.  Take of his body and it's rich chocolatey gooiness, take of his blood and it's sweet fiery bitterness, take of his horns and all of their caramelly delights.

So now that I've completely overhyped them, they are fudgy brownies, drizzled with a bourbon, maple syrup, espresso sauce and then topped with caramel horns.

I used the same Best Fudgy Cocoa Brownie recipe from CafeDelites.com, that I used for my deluxe dirt and worms. Feel free to substitute your favorite brownie recipe, the secret is, as they say, in the sauce.

If you do make these brownies, do line your pan with parchment paper.  I would also refrigerate after cooling and not try to cut until they are cold.  These are so soft and wonderfully gooey.

After cutting, plate them, drizzle with a generous amount of bourbon sauce and top with horns.  If you will be giving these as gifts transfer them to cupcake liners.  They can be made in advance and frozen.

The bourbon sauce is from this sweet potato recipe I tried for Turkey Day.  I've never made anything like it and figured I'd either love it or hate it.  Well I loved it.  It was wonderful with the sweet potatoes, but I would also pair it with any winter squash or carrots.  I could see this drizzled on just about anything sweet, ice cream, cheesecake, bread pudding...anywhere you might normally use a flavored syrup, sauce or glaze.  I would lick this stuff off of Krampus' cloven hooves.

I would lick it off a mouse,
I would lick it in a house,
I would lick on a box,
I would lick it with fox.
I would lick it here or there,
I would lick it anywhere,
I would lick it like a boss,
I do so like my bourbon sauce.  

This is the recipe for the sauce which I am now unofficially rebranding "Krampus Sauce".  This recipe makes way more sauce than you need for the brownies. It's easy enough to just make half.

For once I actually followed the recipe, minus seasoning it with salt and pepper.  But I've added some notes for minor alterations I might make in the future and issues I came across that I'm too inexperienced to know if it's the recipe or me.


1 1/2 cups strong hot coffee (Note 1)
9 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/3 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Stir coffee, maple syrup, sugar, and espresso powder in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil; cook until thickened and reduced by half, 6-7 minutes. (Note 2)
Remove syrup from heat; add bourbon and 2 tablespoons butter. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is reduced to about 3/4 cup, 40-45 minutes (mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon, but not sticky, and will thicken as it cools). DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before serving. (Note 3)

Recipe Notes

1.  I used instant. Taster's Choice House Blend to be exact, which says it's a lighter roast, not sure how it compares to other instants, it's just what my father-in-law likes.  According to the internet 2 teaspoons per 8oz of water equals strong coffee, so 1 tablespoon can be used for the 1 1/2 cups needed.

2. It took a lot longer than 6-7 minutes to reduce. It took more like 20 and most recipes say to bring to boil, then reduce heat.  This stuff doesn't just boil, it starts to bubble up and expand, so you are going to want to turn the heat down a little.  Reducing by half means about one cup by the way.

Next time I'm going to use the same amount of instant coffee, but only use 1 cup of water instead of the cup and half called for and see if I can save some time with the reduction.

3.  My sauce crystalized around the outside.  It was fine for a while once it reached room temperature and then it started to develop crystals. Refrigeration made it even worse. The first time I thought maybe I messed something up because I halved the recipe for Turkey Day.  But it happened the second time too.

After doing a little research I found this happens when there isn't a high enough percentage of liquid in a sugar syrup. Since you do want this reduced, more liquid isn't an option. Reheating melted the crystals again, but the more you reheat it the more liquid that is going to evaporate.  If you are going to be reheating more than once I would add a little bit of water the next time.

My suggestion is to drizzle it over the brownies once it's cooled to room temperature before it gets a chance to form crystals.  If they are just starting to form, give a good stir and you'll be fine.

For the horns I used Kraft caramel squares.  When I made worms I discovered some caramels lose their shape, Kraft does not.  Tootsie Rolls will also keep their shaped, I'm not a huge fan, but I did play around with using them too for a little extra color.


Divide one caramel square in half and roll each piece into a long worm, taper the ends.  You can see where I've scored lines on one of them, it's not worth the effort, by the end they've all but disappeared. Cut each worm in half.   


 
Twist the two halves together and roll them just a little more in a cone shape.  Give them a curve and you have tasty horns.  


If you want you can mix a little edible black glitter dust with alcohol and paint the horns.  Most people use vodka because it doesn't impart any flavor, but since I had bourbon and these were going to be paired with a bourbon sauce, that's what I used. 



Here I twisted a thin worm of Tootsie Roll in for color. 


