Do you know what today is? It’s the Smart Cookie Cook’s favorite holiday, aka Halloween! I love all things creepy and spooky, so today is what I live for. Plus, I have a borderline-addiction to candy, and Halloween gives me an excuse to gorge on mass quantities of the sugar-laden stuff, so that’s pretty great.
If you thought I’d let a holiday that is simultaneously sweet and scary slip by without tons of accompanying recipes, then you’re mistaken. Since September, I’ve been cranking out creepy eats and treats to feed the insatiable appetite of hungry monsters like you. As an extra special Halloween treat, I’ve compiled 13 of my favorite Halloween recipes below.
The word “chocolate” automatically negates anythings grotesque that follows or precedes it. So, the whole “severed mummy head” thing really isn’t disturbing, because all we care about is that it’s made out of chocolate.
Is there anything else that matters?
This Severed Chocolate Mummy Head is certainly spooky, but also a bit cute too. You can just hear it cry out a muffled, “GRAWWWGHHHAHH.”
It’s the perfect treat for your Halloween festivities because it’s pure chocolate, and nothing else, baby. What little monster or ghoul doesn’t love chocolate?
I won’t lie to you; this is the easiest Halloween treat to make. It’s no-bake, and can be done in under an hour. Plus, it requires the skills and technical know-how of a handicapped goblin who’s spent the better part of his sheltered life living in a cave and eating rats. In other words, anybody can do it.
The trick-or-treaters shouldn’t be the only ones enjoying creamy dreamy chocolate on Halloween. Make this haunting chocolate mummy, and you can be in spooky chocolate heaven in no time.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
Doing two layers of white chocolate is essential to creating a 3D look for your mummy.
You can use dark chocolate for the base if you prefer.
You don’t even have to cut this mummy to serve it. Just break it apart, and you’ve got chocolate bark.
Severed Chocolate Mummy Head By The Smart Cookie Cook
3 cups milk chocolate chips or finely chopped milk chocolate
2 cups white chocolate chips or finely chopped white chocolate
2 mini marshmallows
red food gel
Special equipment: parchment or waxed paper, ziplock bag or piping bag
Spray a round 8-inch pan with nonstick spray. Set it on top of a piece of parchment paper or waxed, on top of a cutting board. Trace a knife around the edge of the pan. Gently rip off the edges, leaving you with the perfectly-sized circle. Line the pan with the cut paper.
Place the milk chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Reduce microwave power to 80% and microwave chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring well in between with a wire whisk. Stirring in between keeps the chocolate from burning and makes it melt faster. If you stir well, melting should only take about 4 intervals.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the milk chocolate, then pour the rest into the lined pan and smooth out into an even layer. Place in fridge until set, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the white chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Set microwave power to 80% and microwave chocolate for 30-second intervals, stirring in between. It’s essential to stir well and only microwave white chocolate for the minimum time necessary to melt it or it will burn and clump up.
Make sure white chocolate is cool or warm, not hot, then transfer to a piping bag or a makeshift piping bag constructed out of a ziplock bag. Pipe half the white chocolate over the set milk chocolate in thick, wide strips so that it looks like wrapped bandages. Leave some of the milk chocolate showing through.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then pipe on another layer of bandages with the remaining white chocolate. Doing two layers creates depth and texture. Make sure you leave strips of milk chocolate showing through. Take a spoonful of the MILK chocolate and plop two chocolate circles on to represent eye holes (or you can pipe it with a small bag). Stick on two mini marshmallows to represent the actual eyes then dot on two red pupils with the gel. Use the gel to draw on a grimacing mouth. Place in fridge until completely set, about 20 minutes. Cut up or break apart to enjoy.
Is anyone else creeped out that the biggest storm of the season is also coming just in time for Halloween? I think what I’m most concerned about is losing power. Talk about First World Problems. But how am I supposed to whip up delicious treat for you Smart Cookiers if I can’t use my craptastic electric appliances? Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that we don’t get hit too hard in CNY. Otherwise, how can I bring you another week as delicious as this one was?
Try and tell me this week wasn’t one of our most delicious yet! Not to mention, it was packed with fall fare. On Halloween, I’ll bring you guys a round-up of all the awesome Halloween recipes we had this year. That’s going to be one spooktastic collection!
Speaking of spooky things, how about these nails? They were super easy, but certainly festive.
