Halloween Chocolate Chip Cookies

A classic goes wild!

Here’s a twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie that will leave you spellbound this Halloween.

Spider Cookies with Chocolate Chips

by Colleen Riley for Real Simple.com

Chocolate Chip Spider Cookies

Photo: Philip Friedman; Styling: Colleen Riley

Yield: 24 Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room teperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup, plus 24, chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in ¾ cup of the chocolate chips.
  3. Drop mounds of the dough (about 1 ½ tablespoon each) 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Press one chocolate chip, pointed-side down, into the top of each cookie. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway though, until golden brown around the edges, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Place the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted. Dip a toothpick in the melted chocolate and draw legs around the exposed chip.

 

Just a Note: To make the spiders even spookier, press red Nonpareils into the chocolate chip (you may need to use tweezers) when the cookies first come out of the oven.

 

I want my Mummy!

Pillsbury™ Offers a Fast Easy Way to Make Halloween Tasty

Mummy Chocolate Chip cookies

Photo by Pillsbury™

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Pillsbury™ Ready To Bake!™ refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 container (1 lb) vanilla creamy ready-to-spread frosting
  • Neon orange and green food colors
  • Candy eyes

Directions: 

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake cookies as directed on package. Cool completely.
  2. Separate frosting into 2 small bowls; add food colors to make desired neon orange and neon green colors.
  3. Spoon colored frostings into decorating bags fitted with flat basket weave tip #45. Squeeze bag to pipe frosting in crisscross pattern over cookies to look like mummy bandages. Attach candy eyes. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes.
  4. Be creative with any color you choose to decorate your mummies. If you don’t have food color on hand, use vanilla or chocolate frosting. Don’t have candy eyes? Use miniature candy-coated chocolate candies instead.

    how to make mummy cookies

    Wrap it Up! Use colored frosting to create the “mummy” look and add candy “eyes.”

Don’t have decorating tips or bags at home? Instead, spoon frosting into a resealable food-storage plastic bag, and cut about 1/4 inch off corner of bag to pipe mummy bandages onto the cookies.

 Chocolate Chip Werewolf Cookies

 Get creative with these cookies that will leave your guests howling for more.

Werewolf Chocolate Chip Cookies

Halloween party guests will go barking mad over these Werewolf Cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (16 oz) Pillsbury™ Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated chocolate chip cookies (24 cookies)
  • 1- 1/2 cups ready-to-spread chocolate frosting (from 16-oz. can)
  • Assorted small candies

Directions:

  1. Bake cookies as directed on package. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, spoon frosting into resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Cut tiny hole in bottom corner of food storage plastic bag.
  3. Pipe frosting onto cooled cookies to resemble hair. Attach candies with small amount of frosting to decorate face as desired.

 

 

Pumpkin Nutella Walnut Bars — from Your Homebased Mom

These Pumpkin Nutella Walnut Bars are a perfect collaboration of flavor and texture. This post is part of a brand partnership with the California Walnut Board but all opinions are my own. My two boys were home this weekend for their annual “Wilkes Men Football Weekend.” Each year they travel somewhere for a football game…

via Pumpkin Nutella Walnut Bars — your homebased mom

Blueberry Zucchini Squares Recipe

Blueberry Zucchini Squares

Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 24 Servings (2 dozen)

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (do not pack)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

 

GLAZE:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 15x10x1-in. baking pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine zucchini, buttermilk, lemon peel and lemon juice; toss to combine. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. In another bowl, whisk 3-1/4 cups flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with zucchini mixture, mixing well after each addition. Toss blueberries with remaining flour; fold into batter.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pan, spreading evenly (pan will be full). Bake 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  4. In a small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth; spread over top. Let stand until set.

 

Nutritional Facts
1 piece equals 270 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 197 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

 

 

Editor’s Note: If using frozen blueberries, use without thawing to avoid discoloring the batter.

 
Originally published as Blueberry Zucchini Squares in Taste of Home June/July 2015

Hallmark’s Blackberry Slump Recipe

Recipe by Jennifer Fujita

A slump is a New England creation—halfway between a cobbler and a British steamed pudding. Biscuit dough is dropped atop simmering fruit and covered until cooked through.

Yield: about 6 to 8 servings

Blackberry Slump

Photo by Hallmark©

 

Ingredients:

For the Berry Mixture:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 4 cups blackberries Juice of 1⁄2 lemon Zest of 1 lemon

 

For the Dumplings

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup buttermilk or whipping cream 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • Ice cream, whipped cream or cold heavy cream for serving

 

Directions:

  1. For the berry mixture, combine the sugar and flour and mix well. In a Dutch oven or skillet, combine berries, the sugar and flour mixture, lemon juice and zest.
  2. Let rest for 15 minutes to allow juices to run. Then, bring berries to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. While berries are simmering, start on the dumplings.
  3. For the dumplings, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Heat buttermilk or whipping cream and butter just until butter melts, and then add it to the flour mixture. Stir to combine.
  4. Drop heaping teaspoons of dumpling batter onto the berry mixture. Place the lid back on the skillet and simmer without disturbing for 15 to 20 minutes. Dumplings should puff up and be dry inside.
  5. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream or cold heavy cream.