I like this one better where I marbled the Tootsie Roll
 into the caramel before making the worms.


I started to wonder if I was just being too picky and how it would look just folding the worms instead of cutting before twisting.  [Halfway through making horns my attention started to wane and started looking for any way to speed the process up.]


This how they look rolled out a little more.  If  you look at the plate of brownies, it shows a mix of all the variations and I think they all look pretty much the same, so do whatever is easiest for you.  

I hope you get a chance to make your own Krampus Brownies. They are so sinfully delicious, they're sure to earn you a place on the naughty list.  Merry Creepmas everyone!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Frozen Fingers


I know yesterday was supposed to be the last day of Creepmas, but I'm not ready for that. I still have creepy stuff to get done and life has been getting in the way. So I'll be here, all month, being creepy. Ok fine all year and it has nothing to do with Creepmas, I'm just weird.

But I do have one more recipe after this that you aren't going to want to miss. I finally figured out what flavor Krampus is, so be sure to check back in a few days.

If you want to make fingers that look like these you only need to know two things:

1) I used Wilton pretzel molds, the zombie, the witch and the skeleton.
2) To get the coloring you see, I used a ratio of one blue candy melt to 1/4oz white chocolate for the darker details and one blue candy melt to 1.5oz white chocolate for the lighter color.

You can use any truffle or cake pop recipe to fill them.  You could even use a pretzel rod, you know what the molds were actually made for.  But I figured I'd used Creepmas as an excuse to try another cranberry truffle recipe.  Everyone loved the zombie bites, a few years back, but I wanted to try something new.

I used this recipe for Cranberry White Chocolate Truffles.

The following is my slightly modified version.  I only made half the recipe.  I microwave my chocolate.  And I don't like the way the ingredients are listed in the original recipe.  You only use part of the white chocolate and dried cranberries in the truffle mixture and the rest is to coat and garnish.  I like it when recipes make it obvious in the ingredients list that they will be used in separate quantities.  Otherwise if you're like me, even if you've read through the darn thing twice, you just dump it all in and then are like, "What? I was supposed to safe some of that for later? Oops."

They do link to some pretty sound advice on tempering chocolate if you'd like to learn about that. Because I'm adding candy melts to the white chocolate and candy melts are infused with voodoo magic, tempering isn't all that important here.

The amount of chocolate & melts listed to coat the molds is approximate. I coated four molds and ended up only filling three and they were all different sizes so I'm giving you my best educated guess.


3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
5 oz white chocolate, chopped*
4 teaspoons canned whole-berry cranberry sauce**
1 tablespoon finely chopped sweetened dried cranberries (each piece should be approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch)

5 blue candy melts
5oz white chocolate***

*Bakers makes a nice white chocolate with real cocoa butter.  It comes in 4oz boxes scored into 1/4oz blocks.  I'm lazy. I don't bother chopping it I just break it along the score lines and then break each 1/4oz in half.

**I make my own sauce and mince any large berry chunks, recipe below.  I think you could also substitute just about any fruit preserves.  

*** White chocolate and even white candy melts have a slight yellow hue, if you don't want the blue melts to take on a greenish tone use a bright white candy melt.  

Pour cream over 5oz of white chocolate in microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute at 50% power. Let stand 1 minute and then stir very gently until smooth. Stir in the cranberry sauce and dried cranberries. Cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until firm enough to roll, preferably overnight.

First make fingernail/accent color. Place 2 blue candy melts with a half ounce of white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 30-40 seconds at 50% power, stir until melted.  If it's still not melted add another 20 seconds at 50%.  I use a small silicone spoonula, because not only does it stir but it can also scrape the sides of the bowl. 

Coat fingernail areas, for the bone fingers smear some along the sides/ridges.  You can use your finger to paint the molds, don't worry about perfection, nobody cares.  Pop molds in the refrigerator.


Add 1 candy melt and 1.5oz of white chocolate to your bowl. It doesn't matter if there is still a little finger nail color left, just scrape the sides so it's mostly sitting at the bottom.  Microwave for 1 minute at 50%.  Stir until smooth and melted.  Check to make sure it's not too hot by dripping a bit on your inside wrist. If you can feel the heat it's still too warm, if not it's just right. (Yep, just like a baby bottle.) Now spoon a little into your mold and gently push it around until the whole surface is coated.  You only need a thin coat.

If you run out add another candy melt and 1.5oz of chocolate and repeat the process. I had enough truffle mixture to fill three molds, but they varied a great deal in size.  After all the molds are coated put them in fridge to chill.


