Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monster Eyeballs Anyone?....

Think of them as your own homemade Reeses....that are shaped like monster eyeballs :] (there's nothing wrong with that right? Especially since it's the season of spooky Halloween)


  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature (start with very soft butter, or the ingredients will be hard to mix)
  • 1 (1-pound) package confectioners’ sugar (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 (3-ounce) package miniature M&Ms (for the eyes of course!)


1. Blend the peanut butter with the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. It may be easiest to use your hands (kids love doing this).

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper. Roll the peanut butter mixture by teaspoons into small balls and place on the baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm up the eyeballs.

3. Put the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl and melt the chocolate in the microwave: Heat on high for 60 seconds, and then stir well. If it’s not quite smooth, heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate, stirring frequently, in a double boiler, over just-simmering water. Avoid overheating, which can cause chocolate to seize up into a stiff mass.)

4. Take the sheet of balls from the refrigerator; use a fork or a toothpick to dip each one most of the way into the chocolate, leaving a round or oval opening of undipped peanut butter on top. (This opening in the chocolate will be the cornea.) Hold each ball over the chocolate to catch the drips, and then return to the wax paper, cornea side up.

5. Place an M&M in the center of the peanut butter cornea to make an iris. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Store the eyeballs in the refrigerator or freezer and serve chilled.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tombstone Brownies

              Tombstone Brownies make the perfect Halloween dessert for any Halloween party or event. They're very easy to make :) , all you'll need is brownies, or make your own with brownie mix and of course your own cookie tombstones that you can also shape yourself, or use a tombstone cookie cutter. After those two are done you can just go crazy with your own icing and candy decorations and then enjoy <3.
Brownie Ingredients
6 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
1/4 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Flour
2 Eggs

Tombstone Brownies Directions
In a microwavable dish, melt the 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the 6 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa. Mix in sugar, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract, flour, and salt. Pre-heat the oven to 325F degrees. While waiting for the oven to warm up flour the baking pan.
Pour the brownie batter into an 8×8 dish and cook for 35-40 or until a toothpick stuck in comes out clean.
Cookie Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup soft butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tbsp cream
1 tsp almond extract
Chocolate, white and green icing and little candy pumpkins for decor.

Directions for the Tombstone Cookies
Sift dry ingredients together and place into a bowl. Add butter, eggs, cream, and almond extract. Blend thoroughly and chill for several hours. Once chilled break off a piece of dough the size of an apple and pat it flat in your hand.
Roll out dough onto floured board about a 1/4 inch thick. Cut out using tombstone shaped cookie cuter and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5-8 minutes at 400 F. Remove the cookies from the oven as soon as you see them turn color and let cool on a wire rack
Put chocolate frosting on the cut brownies and on one side and place the sugar cookies on the side of the brownie. Decorate with mini pumpkins and more.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Origin of the Vampire

              Of course we’ve all heard of vampires. Those tall, dark and mysterious creatures of the night who seek to suck the blood of us humans and even other immortals. But where exactly did the idea of this all-black wearing, sunlight hating, overly attractive and alluring species come from? They weren’t always the sexy beings we think of today. They were first seen as disgusting and inhuman beings who would rise from their graves at night, drink the blood of innocent humans and then return to the cemeteries before the sun could rise and destroy them. Some say that the legend and history of vampires is as old as our own history! Hmmm a vampire caveman? I wonder what that would look like. History reveals that the first appearance of the word vampire  in English, was in the 1700’s, but even then vampires had already been discussed in so many other cultures.

       So… does someone became a vampire exactly? Ancient cultures believed in things like, if a cat or dog jumped over you then you were of the undead. In Ancient Greece, the practice of placing a coin in the mouth of a corpse to get them through the River Styx in the underworld was to ward off demons from entering the body of the corpse. This led to the idea of vampires because many times the people believed that not all corpses could be protected from the evil demons that would seek to enter their bodies, thus created the undead, or vampire. Finally, any human bitten by a vampire would then become one themselves.[Vampires were pretty much the scapegoat for any unexplained diseases, so whenever someone would pass on the easiest explanation was that they had become one of the un-dead.]

