This Halloween I wanted to get a little creative and get into the full Halloween spirit, so I decided to create a bunch of festive treats for my friends and family. And since I am no longer the little girl who gets to put on her costume and go trick or treating, I thought this would be an equally satisfying way to partake in the fun of Halloween. All of my recipes were based on the black and orange theme, or had pumpkin flavors to them. I can't tell you how much fun it was to make all of these treats :) It's amazing how something so small, like baking Halloween cookies and cupcakes, can bring back a rush of past memories. As I was making these devilish goodies I was reminiscing about past Halloweens, and the costumes that I had. From Snow White, Belle, a gumball machine (which I absolutely hated), to a skunk, a witch and Wilma Flintstone, I've had my fair share of tricks and treats! But now as I get older I find more fun in seeing the next generation of adults stroll around the neighborhood in their ladybug, Scream, Spider Man and Disney Princess costumes. The excitement on their face from a piece of candy makes me remember how good it was to be a kid, worry free and full of life. It makes me wish I would've taken a little more time savoring childhood instead of eagerly anticipating adulthood. But this Halloween, these creations, brought back a piece of that childhood freedom that I think I desperately needed. So, without further due I give you Halloween :)
First up is Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars, courtesy of Peabody. When I saw these I knew immediately I had to make them! The creamy pumpkin pie-ish layer is a top a wonderful gingerbread crust, that was to die for! The whole bar is topped of with a gingerbread crumble and a layer of drizzled glaze. The flavor of these bars is definitely suitable for Halloween, but is also great for the upcoming falls months and holidays!
The next Ghoulish treat is a recipe that I saw my idol, Giada de Laurentis make. These Chocolate Orange cupcakes were a huge hit, and so easy. The batter is store bought cake mix, but instead of adding water, you add orange juice! I also added candied ginger to give the cupcakes a little kick, and man-o-man was that a sweet idea. I have actually never tried chocolate and orange together, and even though people rave about it I wasn't convinced. But after trying this recipe I'm a believer! The orange almost enhanced the chocolate flavor and was a delightfully refreshing taste in my mouth!
My Monster Cookies are also from a favorite Food Network star, Paula Deen. These cookies have just about every cookie ingredient you can imagine! With the chocolate chips, peanut butter, oatmeal, raisin, and M & M ingredients, how can you go wrong? I have to tell you all, that this is probably the BEST cookie dough you will ever eat!! I literally took out a ginormous scoop of dough, placed it in a separate bowl and devoured it! (I liked the dough better than the baked cookies). The cookies come out with a crispy edge to them, but a very soft in the center, which to me is a perfect cookie. And the oatmeal gives them a great chewy texture. I just couldn't get enough of these!
The funnest cookie that I made was my Pumpkin and Bat sugar cookies, which I hand decorated! The hardest part I had with these was mixing the food coloring to get them just the right color, other than that they were a cinch and a huge success! The light buttery crispness of the cookie was covered with a thin layer of royal icing.
My final treat was the classic whoopie pie, which was insanely good. Gooey marshmallow filling is sandwiched between two rich chocolate cakes, given you the ultimate little piece of heaven. The first time I made these they were an instant favorite of mine, and never disappoint. This recipe is from Epicurious and couldn't be any easier to make. And if this treat doesn't take you back to your childhood I don't know what will :)
With all of these lovely treats completed I was excited to deliver them to all of my friends and family, who were the very first customers of my new found home-based company Babycakes. That's right! I did it! I am starting a home-based "goody" selling business called Babycakes. Each month I create a seasonal menu and send it around to family and friends and hand deliver all orders. I cannot tell you all how excited I am to be on the road to my dream, and if you would like to be a Babycakes customer feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to my mailing list, since you, my blogging buddies are also my friends and supporters! So with fingers crossed, and my dreams as my horizon I'm hoping walk the road of self made, self discovered, and self earned success!