While cooking, listen to this: Shout It Out Loud by KISS
In all my years of celebrating Halloween, I can't pinpoint a particularly genius costume I've worn. I always opted for the Disney princess, the baby in a giant onesie, the store-bought nurse's costume to match the scrubs my college boyfriend found at a thrift store. This was all in an arguably simpler time - a time before Instagram likes crowned the best costume and being meta was all the rage. Despite my simple costume choices, however, I absolutely adore Halloween.
As I've gotten older I often use the "I don't dress up" line, which is my way of masking my personal laziness and unwillingness to spend a penny on costumes, but if given the right circumstances and the right group of people, I'd love to rock the pun-based group costume (last year, my friend's sorority sisters dressed as the Spice Girls - but not in the way you'd think. One was cinnamon. One was black pepper. One was cumin. You get the picture).
But before "spooktaculars" and gourd/pumpkin pun photo captions were the norm, a group of neighborhood kids - all of whom were family friends - would gather at our house to start a night of trick or treating. Free candy's all the rage - sure - but what I really loved was the decorations. One year, my dad bought a fifteen foot tall blow-up ghost for our front yard and I couldn't have been more thrilled. Although we had scarecrows and an automated witch that went off any time anyone climbed onto our front stoop, the blow-up ghost was, in my ten-year-old head, what made our house a cool house.
Nothing, however, could ever top the "spooky" house. At this particular house, the owner went absolutely, totally and completely over the top, installing TVs into the front windows of his house that Psycho, Jaws and The Wizard of Oz (yeah, that wicked witch is creepy as fuck) without sound would play as eerie music and ghoulish noises reverberated from the speakers buried behind his shrubbery. One year, and this memory has stuck with me for life, he dressed up as Gene Simmons from KISS - full make-up and all - and scared the crap out of me. My dad joked that the Reese's he gave me was poisonous (his way of stealing my good Halloween candy) and I actually believed him so deeply that I cried and tried to stop him when he ate that exact Reese's.
Oh, to be a kid again. I may never believe in poisonous candy handed out by Jewish rock 'n' roll star impersonators again, but I do believe in the magic of Halloween traditions. I'm talking about eating your weight in candy, carving pumpkins, braving haunted hayrides with (or in my case cowering behind) friends, and getting drunk in punny and ironic costumes. Now that's how you celebrate Halloween, friends.
But wait! We have one more Halloween tradition for you to try this year - it's one that's so easy you won't understand why you've never done it before. Making candy! No, this does not require a fancy copper tub or piping bags. All it requires is a run to your corner party store, a microwave and some fun-colored sprinkles.
Really, that's it?
Yep. We love making things so easy, you simply don't have an excuse. And, guys, bear with us. I know there are candy corn haters out there (I tend to bob back and forth between love and hate), but this recipe really and truly tastes like Butterfingers. Notorious skeptic right here! If I can get passed the bizarre nature of melted candy corn, then so can you - and you better! Because these are so much better than the ones that come in the wrapper. They even get stuck in your teeth! What's Halloween without some dental struggles?
No matter how you choose to celebrate (or not celebrate!), may your day be filled with lots of sugar and spooky surprises!
Happy Halloween, friends!
PS - if you're not a Butterfinger fan, or are deathly allergic to nuts, might we suggest last week's ridiculously adorable googly-eyed Peppermint Patties?
Yield: 12-24 candies, depending on size
Active Cook Time: 15m | Inactive Cook Time: 30m | Total Cook Time: 45m
Category: Sweet, Candy, Halloween
Source: Kirbie's Cravings
1 cup (8 ounces) candy corn (we used pumpkins so shape doesn't matter)
1 cup (8 ounces) peanut butter
1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips
Sprinkles, optional (but like, come on)
Melt the candy corn: so weird, I know, but here we go. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the candy corn and microwave for 1 minute. Stir well to distribute the heat evenly, and continue heating in 30-second increments, followed by stirring, until the candy corn is totally melted. It will be weird. Go with it.
Add the peanut butter: once the candy corn is now in its liquid form, stir in the peanut butter. The candy corn might start to harden as you add the peanut butter, but keep working at it. You can always put it back in the microwave.
Set the candy: in a parchment-lined pan (Kirbie's Cravings says 7 x 3 pan but we didn't have that so we improvised, meaning that you can really use any small pan you have and you'll be fine), pour in the candy corn peanut butter mixture. Spread into an even layer, smoothing out the top. Place in the freezer to set for 10-15 minutes.
Melt the chocolate: while the candy is setting, add the chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each one. Noticing a pattern?
Coat the candy: take the candy out of the freezer, and using a well-oiled serrated knife, cut into a desired shape. We went with small, two-bite rectangles, but go where the spirit moves you. Place a piece of parchment on a plate. To coat the candy, place one on a fork, and with a spoon coat the candy with the chocolate, removing any excess and smoothing over into an even layer. Place onto the parchment and continue with the remaining candies. If using, now is the time to add sprinkles. Place in the fridge or freezer to set, and then go to town.
To keep: these will keep in a tightly-sealed container or zippered bag for a few days.