Gently press tiny spoonfuls of the truffle mixture along the cavities of the molds. Since these are meant to be used with pretzels you have to leave a little gap so when you top it off you get a nice seal.  If it gets sticky to work with you can put a little confectioner's sugar on your hands or re-chill the mixture.  I like to place plastic wrap over the top and gently press the mixture into the mold. Chill again after filling. My filling was pretty sticky so I waited until it was cold enough to peel back the plastic wrap.



Let them set at room temperature while you mix up some more chocolate.  Again you can keep adding to the same bowl.  As long as you don't overheat it, the old should easily incorporate with the new.  Make sure you always use 50% power.

Once your chocolate is done, it's time to top off your fingers.  The important part is getting coverage all the way to the edges, you want chocolate touching chocolate all the way around to create a seal.  Don't worry if it's not perfectly smooth, seriously nobody cares.  If you have to be all Martha Stewart, after it sets you can run a hot knife over it.  Some thing goes for if you have any rough edges after you pop them out.  Put a butter knife in a hot cup of water, dry it off, gently press it along the edge and it will melt any rough edges.  Don't over do it, you don't want to melt all the way through to the filling.  Reheat your knife as needed, don't forget to wipe it dry before pressing it against the chocolate.  

To pop them out easily stick them in the freezer for a few minutes. If they don't pop right out, they aren't cold enough.


My cranberry sauce is a combination of this Cranberry & Dried Cherry sauce and this Triple-Cranberry one.

1 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail (I prefer just cranberries juice, no apple juice or other juices added)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 12oz package fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

Combine cranberry juice concentrate, cinnamon stick and sugar in medium saucepan.  Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Add fresh cranberries and dried cherries and cook until fresh berries begin to pop, stirring often, about 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in orange marmalade, orange juice and orange peel.  Cool completely, remove cinnamon stick pieces.  Cover and chill.  Can be made 3 days ahead, keep refrigerated or freeze.  Makes about 2.5 cups. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Creepmas Coloring Books


I got this coloring book in my stocking for St. Nick.  It's smaller (~7x7) than I'm used to for a coloring book, but it's a good size to stick in a stocking, if you angle it a bit and don't mind it sticking out the top. 

It has metallic shiny red and gold on the front and back cover.  


There's a poem in the beginning, another at the end and hidden items to find throughout.  But of course the best part is the coloring pages.  Even the copyright page has creepy colorable artwork, but there are 27 straight up coloring pages.  Here are a few of my favorites:







I have this Creepy Creepmas coloring book by Rick St. Dennis on my wishlist.



And also this one by Scotty Richard.  From what I can tell from the examples, it has a nice Dr. Seuss style story.  The artwork looks great and it's more like the coloring books I had as a kid, just with lots of cool zombies.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Creepmas Movies

Here are my favorite alternative Christmas movies this year.  Not they were necessarily released this year, just that I finally got around to watching them.



My favorite is Boys In Trees. You could argue that this isn't a Christmas movie. That it's not even close to being a Christmas movie. That the fact that it takes place on Halloween should be a clear indication that it's definitely not a Christmas movie.  You would be wrong.

It is in fact "A Christmas Carol" that takes place on Halloween night.  No the main character is not visited by the ghosts of past, present and future, but he is haunted by them nonetheless. It's a story of reflection, regret and redemption as a young man on the cusp of adulthood takes a good hard look at himself with the help of a former childhood friend.

It's a sad yet beautiful tale, the cinematography throughout is breathtaking.  The trailer gives you a sense of that, but it's also misleading and makes it seem very much a horror movie.  It's not.  It is suspenseful and eerie. There is violence, fear and even death.  It's just not a horror movie. Still if you like your Christmas movies on the darker side, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this one.




Erased is a series that comes a step closer to Christmas.  There are lots of wintery scenes and the satisfying crunch of snow underfoot, while a serial killer lurks in the shadows.  According to this review, this is the 3rd adaptation of the original manga.  I am only familiar with this version which I enjoyed immensely and after reading the review it sounds like it's the better of the three.

The main character discovers that he can travel back in time, typically for just short periods, but after some particularly harrowing events he finds himself back in his childhood body and realizes he might be in a position to prevent a string of child murders before they happen.  And this is where the story becomes much deeper than a mere murder mystery thriller.  There is such a rich story of friendship and compassion that follows that it could stand alone without the murder aspect.



source: imdb
Stonehearst Asylum is an entertaining asylum movie, inspired by Poe's The System of Dr.Tarr and Prof. Fether.  The protagonist arrives at an isolated asylum Christmas Eve and quickly learns all is not what it seems.  It's a good movie, not a great one, but certainly worth seeing once.  Ben Kingsley is wonderful, but then he usually is.  There are some other amazing actors, but they are sadly underutilized.

It's like a modern extended version of the 1973 classic "Don't Look in the Basement" which totally creeped me out as a kid.




God Knows Where I Am is another movie about mental disorders, but this one is truly terrifying.  Not because of deranged psychopaths or sadistic killers. It's horrifying because it's a true story, and mental illness is a very real boogeyman. This woman slowly starved to death, imprisoned by her own mind. She kept a journal during her last few months, so her own words weave the movie's narration of those final days. It's really heartbreaking to follow the story of this vivacious woman through her mental decline until her ultimate demise. 




Santa Jaws is a full on Christmas movie.  It is not the greatest movie ever made, but it's a lot of fun.  The plot is a little Home Alone-ish.  The main character wishes his family away while drawing Santa Jaws with a magical pen.  Santa Jaws comes to life and starts picking off his family members one by one.

It's rated TV-PG, so if you are looking for a gore fest, this is not it.  I would say Gremlins level violence, with poorer special effects. I couldn't tell if the acting was bad or if it was the cheesy dialogue and cliché characters that were to blame, but I still found it an enjoyable watch.  Honestly I chuckled every time I saw the Santa hat wearing shark fin glide across the water and the battle scenes are pretty funny.



You can watch Hotel Transylvania The Fright Before Creepmas on DisneyNowGo. Now that my kids are older I'm out of the loop on cool cartoons. Pretty much just having an episode named "The Fright Before Creepmas" must mean it's a cool cartoon series right? There's monsters and Krampus and cartoon shenanigans. It's no Billy & Mandy Save Christmas, but it's still fun and you can safely watch it with younger devil spawn if you have them.




Pottersville has all the familiar nuances of a typical Christmas comedy.  There are quirky characters and situations that start with conflict and end in resolution.  There's even a little romance and if you couldn't tell by the name, there's a bit of "It's A Wonderful Life" feel to it. Still it's not just another warm fuzzy cliché comedy.  It's a bit strange and a little off, kind of like me, which is probably why I like it.

The other thing we have in common, the reason I'm putting this movie on my Creepmas list...ghillie suits.

In the movie, the main character goes on a bender after a rough day, drunkenly dons a gorilla mask and ghillie suit and runs around town. Hungover the next morning he wakes up to find his tranquil little town all a bustle with reports of people having spotted bigfoot the night before.

In real life I dress up in a ghillie suit adorned with lights, garland, ornaments, of the Creepmas variety of course, topped with a Santa hat and I bring treats and Creepmas cheer to my favorite neighbors. So far no one has confused me with bigfoot...or called the cops.  Also as Michael Shannon was running around in a ghillie suit, acting like a lunatic my kids turned to me and said, "That looks like something you'd do, Mom."

This review absolutely rips the movie to shreds and is an entertaining read all on its own.  It's not entirely wrong, this is a corny movie, but it's not entirely right either.  I still stand by my recommendation to watch it.




This video is a bonus for your listening pleasure, because I can't mention Michael Shannon and not think of his epic reading of this sorority email.  Be warned it contains offensive language. Lots of offensive language.  His intense delivery seems to perfectly highlight how utterly ridiculous the author had to be to write something like that.


I will briefly mention Happy! because last year when I wrote about it I only had one episode under my belt.  I can honestly say after watching the whole season everything I said still stands.  The first season of Happy! should be on everyone's Creepmas list.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

He Who Must Not Be Named

[This is a bit of a teaser, but these awesome elves were available from OneailFXStudios. Currently they are not taking orders, but they are estimating they will be caught up with current demand by the 12th and resume taking new orders at that time.]

I would be remiss if I didn't have at least one post about that awful creepy elf who should remain nameless. Really he should have remained nameless. It wasn't until some mother/daughter team of sadistic brainiacs created this book, like the Christmas version of the Necronomicon, telling everyone to name the stupid thing that it really grew into existence.

If you name a thing, you give it power. Isn't that like occult 101?  Leave it to the Santa worshipers to open the gates of hell with this one.


There is an awesome story on boredpanda about one Brittany Mease, 
Mother of the Year and how her elf came to this unfortunate circumstance.  


