We were fortunate enough to grow up in a neighborhood where Halloween was still the coolest holiday. Because of that I adore Halloween and everything that comes with it. My mom always made our costumes– my brothers, sisters, and I have been everything from a bag of jelly beans to hellraiser, from humpty dumpty to kitty cats and birthday presents. For someone that always claims not to be creative or artistic, my mom has had some of the best Halloween costume ideas EVER. And all of our costumes were homemade.
In addition to cool costumes, chocolate continues to be one of the greatest Halloween rewards. Trick-or-treat was an adventure, and in our little suburban paradise you could fill up a pillowcase with candy– mostly the good stuff too: CHOCOLATE.
We knew which houses were lame (unsharpened pencils and pamphlets for Sunday school or that weird waxy candy that you have never seen before or since) and which houses had all the things we craved (Snickers bars, M & M’s, Mr. Goodbar, Skittles, Hershey’s, Crunch, etc, etc, !!!!!!…). There were rumors that in the really nice neighborhoods people gave out regular sized candy bars (gasp).
After a night of running door to door up and down the block, we would come home and dump all of our earnings onto the living room floor so Mom could “check” it. I “check” my kids’ candy, too (it’s delicious). Quality control, you know? And I always check the chocolate.
In the spirit of the upcoming holiday I made my favorite chocolate cookies, added some mint chips, and dressed them up with some pretty royal frosting.
Dry ingredients go in a small dish…
And gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Here is more chocolate that requires “checking”. Cookie dough with Andes Mint chips. Mmmm.
These cookies are chewy, so the dough is a little sticky.
The cookies need to cool completely before you decorate them. Or you could just eat them like this.
Chewy Chocolate Cookies (as found on the Hershey’s.com website)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks of butter (its alot, I know. Just don’t think about it)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 bag Andes Mint chips (or Reese’s Peanut Butter chips or your favorite nuts or whatever you want to throw in there)
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt in a small dish. Cream the butter and the sugar together, then add vanilla and eggs. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Then stir in your mint chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes and let cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely. (**** NOTE: I baked the cookies I decorated for 9-10 minutes so that they didn’t fall apart while I was frosting them***)
Royal frosting with NO EGG WHITES. I really like this frosting.
This picture is blurry so you can’t tell that I used chocolate chips turned upside down for the pupils in my monster eyeballs. I am still getting a handle on cookie decorating. There is no craft store here in the Land of the Lost which means that I am limited to what I can find in the lame-o grocery store. So get crazy with these monsters if you are blessed enough to have the tools to do it!
1 pound confectioner’s sugar (This is about 4 cups. Good news! It’s pretty hard to screw this up. Just add sugar until the frosting is the desired consistency)
1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2- 3/4 cup (also not exact.. add more milk as needed)
Pour confectioner’s sugar into a large bowl and cut in the shortening. Add vanilla and gradually pour in milk stirring constantly until the frosting is the desired consistency. If you add too much milk, throw in a little more sugar to balance it out. Divide into bowls and color the frosting.
I applied the base color of my monsters with a knife and then let it set before piping my eyes and mouths on with ziploc bags (whick explains the lack of precision). Or just let your kids decorate them.