If you like Smart Cookie on Facebook, then you might’ve seen my poll asking you guys to pick the name for my baby kitten. (S)he was originally named Winnie after the witch in Hocus Pocus…until we found out that she was actually a HE. I had the hardest time picking a new name out, hence why I asked you guys to weigh in. Your choices were Jack (as in Jack Skellington, or Jack-o-Lantern), since I wanted something Halloweeny, or Loki, as tribute to the late Thor (Loki is Thor’s brother). I know you must be curious to find out which name I picked. Ready?
Neither of them.
I know. You probably hate me. All that fuss over voting, and I didn’t even pick one! You see, Loki won by a landslide on Facebook, so I spent a good day or two calling him that. But the more I did, the more awkward it felt. He just isn’t a Loki, and the name didn’t fit. Instead, I went with what I originally wanted, a Halloween-related name: Edgar Allen Poe. We call him Poe for short, or sometimes Gar. And you know what? It just fits. He’s an Edgar all the way.
And just so we’re clear, Mina is still Mina. Now, they’ve both got names from Halloween literature.
Before I go, I’d like to send a BIG thank you to Reese’s for sharing my Little Owl Cookies this week. Because of them, I went from 580-something likes on Facebook to 1,375 likes! I am ecstatic. Thank you so much to those of you who liked my page. Let’s keep those new likes coming!
I hope everything has a Happy Halloween filled with sweet treats. Hopefully Frankenstorm doesn’t impede your celebration.
Don’t let those mischievous grins deceive you; these Monster Whoopie Pies are nothing but sweet inside.I know it looks like they might sink their sharp little teeth into you before you can eat them, but I can assure you, that’s not the case. These paranomal sammies are the perfect cute yet creepy treat for Halloween, which is only nine days away. If you don’t have your menu of goblin grub figured out yet, then I suggest you make these Monster Whoopie Pies. There’s not a ghost or ghoul out there who wouldn’t gobble these right up!
The cookie component of these whoopie pies is rich, dark, and decadent. The soft yet fudgy yet chewy texture can only be explained as the synthesis of cookie, brownie, and cake. Coupled with a light and fluffy Cocoa Buttercream filling, it’s the ultimate chocolate indulgence. And what says Halloween better than chocolate?
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not the most artistic or experienced of bakers. These are super easy to make and assemble, no artistic ability required!
There are no tricks here; these whoopie pies are all treat.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
A vanilla buttercream in the center would do just fine, but I chose the chocolate route so that the teeth would stand out better.
Don’t overbake the cookies or they’ll get hard.
You could do this same thing with cookie sandwiches or ice cream sandwiches.
Some people think sifting is an unnecessary step, but it’s actually essential. Certain ingredients (cocoa powder is a big offender) clump up and won’t break up no matter how much mixing you do. Sifting gets rid of these clumps.
Don’t overmix the cookie batter or you’ll affect the texture or the finished product.
Unless you want half your cookies to break off and get stuck on the tray, use parchment paper. DO NOT use nonstick cooking spray instead; this causes the bottom of the cookies to burn.
For the Cocoa Buttercream Filling By The Smart Cookie Cook
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. heavy cream
For the decor
10 large marshmallows
leftover Cocoa Buttercream (you will have enough left after filling the pies, so don’t worry)
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.
Put the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl; cook for 30 second intervals, stirring well in between each interval until completely melted.
Whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until smooth.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into another bowl. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until moistened. Switch to a rubber spatula and finish folding the batter together; take care not to over-mix.
Use an ice cream scoop to drop 2-3 tbsp. of batter onto the prepared pan. Repeat to make 20 cookies, no more than 6 cookies to a tray. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the center-most cookie comes out with just a few crumbs, about 6 minutes.
Cool the cookies slightly then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Make the filling: In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down sides in between additions. Beat in the cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and cream on high until well-combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Make sure you give the cream time to whip up.
Use a piping back, a makeshift ziplock piping bag, or a knife to put a thick layer of frosting on the flat side of half the cookies. It should be about 3/4-inch thick. Place another cookie flat side-down on top of the frosting and press down lightly while twisting.
To decorate: Stick white chocolate chips onto the filling around half of the pie’s diameter. Press in lightly.
Cut the marshmallows in half width-wise. Use toothpicks to skewer two onto each whoopie pie, flat side facing up or angled upwards. Don’t put it straight out or the M&Ms won’t stick. Use leftover frosting to glue an M&M pupil onto the center of each marshmallow eye.