Over the centuries, the folklore of demons who would steal away the lives of humans continued to turn a world-wide belief but it wasn’t until the 18th century that vampires were popularized and became a fear of the Victorian patriarchy. One reason was that because the Victorian era was a time of acting proper and for women to be maternal and well-behaved members of society. The era was always very strict with ideas of sex and sexuality and anything having to do with the two, was feared and looked upon as taboo (sex was only needed as a way to reproduce). Vampires were an enemy of these ideals. They were the symbols of seduction and sexuality and therefore able of corrupting any human and luring them into their grasp. [Bram Stroker’s Dracula (published in 1897) continued the idea of vampires being creatures of alluring beauty and so it led on to the idea that vampires would forever be the irresistible and mysterious  beings that they have turned into up to now.
There is definitely a lot more to the history of vampires. Like a vampires desire to find a mate, or bride to become his and continue the species of vampire, along with how the beliefs of how to kill them came to be. For example, holy water and crosses were used since a vampire was known for being an evil and undead demon from hell, so holy water and crucifixes seemed the best for battling against these demons.  And Garlic? Well in Romania it was always believed that garlic was used to ward off evil because of its horrible smell and it would be used on everything. So one of the reasons that it is linked with repelling vampires is because of a vampire’s strong sense of smell and a garlic strong sense of….well stink. 

Now then, let’s go over the rules of vampires that history (along with the novel Dracula) has set out for us J

  • A vampire cannot exist in the sunlight. A vampire can change into a wolf or a bat. (why? Because wolves and bats were the two creatures known strongly for lurking in the night, they were also seen as the most dangerous and so linked with vampires. Especially bats since they were animals who sucked the blood of cattle; people believed that they also sucked the blood of humans as well.
  • A vampire sucks the blood of the living, and doing so turns the living into vampires as well (unless the vampire chooses to kill its victim).
  • Since the vampire is undead, he is essentially immortal and does not age. (which is how we get the hot male vampires who appear to be in their 20’s or 30’s but are probably somewhere in the thousands?....hmm.
  • A vampire may not enter a home unless invited. A vampire is afraid of Holy Crosses, Holy Water and garlic.
  • Finally, a vampire may be killed by the act of driving a wooden stake through its heart. (or the more effective method: beheading the vampire, taking out their heart and burning the body.)

Oh, and for all your vampire hunting needs, you could always stop by your local antique shop and buy yourself a vampire hunting kit! (I’m serious! These were sold a lot in the 18th century, mostly to tourists who believed that places such as London, Paris, and Romania were practically crawling with vampires.)

So, anyone interested in buying one? J (unless you’re dating a hot and sexy vampire yourself)

Comes fully equipped with holy water, stakes, crucifixes, a bible and of course the knives and ax you'll need for chopping off that vampire's head and stabbing out its heart. Happy Hunting!

[P.S: No vampires were harmed in the making of this post, nor were they hunted with the hunting kit listed above. I'm a fan of vampires and I will continue to be for many years to come :)]

Friday, October 22, 2010

And the first treat of the night is~...

Vampire and Werewolf Cupcakes!

Seriously, how could I not start off the Halloween season with the infamous Dracula and The Wolf Man? That, and once I saw cupcakes which used tic-tacs as vampire teeth I immediately started to laugh and felt that these cupcakes deserved to be first on my list :) Plus these little cupcakes are bound to be popular with any vampire or werewolf fan. Sorry they can't be as hot as the one found in the paranormal romance novels, maybe someday the recipe will come with steps to applying six pack abs? :( So, if you're interested in serving up these tasty immortals at your party, or you just want to make them and devour them yourself (like I do) then just follow these steps!:

How To Make The Vampire And Werewolf Cupcakes:

Start with 24 homemade cupcakes (or use a mix) and one batch of homemade buttercream frosting for decorating. (If using store-bought frosting, I recommend Duncan Hines, which has a good consistency. Do not use whipped frosting, which tends to droop.)

Gather the following supplies, then get started.

For the Vampire Cupcakes:
• Pastry bag with cake tips (#5, #8, and #230)
• Red jam, jelly or frosting
• Miniature chocolate chips
• Black shoelace licorice
• White Tic-Tacs
• Sliced almonds
• Ivory and black icing colors (preferably Wilton, available from Michaels or AC Moore)
• Metal spatula

For the Werewolf Cupcakes:
• Tootsie Rolls (about 6)
• Small black jelly beans (Jelly Belly brand is best)
• Yellow M&M's
• Small red gumdrops
• Brown and black icing colors (preferably Wilton, available from Michaels or AC Moore)
• Pastry bag with cake tips (#5 and #16)

start decorating!

