For Halloween we have decided to go trick or treating and then come back to the house for our own little party with hot Indiana apple cider, Halloween ghosties, and caramel apples. We had a family meeting to discuss the candy dilemma. (Let me not kid you. I have found the absolute best place for a family meeting is in the car after church or a ballgame. While everybody is strapped in and the car is idling, you loudly call “FAMILY MEETING.”) Parents said “No candy.” Kids made sad faces and whining, whimpering noises. “Not fair.” The compromise, which I’m still not happy with, is 5 pieces on Halloween Day, 3 pieces post-Halloween day one, 2 pieces post-Halloween day two, and 1 piece post-Halloween day three. Last year they ate all they wanted on Halloween Day, and then the candy fairy came. The day after was horrible behavior in school. My husband looked at me and asked, “Did you really think that was a good idea?”
Next year, I’m hoping to convince them our own little party with fun food that we make is better than anything. On that note, here are some cute Halloween ghostie treats. The kids helped me make the dough, shape the dough, and sprinkle coconut on. The icing part is a bit messy.
HALLOWEEN GHOSTIE TREATS
makes about fifteen 2 inch ghosts
1 jar of smooth peanut butter, unsweetened, organic, the kind where the oil separates on top (the kind I used to think was despicable and yucky)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup of raw, set honey or whipped honey (Liquid honey should work fine except I know some brands of peanut butter can be so runny, in which case the liquid honey would make the dough too thin.)
(This is not a sweet stand-alone frosting. It is simply a medium to turn the ghost white and plaster coconut on. On the finished product it tastes great.)
8 tablespoons of palm shortening (I used Spectrum)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons or raw, set honey or whipped honey (Again, the liquid honey may cause the frosting to be unworkably runny.)
Finely shredded, dry, unsweetened coconut (won’t look as nice with the long strands you buy that are already sweetened)
Currants for eyes
- Drain the oil on top of the peanut butter into a small bowl and set aside. Reserve the oil because it may need added back later to add moisture to the dough.
- Place the drained peanut butter, salt, vanilla, and whichever honey style you chose into a large mixing bowl. The stand mixer works great here if you have one.
- Mix the dough very well. It needs to be stiff enough to hold a shape, but not so stiff that it crumbles. (See photos below.) Mine needed no modifications, but every brand of peanut butter is different and every container of local honey may differ. Add back oil if your dough is too stiff. If you overshoot it and you get it too runny, you can try adding some coconut or more peanut butter if you have it.
- On a large cookie sheet to catch any mess, shape the dough into ghost-like shapes. They don’t need to be too smooth. You’re putting frosting on them.
Icing and Assembling
- Combine palm shortening, vanilla, and honey in a medium bowl. Whip with a hand mixer until fluffy. The consistency will be like soft butter.
- Pick up and ice the top and sides of the ghosts. The icing doesn’t need to be very thickly applied, just applied all over the front so the coconut will stick. This is a messy job.
- Lay flat on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with coconut.
- Use currants for eyes and gently push in. Done this way, the currants will only stay on if the ghosts lay flat. If you think kids will want to pick up their ghosts and make them dance, you will probably want do the following step before adding the currants: Refrigerate the ghosts to firm them up, then dot some warm left over frosting where you want the eyes, and then apply currants, pushing gently. Place back in refrigerator to set the eyes.
- The ghosts do best presented and handed out flat on a plate. We tried sticks, but the dough wasn’t stiff enough to hold the ghost on. Bummer.
- The icing will be firm when refrigerated. It will soften up at room temperature.
Family “gustar” report: 6/6 who tried them loved the way they tasted. They ate half the batch, and I set aside the rest for Halloween Day. I think I will use this dough recipe later on for Christmas “buckeyes.”