My dad brings 100 Grand Bars to work whenever a department processes 100,000 pounds of product. Don’t ask me what that means, because I don’t know. The details of my father’s job are beyond me. All I know is: bringing those candies in is a classic example of my father’s infamous sense of humor; it’s a cheese-tastic play on words.
One day, I realized how simple it would be to create a homemade version, a better one at that. 100 Grands are tasty, but they’ve got poor-quality caramel and a too-thin layer of chocolate. Smart Cookie can do better, my friends. So, I employed all the classic elements to create my own Homemade 100 Grand Bars.
See, I made this delicious thick and rich caramel filling then mixed in Rice Krispies to give it that crispy-crunchy element. The only problem was that the caramel made the Rice Krispies lose some of their crunch. But was this the end of the world? No sir. The Rice Krispies, although lacking in “Krispie,” still added bite, texture, and a little bit of perfectly contrasting saltiness.
One of the women my dad works with said these were “the best candies ever,” so it’s no worse for wear.
I employed super creamy, good-quality dulce de leche for the filling. That gum paste the original bars use pales in comparison. And you know I’ve got a nice thick suit of chocolate armor to hold all that liquid gold in. Is it a carbon-copy of a 100 Grand bar? Nah. Is it better? Hell yes!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
If you want the Rice Krispies to stay crunchy, try this: leave the krispies out of the filling and freeze it. After you shape it into the logs, roll it in the krispies before covering in chocolate. I don’t know if this will help, but it’s worth a shot!
Use dark chocolate if you prefer.
Dulce de leche can be found either in the foreign food aisle, the baking aisle, or by the hot fudge in your grocery store. If you can’t find it, you can make it homemade.
Regular caramel sauce WILL NOT work. It is too thin.
Homemade Sort-of 100 Grand Bars By The Smart Cookie Cook
2 16-oz. jars dulce de leche (2 cups)
1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/2 tsp. salt
6 4.4-oz. milk chocolate bars, chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dulce de leche, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and salt until well-combined. It should be thick and kind of hard to stir. If it seems thin, add more sugar. Fold in the Rice Krispies. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with waxed paper or parchment paper. Set aside.
Once filling is firm, put the chopped chocolate into a large microwaveable bowl. Cook on high for 30 second intervals until completely melted and smooth, stirring well in between so it doesn’t burn.
Form filling into 2-inch logs with your hands. If they get sticky, cover your hands in powdered sugar. If they soften up too much to dip/cover in chocolate, put them back into the freezer.
Dip logs into melted chocolate or use a spoon to pour it on so they’re completely covered. Place on lined baking sheets and refrigerate until firm. Enjoy!
Making a Pumpkin Ice Box Cake and videotaping with two furry balls of fire underfoot is not a simple task.
You’ll find my 8 week-old kittens interrupted the video several times, and I’m lucky I made it through the process without any injuries. The babies, as Mother Cookie and I call them, are so quick and quiet that they dart in and out, under my feet, and all around me before I have time to process. The only time there’s any relief is when the babies tire themselves out and settle down for a nap. They look so serene and adorable that they fool you into thinking they’re angelic. But I know better.
I finally understand what the phrase “full of piss and vinegar” means.
What really matters is that my babies are happy as clams in their new home, and despite their shenanigans, I love them to death. Plus, the Pumpkin Ice Box Cake turned out amazing, so all’s well that ends well. In fact, this super simple recipe is actually one of the best desserts I’ve made in a while. I mean, it’s really good, lick-the-plate-without-an-ounce-of-shame good. And yet it’s a no-bake dessert requiring minimal ingredients. Don’t you just love when that happens?
My babies and my doggy Reese loved it too. I might’ve let them lick a spoon…
How’s an ice box cake work? You layer something dry, like cookies or graham crackers, with something wet, like whipped cream or a cream filling. Then you let that good stuff take a chill pill in the fridge for six hours or more. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it gets. And soon, like magic, the cookies or graham crackers you used soften up like cake. Viola! You’ve got a cake without ever turning on the old oven.
In this cake, we layered chocolate graham crackers with an absolutely heavenly pumpkin cream mousse. It transforms in the fridge so that the graham crackers become soft as cake, and the whole thing is exponentially more flavorful. Considering it’s pretty damn delicious to start with, that’s saying quite a lot. The fluffy, creamy pumpkin filling and the soft chocolate graham cracker melt in your mouth effortlessly. Plus it looks so pretty with that beautiful black and orange.
You put in next to no effort to make this cake, but wind up with something incredible that gets more and more delicious as time passes. That’s a good deal, my friends.
