Today, I have for you two recipes of my own devising. One is for your sweet tooth, and the other one will chill you out. Both are super easy and quick. Trends these days in Halloween cuisine tend to go toward the remarkably detailed and complicated. Which is fine. Certainly plenty of folks out there are doing amazing things. But, if you’re like me, you’re still working on your costumes most likely, and you’re far from prepared for this upcoming weekend. (Not to mention having spent the better part of last weekend elbow-deep in fondant for a D&D cake I made for my husband.)
First up: simple spider eggs. The only difficulty with these guys is finding the right ingredient: cotton candy. And not pink or blue, but either white or yellow. I scanned the web with no luck, and only happened upon some at Target the other day.
The inspiration for this was simple. Be it Dragon Age or World of Warcraft, the spider pod is one of those symbols of fantasy RPG games. Originally my intent was to make my own pods out of sugar—but the involvement in something like that is a little over my current capabilities (we have a TINY kitchen) and probably not the safest (considering most of the day I’m accompanied by a four year old with a very Tookish streak).
So: enter cotton candy. I separated the yellowy white from the pink and blue (two bags set me back $2.00). All you’ve got to do is mold the cotton candy into an oval shape. It’s naturally webby and light. Just like real spider eggs. Peel off some fronds for extra effect. Then, use chocolate to make spiders. You can, of course, buy some pre-made spiders and use them, but I like going my own way. The chocolate sticks easily to the cotton candy, and you can arrange them however you like. Use some D&D miniatures (non-edible, you should point out to your guests) to add in the ambiance. But be warned, these are sweet enough to send you to the dentist. Still, they melt in your mouth. Weblicious!
Next, my personal favorite: The Bloody Squid (pictured at the top of the post). I have a thing for cephalopods—in fact, the last novel I wrote featured them prominently. Little, brain-controlling squidlings!
Don’t worry: there is no seafood in this drink. (Although, I bet fried calamari would be a great addition, not to mention some squid stew.)
Anyway, while perusing the clearance aisle in my local grocery store, I came upon a jar of hibiscus flowers in syrup. Inspiration struck, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Turns out, if you cut lengthwise down the hibiscus flower petals, you’ll get a total of ten arms for your squid. They really have a tentacle-like appearance. Add tonic water, liquor of choice (I’d go with Vodka) and slowly pour some grenadine down into the center. The grenadine will pool at the bottom. Bonus: the tonic water will make the drink glow under black light! The best part? The bubbles from the tonic water collect and actually move the arms slightly in the glass. Add an “escaping” squid on the top of the glass, and you’re all set.
Mmm, creepy squid.
Whatever your culinary approach this Halloween, remember that some of the best ideas lurk just under the surface with ingredients you already have. Even if it is last-minute, being a geek means you can hack together some pretty sweet stuff in no time.