To fill vampire cupcake, fit a pastry bag with a Bismark tip (cake tip #230). If you do not have a Bismark tip, a regular cake tip such as a #10, #12, or #16 should do the trick. Just "pre-drill" a hole in the cupcake with a wooden dowel first.

Fill the pastry bag with you favorite sweet red filling. (We used Smucker's brand strawberry preserves but you could also use another red jam or jelly or red-tinted frosting).

Repeat with remaining cupcakes (fill enough for 12 vampires or, if you'd like the werewolves to have bloody centers too, fill all 24 cupcakes).

Filling the Vampire Cupcake

Insert tip into center of cupcake until it almost reaches the bottom. Squeeze the filling into the cupcake until it just starts to ooze out of the top.

Vampire Cupcake Decorating Step 1

Prepare your frosting: Take 1/2 cup frosting and mix with black icing color. Set aside. In a separate bowl, take 2 cups frosting and mix with ivory icing color (alternatively, use green or purple food coloring for your vampire's "skin").This should be enough frosting to decorate 12 cupcakes.

Using a pastry bag and a #8 cake tip, pipe an ivory border around the edge of your cupcake, then work your way in, filling in the middle until the top of the cupcake is completely covered. If you do not have a pastry bag, you can cut a small hole in the corner of a freezer bag and use that.

With a metal spatula, smooth out the frosting until flat.

TIP: By lightly wetting your spatula while smoothing out the frosting, it will make it easier to flatten out. You will have to wet the spatula a few times during the smoothing process.

Decorating Vampire Cupcakes Step 3

Using black frosting and the #5 cake tip, draw the hair for your vampire.
Vampire Cupcake Decorating Step 5

Press 2 sliced almond pieces (one on each side of his head) into the frosting to create ears, then press 2 miniature chocolate chips (upside down) into the frosting to make eyes.
Vampire Cupcake Decorating Step 6

Cut the black shoelace licorice into three pieces: one 1-inch piece and two quarter-inch pieces. Press the pieces into the frosting to create a mouth and some devilish eyebrows.

Vampire Cupcake Decorating Step 7

With the ivory frosting, add a nose. Then, place two Tic Tacs (one on each side of his mouth) to create fangs

Time to move on to the werewolves!

Werewolf Cupcake Decorating Step 1

Prepare your frosting: Take 1/2 cup frosting and mix with black icing color. Set aside. In a separate bowl, take 3 cups frosting and mix with brown icing color. Leave remaining frosting white (for werewolf teeth). This should be enough frosting to decorate 12 cupcakes. OPTION: Instead of coloring frosting brown, you can use chocolate frosting. Duncan Hines makes a good frosting, just do not use the whipped variety.

In the microwave, soften Tootsie Rolls (about 5 to 8 seconds). Flatten them out using your fingers and then set aside to harden.

Once the flattened Tootsie Rolls have hardened, cut triangle shapes out of them. These will be the werewolves' ears. Using brown frosting and the #16 cake tip, make 2 small dollops near the top of a cupcake (as "glue") and attach the Tootsie Roll ears.

Werewolf Cupcake Step 2

Starting from the outside edge, pipe brown frosting in multiple strokes around the cupcake to create the werewolf's fur. Cover the bottom part of the ears with fur as well. This will help to keep them on, as well as make your werewolf's fur look more realistic. Continue until
 you have filled the entire cupcake with fur.

Werewolf Cupcake Step 6

Flatten a red gumdrop with your fingers, then put it on the cupcake to create a mouth. Pipe brown frosting along the edge of the gumdrop in the same manner as you did above. Pipe a line of brown frosting just below the ears to give the werewolf a thick brow.
Werewolf Cupcakes Step 7

Stick 2 yellow M&M's sideways into the cupcake, just below the eyebrows. Place a black jelly bean right above the mouth to give him a nose.

Werewolf Cupcakes Step 8

Using black frosting and a #5 tip, draw 2 dots in the center of the M&M's to make pupils. Using white frosting and a #5 tip, draw teeth around the edge of the gumdrop to give him a fierce bite.


The idea for these cutie cupcake creatures came from Here. Tomorrow I'll be going through the history and origins of these two famous folklores, as well as another yummy recipes for Halloween! :)