Check out how truly easy this cake is to whip up in my video below. The new kittens make several apppearances as well!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
As I mentioned, the longer this cake sits, the better it tastes. You need at least 6 hours for the graham crackers to soften properly, but I recommend making it at least 12 hours ahead so you really get the full flavor impact.
The filling of this cake would make an amazing pie filling.
You can use regular graham crackers or chocolate wafers in place of the chocolate graham crackers.
This cake isn’t that naturally orange, so I recommend adding food dye to achieve a bright orange hue.
All your ingredients must be super cold for everything to set up!
Pumpkin Ice Box Cake By The Smart Cookie Cook
2 cups cold heavy cream
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 8-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup super duper ice cold water, and I mean COLD
1 cup CHILLED pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. clove
1/4 tsp. allspice
3 – 4 sleeves of chocolate graham crackers, broken into small pieces
In a medium bowl, beat the cream with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Don’t overbeat, or you’ll have butter. Cover and refrigerate.
In a medium bowl, beat together the pudding mix, sweetened condensed milk, and water until thickened. If it is not completely thickened like pudding should be, place in the fridge until it sets up completely. Fold in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice. Retrieve the whipped cream from the fridge and gently fold in until well-combined.
In a spring form pan, put a thin layer of the filling down. Layer an even layer of graham cracker pieces down so it’s completely covered. Add half of the pumpkin mousse and spread out in an even layer. Top with another layer of graham crackers so the mousse is completely covered. Finish with the remaining mousse and spread out evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours, until the graham crackers are softened. The longer you refrigerate, the better.
It’s been a great week for food here, but a not-so-great week for your Smart Cookie Cook. I’ll explain in a bit, but first, let’s look at all the mouth-watering reasons we had to get through the week. You’ll see it’s been a week full of Halloween hoopla, and that, if nothing else, is certainly a reason to smile.
In case you haven’t caught on, I’m obsessed with Halloween and all its ghoulish glory. If you love it as much as I do, then you can take joy in knowing that there are many more scares and sweets to come in the next 24 days. And if if you aren’t a huge Halloween fan, well, suck it up.
In fact, my latest video may get you feeling that Halloween spirit. Join me to create an edible version of the Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Answer a few trivia questions and welcome Halloween in the right way: in the kitchen with me!
I know you’re all itching to find out what you can expect next week. For one, The Smart Cookie Cook took a trip to Wegmans this weekend, so I’ll be dishing out out all my finds. I also picked up these bangin’ Halloween slipper-socks.
Next week, you’ll also see some gorgeous marbled cupcakes all decked out in pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. I made them for the Party for Pink at my gym on Friday.
We rocked it out with a straight hour of dancing, butt-shaking, shimmying (no but really), and calorie-burning. One of the instructor’s names was Christian Grey…seriously. I tried really hard not to mention any “50 Shades of Grey” references because I’m sure the guy gets bombarded with them on a daily basis. I don’t know if it was his name or the fact that he could really dance, but the ladies at the party went nuts for the guy. Keep in mind, the general demographic at this class was 40 year-old women, so there was a lot of estrogen going in the room. Someone shamelessly yelled, “YOU’RE HOT.” And someone else begged Christian to take his shirt off. I guess I forgot that women can act just as shamelessly as men do when presented with a desirable member of the opposite sex.
Now, I have to talk about something I’d rather not. I’ve had a hard week as it is, but on Thursday, trouble peaked. I debated discussing this on here because the last thing the Smart Cookie Cook aims to do is depress people. However, I’ve been regularly updating you guys weekly on my stray cat Thor’s story, so I decided you had a right to know.
Thor was hit by a car last Sunday, and he is no longer with us. When I wake up in the morning, Thor’s not waiting on the porch for breakfast like he always did. He doesn’t roam around the house after eating dinner or settle down in the foyer. He doesn’t sit on top of the hose box and creep on my family and I through the window. He’s just not there anymore.
Thor may have technically been a stray cat, but the absence of his presence is painfully apparent. I don’t care if he didn’t have a collar on his neck; he was my cat, and he was a part of the family. I will never forget that handsome face of his.
I hope you’ve got lots of stinky cat food where you are now, Thor.
On that note, let’s hope next week will be a better one. I can promise you there will be a boatload of delicious food to be had, so let us raise our forks to that.
