Archive for October, 2009

10 Best Halloween Treats

halloweencandy

Happy Halloween weekend everyone!  Halloween is one of the best holidays for people who love sweets.

I definitely prefer homemade baked goods over processed candy bars any day, but I do enjoy a few of the classic candies around Halloween.  And apparently the fun doesn’t have to stop once you’re above the age of 10.  Yesterday, my professors brought candy in all of my classes, it felt like fifth grade again!

I came across a few articles on the best Halloween candies and I decided to compile my own list.  You can check out the other lists here and here.   So here goes….please let me know if I’ve left out any of your favorites!

1. Anything full-size, or better than that, JUMBO size! When I was older, I helped my parents answer the door for trick-or-treaters.  My dad and I had a special surprise for the kid with the best joke and the best costume: a JUMBO sized Hershey’s bar.  The look on the little kid’s face when we pulled out the huge candy bar was priceless.  The kid would just stare at us and would say “really? really?” while the parents in the background would prod them, “can you say thank you?”   Some years, no one had a joke or a costume that made them worthy of the giant Hershey’s bar, so we didn’t give out the special prize.  For this reason, my mom accused us of staging the entire contest just so we could keep the giant chocolate bar for ourselves.  Can you believe that?!?

2. Whoppers. I love malted milk balls, yum!

3. Peanut M&Ms. Or regular M&Ms if you prefer.

4. Kit Kats.  According to Hershey’s, these “light crispy wafers covered in creamy milk chocolate are a simple and sweet treat that complements your light-hearted, positive approach to life.”  WOW, enough said.

5. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. A classic. 

6 . Candy Corn. Delicious and festive.  Beware, it is very easy to go into a candy corn coma when you consume more than 10 of them!

7.  Pop Rocks. I still don’t understand how these work but they are pure fun.

8.  Snickers. These are even better when they’re frozen.

9. Mr. Goodbar. I may be the only person who likes this Hershey’s mini.  With a combination of milk chocolate and peanuts, it is creamy AND crunchy.  Delish.

10.  Twix. The cookie provides an excellent crunch.


Making this list made me think back on all of my trick-or-treating years.  I distinctly remember a few candies still being at the bottom of my bag in January, long after I had devoured my favorites.  Here it is, my list of the 5 Worst Halloween Treats.

1.  Almond Joy or Mounds.  What 5 year old really likes coconut?

2.  Raisinets.  Same thing goes with raisins.  They may have been the only things covered in chocolate that I wouldn’t eat as a kid.

3.  Smarties.  They taste like chalk!

4.  Dots.  These gummy candies are a dentist’s nightmare!  They stick to your teeth for two weeks after eating them.

5.  Circus Peanuts.  I’ve mentioned my dislike of these bizarre candies.  Their strange ability to look like cheese when shredded is about the only thing they have going for them.


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October 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm 13 comments

“It is possible, it seems, to live on candy.”

When I read this New York Times article this morning, I didn’t think it was real!  How could someone eat only candy and actually survive?  Paul Rudnick, a playwright, has recently written a book that mentions his strange diet.  Apparently he hasn’t had any significant dental problems and is in generally good health.  Also, since I know you’re wondering, he is 5-foot-10 and weights 150 pounds!  There is no mention of a 12 hour a day workout habit, so I’m assuming he has the world’s speediest metabolism.  Or something!

So what does he actually eat?

He does not really eat meals, he said, more of a so-called grazer. For example, what he ate over the course of a recent, typical day was this: a plain bagel, a three-pack of Yodels, a small can of dry-roasted peanuts, some Hershey’s Kisses, and some breakfast cereal, which he eats by the handful, dry, out of the box.

Okay, I have an insatiable sweet tooth but even I can’t eat sweets all day every day!  I salute you Paul Rudnick, but I’m going to go eat a vegetable now, thank you!


October 28, 2009 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

Halloween week!

Check out these festive Halloween cupcakes from my favorite Bay Area cupcakery, Kara’s Cupcakes. Since Halloween is this Saturday, I’m going to post all the cute and tasty holiday treats I see this week!

karascupcakeshalloween Photo from the Kara’s Cupcakes Facebook page

October 26, 2009 at 7:41 pm 2 comments

Yo quiero taco cake

Last year for Sean’s birthday I made a Taco Cake.  You might be thinking, “uhhh what is that?!?” but it is exactly what it sounds like: a cake that is made to look like tacos.

bday11

For the taco shells, I baked yellow cakes in round pans and added some chocolate sprinkles to create the speckled effect.  The ground beef is crumbled chocolate cake.  It looks surprisingly real, doesn’t it?!

The next step is to add the toppings.  I used green food coloring to make the coconut look like shredded lettuce.  Next, I cut up circus peanut candies which are on my list of most bizarre candies.  I want to like them, but the taste is just a little different.  However, I had to sacrifice my own personal tastes here because they look remarkably like shredded cheese.  To top it all off, I used maraschino cherries to look like tomatoes.  And there you have it, last year’s Taco Cake!

You might be wondering if it tasted good.  I was first and foremost trying to make the cake actually resemble tacos, so I wasn’t too concerned with the taste.  However,  it turned out to be quite delicious in an unconventional way.  The circus peanuts weren’t too overpowering and the addition of a little “sour cream” (vanilla ice cream) was yummy as well!

October 25, 2009 at 10:53 pm 9 comments

Fun Facts

I had the pleasure of baking in an understocked kitchen last weekend.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a very nice kitchen, but it lacked some of the basic baking supplies I needed to make the Red Stripe cake.  Things I learned in the process:

  1. Lowe’s sells measuring cups.  Yes, the home improvement store. At least the one in Sunnyvale, CA does.
  2. Washcloths can double as oven mitts.
  3. Ask a married couple to borrow a stand mixer because they most likely received one as a wedding gift (Thank you!).

October 23, 2009 at 3:35 pm 4 comments

In Search of Baking Supplies

To get supplies for the Red Stripe cake, I ventured to Barbara of Pauline’s Cake Supplies in San Jose, California.

barbara of paulines

The shop is tiny but filled with any kind of cake decorating tool you could ever need.  I bought three different kinds of fondant there, along with two shades of luster dust (an edible iridescent powder that is used to decorate fondant).  The owner, Barbara (then who is Pauline?!), was very helpful—thankfully because I had no idea what I was supposed to do with luster dust.  All I know is that it sounds really cool and professional.  Turns out you have to mix it (a VERY small amount–a little goes a long way with this stuff) with vodka or gin first, then decorate as needed.  The alcohol will dry clear and leave the sparkly luster dust behind.

I constructed a “bottle cap” with white fondant and then painted it with the silver luster dust/vodka mixture and voila–an edible bottle cap!

lusterdust

October 21, 2009 at 9:16 am 3 comments

Woot! Cupcake Shirt

Cupcakes in costumes–so cute!  This cupcake shirt is for sale on Woot! today for $10, go check it out!

cupcake shirt

Thanks to Cupcakes Take the Cake for alerting me to this news!

October 20, 2009 at 11:23 am 4 comments

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