BOO! 😀 It’s that time of year again! Time for wild and spooky costumes, ghost stories around campfires and backyard fire pits, toasting marshmallows for “s’mores”, hot chocolate, fun and scary decorations, kids Trick-or-Treating for candies, and lots of Halloween parties from the macabre to the adorably cute!
Some of my favorite horror movies are already playing, tales of local urban myths, haunted houses, and hitch-hiking ghosts are being retold with the ghastliest of details!
Halloween was one of my favorite holidays when I was a kid! (Only third behind Christmas and my birthday. Let’s be real.) 😉
I loved to dress up in costumes, most of which I made myself, as I never had a “store-bought” costume. (What fun is that?) It was always so much more fun to make and create your own!
And there just seemed to be an eerie excitement in the air as the countdown began!
Great care was taken in advance to find the biggest vessel, usually a large grocery sack or pillow case, to hold as much candy as a little kid could possibly carry home! 😉
A plan was carefully hatched to hit the neighborhood as quickly as possible, skipping by the “fuddy duddies” who obviously forgot long ago what it was like to be a child, and we precisely mapped out a strategic route to hit as many houses as one could before midnight! 😉
Those were the days, weren’t they? You started after supper when it was just starting to get dark, and didn’t make your way back home until very late. Trick-or-Treating at night in the dark was a scary blast! And so many neighbors and neighborhoods participated in going all out decorating their yards, and some even dressed up to scare us when we came to ring the bell. Remember stuffing wadded up newspapers into old clothes and making scarecrows for the front porch? We have lived here fours yeas now and have not had a single Trick-or-Treater. Not one. What happened??
Well, I do know of one spoiler for everyone. Sucked the life right out of Halloween faster than Dracula himself.
Rumors of tainted candies and apples spiked with drugs, needles and razor blades suddenly, and fast as lightning on a stormy night, sadly began to surface. The urban legends of all urban legends to ruin Halloween as we knew it – – forever. 🙁
Did you know that none of that stuff has ever happened? Do you, too, wonder why and how it all started? I have my sneaky suspicions. The ones who gain to benefit the most are usually the ones who create it. 😉
It’s truly a shame that fun, creative, and even healthier candies, cookies, homemade suckers, caramel and candy apples, sweetened popcorn balls and brownies can’t still be handed out. Though it’s not actually a law, in a lot of areas towns have local ordinances stating that you must PURCHASE candy. Kinda makes you go – – hmmmm – – doesn’t it? 😉
Facts are facts, and I think that we should take back Halloween from the greedy corps and give it back to the kids. 😉
Candies can still be bought, of course, but it would be nice to be able to make treats for the kids, too, if we so choose.
But until that day finally comes back around, things like these adorable “Tombstone Treats” are limited to being enjoyed in our own homes and private parties. So if you’re planning on having a party, or are allowed to make treats to send to your child’s school, you’ll LOVE making these!
And the kids absolutely FLIP when they see them! SO much more fun than a “mini” dinky 2-bite candy bar manufactured months and months ago that’s shockingly over-priced. 😉 (*You can buy an entire bushel of fresh-picked apples to coat in homemade caramel for less than the price of one bag of candy. And popcorn balls? Don’t even get me started.)
So let’s take Halloween back from the corporations. Talk with your neighbors, spread the truth, stop the paranoia, and start making homemade treats again! I think the kids deserve better, don’t you? 😉 😀
Read about the facts that forever tainted the spirit of the Halloween holiday.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home magazine. (*The original recipe calls for using toothpicks. I do not recommend doing this. All other changes worked extremely well also.)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups mini marshmallows
- 6½ cups Rice Krispies
- 1 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough, *or homemade sugar cookies
- ⅔ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon water
- 6 drops green food coloring
- 1½ cups flaked coconut
- black decorating gel *or black food coloring
- 1 can vanilla frosting, or 1½ cups homemade
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 16 decorative candy pumpkins
- In large saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in marshmallows until completely melted. Remove from heat.
- Stir in cereal until well-coated. Press into a greased 13x9x2 pan with buttered hands or spatula. Cool.
- In large mixing bowl, beat cookie dough and flour until well mixed.(*You do have to add the flour, otherwise that store-bought dough is really awful -- very sticky!)
- On a lightly-floured surface, roll dough into a 6" x 16" rectangle.
- Cut into 16 small rectangles. 2 rows of 8. Each one being 3" x 2". You can trim tops (2" side) with a paring knife to resemble the top of a tombstone cutting an arch or other pattern if desired.
- Place each tombstone onto ugreased baking sheets 2" apart.
- Bake cookies at 350º for 13-14 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- In large plastic ziploc bag, combine water and green food coloring.
- Add coconut, seal bag shut, and shake to coat.
- Toast coconut, set aside. (Optional.)I didn't, it was fine.
- Using black gel, tint frosting gray. (*I used one whole small tube and it was barely gray, but ok. If you have black food coloring, I would use that instead.)
- Frost cookies, decorate tombstones with rest of melted chocolate chips.
- Cut cereal bars into 3"x2" rectangles.
- Spread top with half of the melted chocolate chips. Cover and chill.
- When set, pipe a thick bead of melted chocolate chips on wide edge and place onto waxed paper, standing them up on edge with the cookie pressed against the chocolate and the cookies laying flat against it so you don't have to hold them. Refrigerate until set. (30 minutes was all it took.) Remove from waxed paper carefully. Add a small dot of melted chocolate and press a pumpkin into the chocolate.
- Decorate with tinted coconut for "grass".
**You can also make homemade sugar cookies instead of purchased cookie dough and the extra flour. 😉