I just can’t help myself. I see a delicious new food, and I have to stuff it into a cookie. Exhibit A: those Candy Corn Golden Oreo-Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies I made a few weeks ago. My mind is wired to seek amazing things and figure out how to make them even better. Improvement is my obsession.
When I tried the new Mini Caramel Apple Milky Ways, I was instantly infatuated. It’s my favorite candy bar with a subtle autumn upgrade. But as I stared at my pumpkin-shaped jar of Milky Ways, my head did that thing it always does and started calculating what could be done with them.
These Caramel Apple Milky Way Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies are the product of my mind’s refusal to leave well-enough alone. Sometimes, my mind gets me into trouble that way. But other times, like with these cookies example, I feel like one smart cookie. The Caramel Apple Milky Ways are a natural pairing with these thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies. All of the flavors and textures melt and mesh together, as if the two treats fuse together as one entity while baking. So you get a chewy, gooey, crisp, chocolate-caramel-applely symphony of pure baked bliss. Think of it as a fall twist on your favorite classic treat.
Q: What’s better than candy?
A: Cookies stuffed with candy.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
There are two things essential to creating a thick and chewy cookie. One, chill the dough. I don’t care how impatient you are; if you don’t chill the dough, it’s too warm, and it spreads out too much while baking, thus making it thin. Two, don’t overbake. You’ll crisp that cookie right up.
Quite honestly, you can stuff a chocolate chip cookie with just about anything.
Both the cookie dough and the cookies freeze beautifully.
I very much believe in using milk chocolate in cookies because it’s so much better tasting than semisweet. If you prefer dark, that works too.
Caramel Apple Milky Way Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies Adapted from Baking Illustrated
Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
Either by hand or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients while beating at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips and chunks to taste. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least an hour before continuing. The longer you chill, the more flavor it will garner.
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take about 1 tablespoon worth of dough and flatten in the palm of your hand. Place a Milky Way on top then fold the dough up around it so that the candy is completely covered.
Place on baking sheet. Bake cookies 8 – 10 minutes, or until puffed and set in the middle. They should just barely be beginning to brown around the edges.Transfer to wire racks with a spatula to cool.
You know how Goldfish are “the snack that smiles back?” Well, this is the snack that stares back.
These ghoulish little Halloween Monster Cake Balls are 50% cute,50% creepy, and 100% scrumptious. Their eerie eyes peer up at you, almost begging not to be eaten, but you’ll find it impossible to resist the sweet Halloween-colored cake & frosting filling. Not only do these cake balls allow for the perfect cake-to-frosting ratio, but you also get two flavors in one.
You see, this is like cake ball inception. The center is an orange-colored vanilla cake/vanilla frosting cake ball, and it’s surrounded by a dark chocolate cake/chocolate frosting cake ball. The festive color combo is perfect for Halloween, making these treats both “whimsical and delicious,” as one of my co-workers described.
I must warn you though, these cake balls have a sinister side. Their snackable size makes it incredibly easy to pop a dozen into your mouth without thinking twice. It’s like they put you in some sort of frosting-induced trance. Is it black magic? Perhaps.
Whether you’ve got a Halloween party coming up, or you just want a sweet treat to satisfy the screaming banshee that is your growling stomach, these easy cake balls are sure to make you show off your vampire fangs in a ghoulish grin. They’re sweet, snackable, and they harness the intensity of a whole cake in one little ball.
Happy Halloween, little Smart Cookie fiends!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
If you’re looking to simplify, you could do a strictly chocolate filling. You’ll still have the orange contrast with the glaze.
Find the candy eye balls at your local craft store.
Here’s my rule, if you don’t want to go all homemade, then at least do either the cake or frosting from scratch. I used store-bought frosting and homemade cake.
You could also use chocolates sprinkles as decor instead of the eyes. Just make sure you add any decorations before the glaze sets, or it won’t stick.
A white chocolate coating instead of the glaze would be tasty too.
Halloween Monster Cake Balls By The Smart Cookie Cook
1 8×8 vanilla cake dyed orange,* from a box or homemade
1 – 1 3/4 cups chocolate frosting, store-bought or homemade
1 – 1 3/4 cups vanilla frosting, store-bought or homemade
For the glaze
8 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 tsp. vanilla extract
orange food dye
*To dye cake, add orange food dye (or red + yellow) to cake batter before baking.
Crumble the vanilla cake into a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of the vanilla frosting and mix until well-combined. See if you can form a ball with the mixture. If it’s still too dry, add the rest of the vanilla frosting. How much you add will depend on how dry the cake you make is.