Kevin Thompson has written 14 ways the elf on the shelf might die.  What makes it even funnier is this guy is a pastor and some of these are pretty twisted.  I would almost considering joining a religion if I had a pastor who wrote stuff like this.  


This a great review of He Who Must Not Be Named and some other disturbing Xmas toys.  The elf doesn't show up until the very end of the video.  For personal reasons I found it humorous that the reviewer noticed the similarities between the elf and slender man.  


I've been a fan of RevenantFX since the early years of Creepmas 
and they don't disappoint with their zombie elves. 


Is this an elf? He has proper elf attire.  Elf Mouse in the house, maybe?  Anyway this adorable bugger is from RatBerryToys and wouldn't freak me out at all if I saw him hanging out on shelf or anywhere else in my house.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Creepmas Cards

Here's a little card I put together.  I saw this image British Library on Flickr and immediately thought whomping willow and then just followed that thought to this obvious conclusion, a Creepmas card. The frame is from TheGraphicsFairy and is subtly adorned with skulls again from the British Library.  I haven't printed it yet on cardstock, but after I do there will be glittering involved.  

Here are some real actual cards, by real actual artists 
that you can really actually buy.  

If you've ever been to O'Hare, then you know why this so funny.  


The artist also has a bunch of adorable Cthulhu cards.


They have other creepy altered thrift store cards, 
undead Santa's, zombie kittens and a Beetlejuice wreath.


There are a couple of other Krampus designs available, but this set is my favorite. 


I love all details, especially all the teeny creepy snowmen. 
She has so many great creepy cute cat cards.   

Thursday, December 6, 2018

GingerDead Houses & Creepmas Pies

Here are few Creepmas confections for your viewing pleasure.

No this isn't one of my creations, but I think I could handle this level of cookie decorating. Maybe that's why I love it so much. It's just so friggin' cute. I also love that a library held an event to decorate gingerbread zombies.


Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
I don't know if you've seen The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell, it's kind of like an Addam's Family baking show with muppets.  Most of her creations are far too elaborate for mere mortals, like this gingerbread house, but it's still fun to watch.  And it has a snarky mummified cat, so what's not to like?  She does a few things throughout  the series that are Creepmas worthy like shrunken head cookie ornaments and chocolate covered candy cane horns.  I thought the latter might be a fun way to make Krampus horns, but my first attempt at reshaping candy canes didn't go so well and I haven't had a chance to try again.

This face hugger gingerbread is also attributed to Christine McConnell on pinterest, but it doesn't link to any actual source.  It certainly looks like other Alien confections she's made.


Winchester Mystery House photo by AnywhereAtHome
The family I were on the west coast this summer and had the opportunity to visit the Winchester Mystery House.  So I thought it was cool to run across this photo of a gingerbread version along with an interesting read about the Flashlight Tour.  We just did the regular tour and I will say I'm glad I got to see the house, but don't expect much from the tour guides.  Sarah Winchester was a very private woman, and all the speculation on why she did things the way she did is just that, speculation.  So the guides don't have much to offer, but the good news is the house speaks for itself with it's unique architecture and details.   



This video shows all the Disneyland Haunted Mansion
gingerbread creations from 2001-2017.  


Zombie Cookies by NotQuiteNigella
This must be the tastiest horde of zombies ever.  Making zombie flesh colored gingerbread is dedication to detail.  Follow the link for the recipe and more pictures.


This time of year it seems it's all about the gingerbread, but I couldn't not share these pies, they are just too wonderful.  Click on the links for more info and videos on how they were made.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Carousel by PiesAreAwesome

Bad Bunny by PiesAreAwesome


Wilton Haunted Skull House
This isn't the most exciting house, but I wanted to share the techniques, which even a novice like me could do.  In fact last year I did something similar with a cobbleskull path.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

GingerDead Sugar Skulls

I'm just going to go ahead and say it, these are really boring looking cookies.  The good news is they taste good and they have a lot of potential.  And unlike my maggot molds, the cookie cutters are available for purchase on amazon and elsewhere. These cookie cutters are a two step process.  First you press the design into the dough with one side and then you flip it over and cut the dough.  

I was inspired by these sugar skull brownies from HungryHappenings.com.  I haven't tried anything close to their recipe here, I just liked the darker batter and thought gingerbread might work.  

Since the only gingerbread recipe I like wouldn't work for this type of cookie, I decided to try this recipe from King Arthur Flour.  Like the maggots, you don't want any leavening agents to puff out your cookies.  