 

For more recipes, click here on the Hallmark website.

Watermelon Shark Recipe

Watermelon Shark recipe

Photo by Taste of Home©

Is it safe to go into the kitchen?  Yes!  Take a bite out of this watermelon and leave satisfied.

(However, you might need a bigger bowl… while you watch television episodes during Shark Week on Discovery.)

 

Yield: 32 Servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large watermelon
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 medium cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 medium oranges
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) pineapple preserves
  • Swedish Fish candies, optional

 

Directions:

  1. Using a large sharp knife, cut off one end of the watermelon so that watermelon stands at an angle. Using a razor blade or small knife, score an opening for the mouth. With knife, cut out and remove mouth. Cut out triangles for teeth; remove rind from teeth.
  2. For shark fin, cut a triangle from removed rind; attach to shark with toothpicks. For eyes, attach two grapes with toothpicks.
  3. Remove fruit from inside watermelon; cut into cubes. In a large bowl, combine watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries and remaining grapes. Finely grate peel from oranges and squeeze juice. In a small bowl, mix preserves, orange juice and peel; add to fruit and toss gently.
  4. Stand shark on a platter. Fill opening with some of the fruit mixture; add a few Swedish Fish if desired. Serve with remaining fruit.

 

Nutritional Facts
3/4 cup (calculated without candies): 129 calories, 1g fat (trace saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 7mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein Diabetic Exchanges:1/2 starch, 1-1/2 fruit

 
Originally published as Watermelon Shark in Simple & Delicious June/July 2012, p8

 

No Churn S’mores Ice Cream — your homebased mom

Two of your favorite summer treats in one and no ice cream maker required!! No Churn S’mores Ice Cream is the perfect summer dessert. Summer means two things at our house s’mores and homemade ice cream. We have a fire pit in our backyard and we love having a fire and making s’mores on a…

via No Churn S’mores Ice Cream — your homebased mom

Easter Pie Recipe

Easter Pie is a specialty in many Italian homes, so mothers make sure their daughters master the recipe to ensure that the tradition continues. —Barbara Tierney, Farmington, Connecticut

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Easter Pie

photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

CRUST:

  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

FILLING:

  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Dash salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup diced citron, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  1. Directions:
    In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder; cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles small crumbs. Add eggs; stir until moistened and mixture forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 10-in. circle. Place in a 9-in. pie plate; flute crust. Refrigerate.
  2. For filling, beat the ricotta, sugar and flour in a bowl. Add peels and salt; beat until smooth. In another bowl, beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes; slowly fold into ricotta mixture. Gently mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into the crust. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Facts
1 serving (1 piece) equals 482 calories, 23 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 196 mg cholesterol, 349 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 14 g protein.

Originally published as Easter Pie in Reminisce March/April 1995, p47

Lemon Coconut Nest Cake

By Jackie Alpers for Real Simple©

Lemon Coconut Nest Cake

Photo by Hector Manuel Sanchez

Yield: 8 to 10 Servings

Ingredients: 

Cake:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 2½cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • ½teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain, whole-milk, Greek yogurt

Frosting:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅓ cup plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon extract
  • 2c ups finely shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 cup large dried coconut flakes or chips, unsweetened
  • 2 teaspoon sprinkles in spring colors (optional)
  • 1 cup candy-coated chocolate eggs, such as Cadbury Mini Eggs

 

Directions: 

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the lemon juice, then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then the yogurt, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Prepare the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, confectioners’ sugar and lemon extract until smooth.
  6. Frost the cooled cake, then press the finely shredded coconut into the sides and top of the frosting with your hands. Press the bigger coconut flakes on top. Garnish with sprinkles. Fill the hole in the middle with chocolate eggs before serving.

Tips to Celebrate Purim

JDate’s Jewish holiday Hamentaschen recipe

Yield: 48 cookies (1 per serving)

Hamantaschen

Celebrate Purim

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Prune, Apricot or Plum, or Poppy Seed Filling

Directions: Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in large bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix lemon peel, vanilla extract and eggs.

Stir into flour mixture until dough forms a ball. (Use hands to mix all ingredients if necessary; add up to 1/4 cup additional flour if dough is too sticky to handle.)

Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

*Prepare desired filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll half of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Spoon 1 level teaspoon filling onto each round. Bring up 3 sides, using metal spatula to lift, to form triangle around filling. Pinch edges together firmly. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Prune Filling: Heat prunes and enough water to cover to boiling in 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes; drain well. Mash prunes. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Apricot or Plum Filling: Mix jam, almonds, lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir in just enough bread crumbs until thickened.

Poppy Seed Filling: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.