Form the cake mixture into tiny balls, about 3/4 teaspoon in size. Place on a sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.
Crumble the chocolate cake into a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of the chocolate frosting and mix until well-combined. See if you can form a ball with the mixture. If it’s still too dry, add the rest of the chocolate frosting.’
Grab about 1 tbsp. of the chocolate mixture and flatten out. Place one of the mini orange cake balls in the center and fold up the chocolate cake around it so that the orange is completely covered. When all your cake balls are formed, place them on a tray lined with wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 min to 1 hour.
Make the glaze: whisk together all ingredients in a bowl until homogenous and smooth, adding more or less dye to achieve your desired vibrancy. If it’s too thick add more milk 1 tbsp. at a time. If it’s too thin, add more sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.
Dip the chilled cake balls into the glaze so that they’re completely covered then let set on tray in the fridge. I recommend doing a double coat. Place two candy eyes on the top of each cake ball BEFORE glaze has set.
I remember watching The Nightmare Before Christmas as a kid and falling in love with it. But much to my childish chagrin, I lost my VHS tape (remember those things?), and my small world collapsed, or so it seemed. Then came the time when DVD’s came into existence, and I received TNBC on DVD for my birthday. Jack Skellington, Sally, Zero, and the rest of the Halloweentown crew were back in my life once more. And from there, my love only grew.
Still to this day, TNBC holds a special spot in my heart. Quirky, classic, and just a little bit too creepy for its targeted age group, it’s one of those original and lovable gems, not unlike the rest of Tim Burton’s films. The stop motion animation, which Burton excels in, makes the whole film enchanting. There was nothing I wanted more as a child, or now as an adult, than to visit Halloweentown and pow around with its residents.
Even if you haven’t seen TNBC, you’re probably familiar with the movie’s main character Jack Skellington. As the people of Halloweentown say, “Our man Jack is king of the pumpkin patch!” He’s also the star of my latest edible artwork: Jack Skellington Brownie-Cookie Pie. I started with something already amazing on its own: a big, fat, fudgy brownie-cookie loaded with chunks of chocolate and slathered in fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting. Then, I added a few simple decorations to create Jack’s iconic grinning skeleton face.
You don’t need advanced decorating skills to churn this cookie pie out. Just about anyone can do it, and you’ll be sure to impress all the guests at any ghoulish Halloween get-together. Plus, the cookie pie itself is to die for. Crisp on the outside like a cookie, but fudgy on the inside like a brownie, it’s perfection!
Join me for my festive Halloween-themed video below to answer a few Nightmare Before Christmas trivia questions and see how easy this treat is to make.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
You will have some extra cookie dough. This is hardly a problem. As you’ll read in the recipe, you can just bake them up as individual cookies to keep to yourself.
I recommend a mix of milk and semisweet or milk and dark chocolate because all one way or the other is too much. The contrast of the sweet and the bitter is delicious.
Do not overbake! I have been guilty of this, and your cookie pie turns to a brick. You’re better off pulling it before you think it’s actually done.
You can use any kind of cookie dough for this. Or, use the same decorations on a round cake.
Jack Skellington Brownie-Cookie Pie
For the brownie-cookie Cookie dough recipe adapted from food.com
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate squares, melted & cooled to room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the vanilla buttercream & decoration Buttercream by The Smart Cookie Cook
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1/8 tsp. salt
black frosting/writing gel
Combine sugar, oil, and melted chocolate in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Mix in eggs and vanilla on low speed.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add about 1/3 of dry mixture at a time to chocolate mixture, mixing on low speed until incorporated after each addition. Cover and let chill at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Reserve about 1/3 of the dough, placing the rest in an ungreased 8×8 pie dish. Flatten out into a thick disk; do not shape to the pan. Cover the edges of the pan with foil so they don’t burn. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until puffed and set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Do not overbake. Let cool completely on wire rack.
While the pie cools, make the frosting. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter on high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides between each addition. Once butter is well-incorporated, beat in cream, vanilla, almond, and salt for 1 minute, or until light and fluffy. Spread out in an even layer on top of cooled pie.
Use the black frosting to draw two large circular black eyes at the top of the pie. Draw two oval-shaped nostrils centered just below the eyes. Draw a long grin towards the bottom of the pie, then draw stitches through the mouth. Viola! It’s Jack!
Do with the remaining dough as you like. You can bake it up into normal-sized cookies at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or freeze it for later use.