I made half the recipe, using the gingerbread variation...sort of.  I substituted the molasses with brown sugar since it was only a teaspoon and left out the ginger and nutmeg. Next time I think I'll also forgo the allspice and cloves and just use one tablespoon of cinnamon. 

The recipe says to bake for 10-12 minutes. I thought I was being safe taking them out after 10, but they were a little browner than I like.  I don't like my cookies to brown.  I like them right at the point where they are just thinking about browning, but haven't actually committed themselves to the act.  Despite their dark edges, they were not burnt nor were they terribly hard and had a nice shortbread texture.


The guy in the middle was the result of not quite having enough dough for a full skull, but it made me realize that I'm not limited to doing skulls.  Imagine these skull imprints with a pumpkin shaped cutter for Thanksgiving or an egg shape for Easter?

Decorating is not my strong suite, but I thought if I could flood the depressed areas with icing, I might be alright.  Silly me.  First off I don't like royal icing, which is what proper people use for flooding.  Secondly, even if I had used royal icing, let's be real, I would've made a disaster of it anyway.  

I made of small batch of faux royal icing, no meringue powder or egg whites.  It tasted nastier than royal icing.  So I decided to use my Go-To glaze that I drizzle on cinnamon rolls or zombie guts.  

For half a batch of cookies, I used a half a batch of glaze:

1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of milk

Mix the powdered sugar into the butter a tablespoon at a time.  You should end up with a thick smooth paste that's firm enough to roll into a ball.  Add more sugar if needed, no more than a tablespoon at time.  Add the vanilla, mix until smooth. Then gradually add the milk and stir until you have a smooth runny mess.  If you need it to be runnier add more milk, but no more than a 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

So at this point I had my glaze.  It was a perfect consistency for flowing into the spaces, but way to runny for me to pipe from a bag.  I did a fair job drizzling it from the tip of a grapefruit spoon and dotting it in with a toothpick for the really small details.  I made it through two cookies in this manner before I decided "Fck this.", it was taking way too long.  So instead, one by one, I smeared a spoonful of glaze on top of the cookie and then leveled off the excess with a spatula. Not perfect, but I had glaze in the crevices and I finished the rest of the cookies in less time than it took to do the first two.

Next time I will have an array of colorful candy sprinkles on hand to jazz them up.  But although they are terribly bland looking, they are really quite tasty.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Melting Maggots


The Thanksgiving maggots were so much fun, and besides I did originally buy the molds with Creepmas in mind, so of course I had to make something maggoty for the holidays.  Since these silicone molds are also rated for baking, I decided to try something new and make molded cookies.


If you don't have maggot molds, I do truly feel sorry for you.  They were only in the stores at Michaels for a short time this October, so hopefully they will be back next year. This is where they used to be on their website. Alternatively you could just roll the dough into maggot shapes and tell people they are maggots.  The power of suggestion is...well, powerful.   Remember The Lost Boys?


When I looked for a molded cookie recipe, I found the one thing they all had in common was not using any leavening agents.  So I decided to use a recipe I was already familiar with, Melting Moments from joyofbaking.com.  Because of the high cornstarch context, they really do melt in your mouth.  One recipe made 40 maggots (approx. 1 tablespoon of dough for each).

I made a few slight additions to the recipe that you could do or not.  I add the zest of one small lime after creaming the butter and sugar.  I added about 1/2 tablespoon (all I had left) of green sugar to the dough towards the end of mixing. And I added one packet of True Lime (crystallized lime) to the powdered sugar.

The zest and True Lime gave the cookies a subtle lime flavor, which is what I was going for. Not everyone around here is as crazy about lime as I am. You could easily double them for more flavor or substitute lime juice for the vanilla extract if you are making them for lime lovers.  The crystallized lime doesn't add any color it's a super pale yellow almost white, but the zest and colored sugar added some nice green interest. Again you could go heavier for more color.



To bake I lightly dusted the molds with cornstarch before filling.  This dough is thick and will need to be pressed into the molds.  I found that I needed to add a couple minutes to my bake and cooling time for them to easily pop out of the molds.  Normally baking the cookies on a pan takes 10 minutes, in the molds 12 minutes was perfect. It also helped to let them cool 10 minutes in the molds instead of the usual 5 minutes.

They looked lovely right out of the molds, but the powered sugar is really an important part of these cookies.  Unfortunately the powdered sugar covered up their lovely color and some of mold details. I brushed away any excessive sugar build up with a decorating brush.

Overall they still look quite maggoty and they melt in your mouth, so mission accomplished.

To see what others are doing for Creepmas, head over to  Creepmas.com.