Monday, October 13, 2008

Rats, Cats and Witches Hats - Oh My!

Rats, Cats and Witches Hats
It’s Almost Halloween

I love Halloween. As the 31st of October approaches, my mind floods with memories of Halloween’s past. All the homemade costumes. All the store bought costumes. The baking, the candy, the Jack O’lanterns. We’ve had so much fun with our kids over the years. Memory-making times. I’ve got a ton of picture that I’ve taken over the years with Bob, my son, my daughter and me all in costume and acting silly, but having a whole lot of fun.

Take this time to enjoy your kids and grandkids. Let you hair down and enjoy the moment. If there are no children in the picture, get together with some friends and party. You don’t have to spend a lot to have fun. What counts is the laughing, the talking, the dancing, and the joy of making memories.

Take a look at these cookies. They’re simple, they’re cute and they’re tasty. If you have kids, let them help. I’ve had my kids and their friends over for cookie decorating parties. Yes, there will be frosting and chocolate on the floor, on the walls, on the ceiling, but who cares? It can be cleaned and forgotten. What won’t be forgotten are the smiles on their faces as they try something new, like making a cat or a rat out of cherries and Hershey kisses. Enjoy the unofficial start of the holiday season with Halloween. But don’t forget Dia de Los Muertos. We’ll talk about that one later. Wait till you see the delicious brownie and sugar skulls we’ll be making.

For now, make some Rats, Cats and Witches Hats. They’re simple to make.
Here’s what you need.

1. Fudge Strip Cookies, the ones with the fudge bottom. This is the side you’ll be using.
2. A jar of stemmed maraschino cherries. Make sure they have the stems on them. These work as tails on the rats and the cats.
3. Chocolate! (of course) for melting and dipping the cherries in.
4. Hershey Kisses. The kisses will be the heads for both the rat and the cats. They will also be the tops of the witch’s hats.
5. Frosting. Here, you’ve got a choice. You can make some royal frosting and color it the different colors you want to use, OR, you can cheat and get the Cake Mate frosting tubes. I also got a couple of tubes of the frosting gels for the eyes.
6. You’ll need some sliced almonds for the rat’s ears.
7. Some mini chocolate chips for the cat’s ears.
That’s it.

Turn the cookies over on a cutting board with the fudge side up. Melt the dipping chocolate and let it cool down a bit. Meanwhile rinse and drain the cherries and let them dry. Unwrap the kisses. Assemble the almonds slices, mini chips, cherries and kisses. Do it assembly-line style.

Dip cherries into melted (cooled) chocolate and lay it on the cookie. Lay a kiss right next to it. Place the rat ears, the almond slices, in between the cherry and the kiss. When you finish making as many as you’re going to make, place the cutting board in the fridge and let the chocolate set, about 15 minutes.

When the chocolate has set, remove the cookies from the fridge and using red gel, draw eyes on the rats. Using frosting, decorate the flat part of the cookie if you like.

These will take a little more work, not much though. First prepare your cat’s heads. Cut off the tip of the Hershey Kiss to give it a semi-round face. With a toothpick, gently carve out a mouth and whiskers. Make a small indentation for the nose and eyes. Fill-in the nose and eyes with the frosting gels. I used red for the nose and green for the eyes. Set these aside for a moment. Get a second cutting board and lay out your cookies, fudge side up. Dip the cherries in the chocolate and lay the cat’s head next to it on the cookie. Dab a little melted chocolate onto the bottom of the mini chocolate chip and place on the cat’s head for ears. Make sure your hands are cold so that the chips don’t melt in your hands. Once you’ve made as many as you’re going to make, place the cutting board in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden. After 15 minutes, take the cookies out and decorate any way you wish.

Witches Hats:
These are the easiest to make. Squirt a little frosting on the bottom of the Hershey Kiss and place the kisses in the center of the fudge cookie. When you’ve prepared as many as you’re going to make, take all your frostings and decorate the hats however you like.

These are a lot of fun to make with kids. Relish the moment.


Ben said...

They are all so cute! And I love Halloween too, but dia de muertos is even better! :-p

Happy cook said...

Wow I have this huge smile.
Thay are all so cute.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

After looking at your post I feel I have turned 10 now :)

Biz said...

What great ideas!

We moved to our house 8 years ago. I was used to 400 kids for Halloween, so when we moved, I bought my customary 20 bags of candy.

I got FOUR trick or treaters! I was so bummed!

The last girl to come to the house had a pillow case for her candy, so I said "open up your bag" and dumped in approximately 10 bags of candy.

She walked down the steps and shouted "that lady just gave me all her candy!"

I took the rest to work. :(

Megan said...

I love the rats! Last year my daughter made sugar skulls in her Spanish club. I was so impressed how cute they turned out. I cant wait to hear about Dia de Los Muertos

Megan said...

I love the rats! Last year my daughter made sugar skulls in her Spanish club. I was so impressed how cute they turned out. I cant wait to hear about Dia de Los Muertos

Debinhawaii said...

What cute little treats and your pink piggy cupcakes are adorable too. You are so creative!

Dee said...

I love the mice :) sweet and simple bakes is having an event where you submit cupcakes decorated for Halloween. I'm thinking of contributing something, join me?

Meg said...

I love it! They are all adorable!

FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels said...

Some spilled the frijoles...feliz cumpleanos y muchos mas.

Reeni said...

They are all so cute and I bet they are a lot of fun to make! and eat!

Reeni said...

I just found out it's your b-day, so I had to come back and wish you a happy birthday! Hope your enjoying your day.

FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels said...

Hi Theresa -- Looked all over the blogosphere for an offline email for you because I want to contact you re your re-design to 3 columns. Would you please email me?
P.S. Great Halloween creativity.

sonia said...

Que gran idea, me encantaaan. Para la fiesta de mi hijo, que estoy preparando de brujos me va de fábula. Gracias.


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