Gross-out goodies: Halloween treats look scary, but they’ll please your goblins

  • By Patrick Decker For the Associated Press
  • Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2:36pm
  • Life

These whoopie pies, ghosts and bloody eyeballs got dressed up for Halloween.

To turn the whoopie pies into pumpkins, use orange food coloring in the filling instead of green. Then pipe a small dollop of purchased green frosting on top of the assembled pie to create a “stem.”

Fondant ghosts are an ideal project for young children, as precision isn’t necessary and all the ingredients are edible right out of the package.

If you can flatten dough with a rolling pin, you can make these ghost treats. You just roll out purchased fondant, a type of cake icing that looks and feels like clay, and drape it over marshmallows.

Give the ghosts personality by creating faces using small candies pressed into the fondant. Or use decorating gel (the tubes sold at the grocer will work fine) to draw them. Pretzels, licorice and other small items can be used for adding arms and feet.

Fondant will dry and harden, so cover unused portions with plastic while making the ghosts. The ghosts can be left to air-dry, then used as decorations. If you plan to eat the ghosts, do so within a few hours of making — the taste of fondant doesn’t improve with age!


For the cookies:

21/4cups all-purpose flour

1teaspoon baking soda

1/2teaspoon baking powder

1teaspoon salt

1tablespoon cinnamon

1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1cup packed light brown sugar

1large egg, room temperature

1teaspoon vanilla

1/2cup canned pumpkin

1cup buttermilk

5-6drops orange food coloring

For the filling:

11/2cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

21/2cups powdered sugar

1tablespoons vanilla extract

1/4teaspoon salt

5cups marshmallow sandwich spread

2tablespoons green food coloring

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

To make the cookies, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Use an electric mixer on medium to beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Add the pumpkin and mix to combine. Reduce the mixer to low, then add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the orange food coloring, then beat until evenly blended.

Portion 16 mounds of batter (1/4 cup each) onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each.

Bake, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.

When the cookies are cool, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer on medium to beat until smooth (it will look crumbly at first). Beat in the vanilla and salt.

Add the marshmallow and beat until smooth, then add the green food coloring and beat until evenly colored.

To assemble, arrange 8 cookies on the counter, flat sides up. Divide the filling evenly between the cookies, about 1/2 cup per cookie, and spread in an even layer. The filling also can be piped onto the cookies.

Place a second cookie, flat side down, over the filling on each. If you store the pies in the refrigerator, remove them about 1 hour before serving

Makes 8 servings.

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