The highlight of Halloween, when I was a kid, was always getting homemade treats from a neighbor we all knew and loved. An elderly woman whose kids were grown, she always baked the most delicious treats for us to take home and enjoy. Sometimes she even gave our parents treats and we would hang out at her house, munching and enjoying ourselves while she marveled fondly at our costumes.
Sadly, days like that are no longer among us; not only is our neighbor too old to bake cookies and rice krispy treats and other amazing creations, but the times have since changed. These days, homemade treats are discouraged—even in schools!—because their contents cannot be verified. It’s a valid reason to avoid home cooked treats for kids with allergies—but we all know that the real worry exists with what kinds of poisons, razor blades, etc. might be present in the treats. It’s a sad, disturbing thought, but it could happen.
That doesn’t mean that we can’t bake yummy treats at home for Halloween. We’re definitely baking our daughter’s cakes for her Halloween birthday party, and we’ll be making sugar skulls (though for decorative purposes only) and other such things as well. Here are some other ways to get your bake-and-decorate on this month:
- Use leftover Halloween candy for decorating cupcakes, cakes, or other treats.
- Experiment with frosting. Get a white colored frosting—like vanilla or butter cream—and add your favorite fall colors of food coloring. Then, cut off just the tip of the corner on a plastic bag, and use it to put the icing on like a pro. Play with different words or “draw” pictures that you like.
- Grab a cookbook from the library to play with. If you’re into traditional stuff, try some new recipes. If you’ve never made a real homemade cake, make one from scratch.
- See if you can bring in you home-baked treats at the office. Your coworkers are sure to thank you for it! Or share with a neighbor, shelter, or friend.
- Give cookie, brownie, or cake “kits” for gifts this month. Just add the dry ingredients into a glass jar, decorate it, and add the recipe with a piece of ribbon. Voila—a cheap and easy gift that provides both fun and a full belly.
- Try adding on different candies that are made for baking at the store, or play with pretty cupcake holders.