*Filling options: Prune Filling

  • 1 (12 ounce) package pitted prunes
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Apricot or Plum Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups apricot or plum jam
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (about)

Poppy Seed Filling

  • 1 cup poppy seed
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg white

NOTE: To speed up the making of these Jewish holiday cookies, use canned apricot or poppy seed filling.

Click here for more Hamentaschen recipes.

Check out JDate’s Tips to Celebrate the Holiday

Party Purim style!

Over this Jewish holiday, celebrants are commanded to eat, drink and be merry! According to the Talmud, a person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai” and if you’ve read the story that’s a big leap. At JDate they celebrate Purim every year by throwing nationwide Jewish holiday parties across the U.S. and Canada where we invite all JDaters to imbibe ‘til they can’t tell the difference between Mordechai and Haman.

Note: One should not drink so much that they violate other commandments or become ill. Also if you’re a recovering alcoholic or can have adverse health risks due to alcohol, you’ll have to sit out this part of the Jewish holiday.

Dressing up for Purim

One thing that perfectly complements the drinking commandment of the Jewish holiday is the carnival atmosphere that often accompanies a Purim celebration! It’s said that Purim has Mardi Gras meets Halloween feel and many parties encourage participants to masquerade as their favorite characters in the Purim story or any other fun outfit befitting the Jewish holiday. Costumes are used for participants to hide themselves, much like Esther hid her Judaism from King Ahasuerus, Mordechai hid his knowledge of foreign languages to uncover the plot on King Ahasuerus’ life or when Haman was once mistaken for Mordechai in the streets in Sushan by Haman’s sister. But the one who is truly hidden behind the events of the Purim story is G-d. Many believe that the miraculous events of the Purim story stem from divine intervention and although there is no mention of G-d in the Book of Esther, Jewish philosophy believes that the reason for His omission is to emphasize the very point that G-d remained hidden, but was nonetheless present and played the largest part in the Jewish holiday story.

Click here for more from JDate.com 

Chocolate Cake with Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb / 225g butter
  • 2 1/3 cups / 1 pound / 450g / caster or granulated sugar (superfine works best if you have it handy)
  • 4 eggs
  • 9 rounded tablespoons grated chocolate (approximately 3 standard squares of baking chocolate, or 90 grams / 3 1/2 ounces of other chocolate)
  • 5 rounded tablespoons / 50g / 1 3/4 ounces ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup / 5 ounces / 150g of cold, sieved or riced cooked potato (see below for specific directions about the potato)
  • 2 1/2 cups / 10 ounces / 300g flour (plain flour is fine, but cake flour is better if you have it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup / 5 fluid ounces / UK 1/4 pint / 150ml milk

For preparing the pan you’ll bake in:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

 

Directions:

First prepare your cake pan. A tube pan like a Bundt pan works best for this recipe: but a springform cake pan works fine too.

  1. If using a tube pan or Bundt pan, butter it well inside, paying particular attention to any flutings or crevices in the pan. Then mix the flour and cocoa together and use this mixture to flour the inside of the pan.
  2. If using a springform pan, butter it too: then line it with a circle of buttered baking parchment for the bottom and a strip of buttered baking parchment for the sides.

 

Now prepare your cooked potato by one of these two methods:

  • Boil in unsalted water 2 medium-sized potatoes or 3 small potatoes in their jackets, then drain, cool completely, peel, and rice or sieve.
  • Or if you prefer, peel and chunk 2 medium-sized potatoes or 3 small potatoes, boil for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Drain them, dry them briefly over low heat until most of the steam has stopped rising, then remove from heat and mash well, ricing or sieving when fully cooled.
  • An important note about the potatoes: Do not add them to the batter if they are even slightly warm. If you do, the result will be a heavy cake that may fail to rise, or only rise partway. Also: We have never tried this cake with instant mashed potatoes. Better to play it safe and use the real thing.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F / 275° C. Then prepare the cake batter:

 

3.   Grate the chocolate on a fine grater, or pulse in a food processor, or crush with a mortar and pestle, until reduced to small granules. (The food processor is by far the easiest and fastest way: the grater and mortar-and-pestle are more labor intensive, but produce a slightly finer result.

4.When this is done, sift the flour once by itself. Then sift it a second time with the cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

5. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.

6. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks, one at a time, to the creamed mixture, beating well after each one.

7. Stir in the grated chocolate, ground almonds and cocoa. Add the sieved potato and stir again.

8. Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently until smooth after each addition.

9. When this process is complete, whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the whipped egg whites carefully into the cake mixture.

10. Spoon into the prepared springform pan or Bundt pan / tube pan: tap gently once on the counter to settle. Bake for 1 3/4 hours. Test for doneness with a toothpick or skewer at the end of this time: bake for another 15 minutes if needed.

11. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for at least twenty minutes before removing from the pan: then cool on a rack.

12. To finish, frost the chocolate cake with a chocolate-based icing, or (if you prefer the simple approach) dust with confectioners’ sugar / icing sugar.

* For those who’re interested, Butlers Irish Chocolates are available in the US from this online source.