I would like to acknowledge that not everyone celebrates or even likes, Halloween. So let's look at it this way: the following treat recipes can be just something fun to celebrate our local tarantulas that are out and about every fall season.
If you like to have a little fun when you cook for family, school carnivals or any of your friends and co-workers, please consider making some of the spider treats included here.
I promise that no actual spiders are needed as ingredients!
Halloween furry spiders
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white (granulated) sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 8 ounces pretzel sticks (not the large, thick kind)
- 11 to 12 ounces milk chocolate chips
- 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Red cinnamon candies
- Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
- Add the cocoa, baking powder and salt, then add the flour and beat to form a smooth dough.
- Roll out tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Thirty balls are the perfect size, and then make the spiders in batches of six.
- Press the ends of 8 pretzel sticks firmly into the dough to make legs, and place each spider on a cookie sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven until the cookies are firm, about 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate chips and about 2 tablespoons oil in the microwave or a double boiler; add additional oil if needed to make the chocolate thin enough. Put a cookie sheet under the wire rack and pour the melted chocolate over each cookie. (You can hold the spider over the chocolate and either dip the legs in the chocolate or pour chocolate over the legs then shake so the excess chocolate drips back into the pot. Then put the spider on the rack and spoon chocolate over the body.) You can scrape off the chocolate on the cookie sheet and return it to the pan periodically.)
- While chocolate is still wet, coat each cookie with chocolate sprinkles. Press in 2 red candy eyes on the front of each head (even though spiders have 8 eyes, 2 will do here).
Allow chocolate to harden before storing. Makes about 30 cookies.
Chow mein noodle spiders
You could add some chocolate chips to this recipe if you wish.
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 bag (12-oz.) butterscotch morsels
- 1 large can crispy chow mein noodles
- In large or medium-large saucepan over low heat, melt peanut butter and butterscotch morsels together, stirring constantly.
- Add chow mein noodles and mix thoroughly but carefully. Place spoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to cool and set.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 ounces (about 2 cups) chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate candy coating
- 5 ounces licorice candy string
- To prepare the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl, and set aside. Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring it to a simmer. Once the cream is near boiling, pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for one minute to soften the chocolate. Gently whisk the cream and chocolate together until it forms a smooth, homogenous mixture. Press a piece of plastic wrap to the top of the ganache and when it is room temperature, refrigerate it until it is firm enough to scoop, about 2 hours.
- While you are waiting for the ganache to chill, prepare the spider legs. Cover a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper, and cut the black licorice string into segments about 1.5-inches long. Group the licorice strings into clusters of 8 legs each, with 4 legs protruding out each side of the cluster. Melt the chocolate candy coating, then dab a little bit of the coating in the center of each cluster of legs, so that they are held together by the chocolate. Make 24 clusters of legs. Let the coating set while the ganache chills.
- Once the ganache is firm, cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or foil, and dust your hands with cocoa powder. Use a small candy scoop or a spoon to form the ganache into 24 small 1-inch balls. Roll them between your hands to get them round, and keep your hands dusted with cocoa powder to prevent sticking.
- If the coating has hardened, melt it in the microwave again, until it is smooth and fluid. Using forks or dipping tools, dip a truffle in the coating until it is completely coated, then take it out of the coating, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Instead of placing the dipped truffle back on the baking sheet, place it in the center of a cluster of legs. Repeat until all of the truffles have been dipped and your spiders are assembled. Let them set at room temperature or harden in the refrigerator.
- Carefully store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, and bring them to room temperature before serving. Makes 24 truffle spiders.
Dark and spooky drink
This is obviously an adult beverage, just in case anyone is having a party for their friends. This recipe only makes 1 drink, so you might want to have more ingredients on hand.
- Black decorating sugar crystals, for the edge of the glass
- Juice of 1 lime, plus 1 lime wedge
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1/4 cup ginger beer or all-natural ginger ale
- 1 black gummy spider
- Spread out the black sugar on a small plate. Rub the lime wedge around the rim of the glass; dip the edge in the black sugar and fill glass with ice (leave enough room for the spider).
- Combine the rum and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. Carefully strain into the glass, being careful not to disturb the sugar on the rim. Top the drink with ginger beer or ale and add the gummy spider. Makes 1 drink.