in store this fall

halloween-graveyard-cake

I know some of you are thinking it is way way too early for this. We’ll you’re sort of right. It is too early to start baking and making Halloween treats, but it isn’t too early to start creating our Halloween invitations and decor. This post is my way of telling you that this week will be all about our newest designs. Stay tuned for fun invitations and spooky decor!

The first, the Graveyard Cake, is from Martha Stewart’s 2004 magazine. Read all the how to details. And all the pops are from Bakerella. Super fun aren’t they!

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sugar, sugar and more sugar

Halloween sugar cookiesOkay, I know we’re supposed to be doing tables this week, but I couldn’t resist. Today is going to be absolute sugar overload anyway, so why not add a little more with sugar cookies. I developed a love for decorating cookies about four years ago. Candidly I would prefer to save the calories for chocolate so I rarely eat them, but I love to make them and my boys love to help. These are a few of our Halloween cookies that we’ll share with our neighbors tonight. (For tips on how to flood sugar cookies, read this previous post.)

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ghostly

Ghostly

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were having a block Halloween party. To show our spirit for the evening we made a lot of things… including this ghost. All you need is:

  • 3 yards white bridal tulle
  • 6 inch diameter Styrofoam ball
  • Sheet of black construction paper
  • 48″ dowel
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  1. Scrunch your tulle into several bunches so that it is very wrinkled (this will help it stand up and appear more spooky)
  2. Cut two 2 inch circles out of the black construction paper for the eyes and a large oval for the mouth
  3. Apply the paper to the Styrofoam ball with hot glue
  4. Insert your dowel in the bottom of the ball (use your scissors or a pencil to start the hole)
  5. Snip a 12 inch strip of the tulle and then drape the remaining tulle over the ball
  6. Define the neck by tying the tulle in place at the neck with the 12″ strip

Have fun!

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peanut butter witch brooms

Peaunut butter witch broomsLooking for a fun treat for the upcoming Halloween bash you’ve been invited to? Well there is no easier cookie than this one. All you need is:

  • Refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
  • Pretzel rods
  • Orange chocolate wafers (or you can tint white chocolate)
  • Sprinkles

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, form 1 to 1 ½ inch cookie dough balls and insert the pretzel rod. Once you’ve laid it on the cookie sheet, press it out in the shape of the broom bristles. Next, using a fork, press lines in the cookie. Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes (remove from the oven before they brown). Once the cookies have cooled completely, melt your chocolate in a resealable bag, snip a small hole in one corner and pipe on the chocolate. Before the chocolate hardens, dash on your sprinkles. This entire process can be wrapped up in 35 to 40 minutes. Enjoy!

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owl cupcakes

Owl cupcakesThese owls were so much fun to make and easy enough for little helpers. Here’s what you need:

  • Brownie mix (we used puree apricots in the place of egg and filled the cups ¾ full)
  • Oreo cookies
  • M&Ms (replace with Skittles for egg and dairy free)
  • Cashews
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Cream cheese icing

While your brownie cupcakes are cooling, tint your cream cheese icing orange and divide your Oreo cookies (we removed the white filling, but you could leave it). Next, ice each cupcake, apply your cookies face up, sprinkle the top of the cupcake with chocolate sprinkles to resemble feathers and add the cashew as the hooked nose. Finally, using a toothpick, place a small amount of icing on the back of the M&Ms and apply as the owls eyes.

(Tip: Oreos tend to get soggy when not kept in airtight containers. Plan to ice and decorate within an hour or two of serving.)

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picking pumpkins

Picking pumpkinsThere is nothing quite like a pumpkin farm in the fall. The trees are beautiful and the kids are in heaven, always looking for the largest one in the bunch to see if they can move it. For those of you lucky enough to visit a farm this year, here are a few things to look for when you want to be creative:

  • Gnarly stems – a good crooked stem is great when placed on its side to portray a witch
  • Tall and thin – these are great for large stencils and ghost faces
  • Small and squat – these are perfect for the typical jack-o-lantern

No matter what you choose, and whether from a patch or a grocery store, enjoy the moments with your families.

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mummy treat cups

Mummy treat cupAs I continue to search for fun crafts for our block Halloween party, I came across these mummy treat cups and thought I would share. (If you’re looking for something a bit more spooky, the orange bow and bow tie can be replaced with a thin mouth out of black craft paper.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic or paper cups, bathroom sized
  • White cotton fabric, an old white t-shirt could work great
  • Medium wiggle eyes
  • Black sheet of construction paper (or orange felt)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • White craft glue

Here’s how:

  1. Cut a small section from the t-shirt, depending on how many treat cups you will be making. Start with a section about 6″ x 6″. Cut that section into strips ½ inch strips.
  2. Use the glue stick to line one side of a t-shirt strip, then starting at the bottom of the cup, wrap around and press in place. Repeat until entire cup is covered.
  3. Use white craft glue to attach wiggle eyes.
  4. Cut bows out of felt or cut a thin line from the black construction paper. Apply with craft glue.
  5. Fill your cups with fun treats: gummy worms, chocolate candies or candy corn!

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pumpkin crispy treats

Pumpkin Crispy Treats

You’ll likely notice that I use a lot of crispy cereal to make goodies (e.g., Pirate Pops). Since my youngest son has severe food allergies, they have proven to be a fun way to include him in all the fun party treats and the guests don’t even realize (or care) that the treats are egg and dairy free. I’ve outlined the easy steps on how to make these fun goodies for your Halloween bash.

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long legged spider suckers

Spider suckersThis easy craft made my little guys smile. Not only could they make them, but they could quickly pull them apart to eat them! All you need are:

  • Suckers
  • Black pipe cleaners (4 per spider)
  • Plastic eyes
  • Glue

Here’s how:

  • Take four pipe cleaners in one hand and one sucker in the other
  • Wrap the cleaners around the stick portion of the sucker once and then twist the cleaners to make the wrap tighter (the knot will be on the bottom of the spider)
  • Extend four legs onto either side and bend the ends (for feet) about a ½ inch to ¾ inch from the end of each pipe cleaner
  • Next bend the pipe cleaners (legs) so that the spider stands up
  • Finally apply the eyes using any white non-toxic glue (although on the outside of the wrapper, better safe than sorry)

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masquerading pumpkins

Pumpkins MasqueradingThe craft room was abuzz this weekend working on ideas for our block’s Halloween party. My oldest helped with this one; he cut out the Frankenstein template for me, minus the bolts… okay, so I had to cut it out again, but his version was adorable.

Here’s what you need:

  • Halloween cookie cutter shapes (bat, owl and Frankenstein shown)
  • Black or orange ribbon
  • Rectangle hole punch (available at most any craft store)
  • Craft paper (fall and Halloween colors)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape
  • Small pumpkin

I simply picked out a fun cookie cutter, the bat was my favorite, and traced the outline on a piece of craft paper. Once I had the outline, I cut out the shape, punched a rectangle hole on each side and inserted the ribbon, tying a knot in each end. Finally I put a piece of double sided tape on the back of the mask and slipped it over my pumpkin pressing the mask in place.

Have fun!

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