Around our house they mean cookies, specifically Halloween cookies. We make owl shaped cookies that look, taste, and feel like Halloween. Imagine late autumn golden light streaming through your window, woodsmoke that lingers on your significant others plaid clothing as they give you a hug 'cause you made cookies, and buttery sugar goodness wafting through your house as you pull these sweet little Halloween treats from the oven. Painted a nice picture, eh? Well, that didn't happen at our house, but it still is fun to think about as I baked these up. Jeremy was up on two story scaffolding while I baked and Gracie didn't feel like helping until I got to the part with cashews and M&M's, so I made these by myself, enjoying the thick heat from the first fire in the wood stove while listening to the original score from the first season of "True Blood". It was very relaxing to me. Just what I needed.
These are as tasty as they look. They are not hard to make, but they do require some steps. Make these if you get a chance. Put some Halloween in your heart, and yum in your mouth. Here's how ya do it:
1 Cup packed brown sugar
3/4 Cup butter, no substitutes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 square (one ounce) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
large handful of M&M's
large handful of whole roasted and salted cashews
In a mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar and the butter. Add the egg and the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add it to the creamed mixture. Remove two thirds of the dough and set it aside. Combine the melted chocolate and the baking soda in a small bowl. Beat it into the remaining one-third of the dough to make a chocolate dough.
Take the doughs, and roll the dough without the chocolate into a 8-inch square on waxed paper. Shape the dough with chocolate into an 8 inch log. Place it on the edge of the white dough. Taking the ends of the waxed paper, gently roll the white dough around the chocolate dough log and pinch the seams together so it completely covers the chocolate dough. Wrap dough log and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
Go have a cup of Cider.
Unwrap chilled dough log and cut into 1/4-inch slices.
To form the owl's face, place two slices side by side on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and press the joining seam gently together. Pinch the dough at the top of the circles to form ears. Place M&M's in the center of each circle for eyes . Place a cashew in the lower center of the face for the beak.
Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for two minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack. Offer to family and friends. : )
Cider pressing was also on the agenda for this crisp autumn weekend.
|Hard cider. Yes, please.|
So was a photo shoot with a dear life long friend of mine.
Spookieness happened too. Yesterday I turned on the light to the bathroom and not one but two lights blew out. No biggie. Then, I took my girl out to lunch and watched the kid at Zoomies punch in our order and sat down and waited...and waited...and went to the counter to see about our food and he said, "weird, it never went through, so we have to go make it." Ugh. Annoying, but a little weird. Went to the Pharmacy after that and tried make a payment and the payment system decided to go down....right then. Okay, weird. So I stayed away from computers for the rest of the day. Spooooo-ky, or not, maybe just coincidence.
Light this evening was golden, and we happened to be outside dumping a rat out of the rat trap in the hen house as a family. Cheap thrills, I'm tellin' ya. But, there was this stillness in the air, a seriousness about the fading light. Fall is here, no question.
My heart leaps into the red and golden pile of leaves with fervor, but under it is a darkness pulling at the fringes of October. November is coming, it warns, and it's collection of heartaches and debilitating memories. I can almost hear the boots marching it's way towards us, and I shudder.
Tonight though, I closed my eyes, reached out my arms and hugged October hard. Someday, I might learn not to hate November, but not this year. And probably not the next. For now, I'll just bury my head into October's arms, and hope that the let down is easy, and I am placed gently into the arms of November without falling through like I usually do.
Crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath.