Guess what is just around the corner?!? Are the boxes a big enough hint? To say that I love Halloween would be an understatement. It could be my superstitious Irish side or all the years engrossed in theater, who knows. Halloween for me is the kick off into the fall holiday season. The beginning of a three-part series saving the best for last. With Halloween though you get to throw caution to the wind and walk on the macabre side for a bit. Eat your heart out Poe.

To start Halloween off this month  I had the pleasure of being invited by Kitchen Play to participate in their SideCar Event. Kitchen Play teamed me up with….drum roll please… Wilton Industries Inc. Can you see my happy dance? I’ll give you a visual, think Sandra Bullock in “All About Steve”. Kitchen Play couldn’t have picked a better theme for me or teamed me up with a better company. I have always loved using Wilton products even before this invitation. This opportunity allowed me to play with some of their products and techniques that I have never tried before.

When I first found out that Wilton would be generously providing all of these fun Halloween goodies for me to play with I wanted to go crazy huge and over the top. Y’all know me, but instead I decided to ease you guys into some of their products. I ‘m also wise enough to know that 9 times out of 10 life has a habit of getting in the way of our grandiose ideas and expectations. Such as work, school and our kid’s tremendous extracurricular activities. Oh, let’s not forget unexpected accidents and such. Sorry I had to throw that one out there and y’all know why.

Here is what I played with in the kitchen this past weekend. Each of these recipes, tips or ideas is simple, quick and are a blast when the monkeys help out.

Halloween  Fun  Menu

Skeletons Arise: Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes & Coconut Cupcakes (strawberry filling)

Oozie Eyeballs: Mini Spice Cupcakes with Honey Spread Topping

Pick Your Poison: Spiced Apple & Butternut Squash Bites with Vanilla-Caramel Yogurt Dip

Brain Strain: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Snot Shooters


Skeletons Arise & Oozie Eyeballs

Candy Molds, can y’all believe that I have never ever played with candy molds? Me either, go figure! The little skeletons and eyeballs that Wilton provided were just to darn cute so we began with those first.

For the adorable little skeletons you will need the mold, your choice color of  Candy Melts, candy flavoring oil and a double boiler. If you do not have a double boiler you can do what I do. I use a glass bowl over the top of a small sauce pan. First you heat up the double boiler and then remove it from the heat. Add a handful of candy melts and stir until nearly smooth. Add just a drop or two of the oil into the candy melts, continue stirring. Don’t add to much oil, trust me a little bit goes a long way.

Take a spoon and fill each space with the melted candy. Lastly set the mold in the refrigerator to cool and harden. Once they have cooled twist gently and pop the cuties loose. Look at that! Easy Peasy, adorable and yummy. I’m so addicted to candy molds now. The monkeys were thrilled and can’t wait to make more fun candy shapes with me during the holidays.

We made a few batches of chocolate and coconut cupcakes with some strawberry jam in the center for that ghoulish ooze of blood. Nutella and crushed Teddy Graham’s made the perfect topping of dirt for my skeletons rising from their dank confining graves. I also find black and white decorating themes during Halloween classic and gorgeous.

Oozie Eyeballs

Now with any of Wilton’s candy molds that have 3 dimensional possibilities you will need to apply one color at a time with a paint brush. With the eyeballs you want to paint the veins, pupils & iris before you add the white. If you heat each of your different color candy melts at the same time they will harden before you’re finished. Take your time and have fun. The end result is so worth it.

See, Oozie Psychotic Eyeballs. The monkeys thought that these guys were entirely too cool. The little knuckleheads kept trying to eat the eyeballs before I had them on the cupcakes. We made spiced cupcakes and used Honey Spread for an easy topping that really made the eyeballs look like they were oozing gross, squishy fluids.

Pick Your Poison

The next idea I actually came up with when I saw Wilton’s  little cupcake toothpicks that say “Pick Your Poison”. The first thing that came to my mind was Snow White biting into the poison apple brought to her by the witch. So I made Spiced Apple & Butternut Squash Bites. Wicked and healthy.

Preheat the oven to 400 . Butter a cookie sheet, cut up an apple and a half of a butternut squash into approx. 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes on the buttered pan and then sprinkle them with The Spice House’s-Chicago Spiced Sugar. Cover them with foil and bake for approx. 20 min. Make sure to turn them every 5 min. in order to caramelize each side. Take the other half of the butternut squash,  remove any pulp and seeds from the cavity section with a spoon. Slice a section of the skin down the middle on the backside of the squash. This will keep it stable and from rocking on a plate. Fill the cavity/bowl with vanilla yogurt, drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Like Snow White,everyone who comes to your next Halloween party will succumb to your tempting Poison Bites, baked in decadent spices of yore along side a bubbling cauldron of sweet nectar.

Brian Strain

Okay I’ll come right out and admit it, I am not anywhere near the stratosphere of Martha Stewart but I have always wanted to make her Brain Cupcakes for Halloween and this post gave me the perfect opportunity.

Red velvet cupcakes stuffed with gray cream cheese frosting, one ten inch Wilton pastry bag, a size 7 Wilton tip and a steady hand are all that you will need. Simply fit the pastry bag with the tip and fill it with cream cheese frosting tinted gray. Put a dollop of cream cheese on the cupcake (a little height helps). Then make a squiggle line on either side and two lines down the middle. The more you make the better they look. Dad and mom always did say practice makes perfect.

Remember all of the gray brain matter the monkeys have lost playing video games? I finally found it. Want some?

Snot Shooters

Did y’all think that you were going to get away without something over the top? Now you all know better than that. If there wasn’t something silly going on around here I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. The Shot Glass Ice Mold from Wilton by far TICKLED me. I couldn’t help but think of Snot Shooters. Which of course makes everyone cringe when I say the name. Does it make you cringe?

You will need one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch and green food coloring. Combine the milk and cornstarch in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the mixture thickens. Do not stop stirring, I mean it. Otherwise the bottom will scorch. Don’t ask me how I know because I will plead the 5th. Then pour the snot into your frozen shot glasses and serve. Serve quickly because this is ice y’all, they won’t last long. Then again how long does it take to toss a shot back? It’s been 13 years since I’ve had one, so I couldn’t tell you.

I Double Dog Dare you to take a Snot Shot 🙂

I have to say thank you very much to Kitchen Play and Wilton Industries Inc. for this wonderful opportunity to discover some extremely fun new products and share the experience not only with my boys, but everyone else as well. I can’t tell you how much fun we had doing this post. We spent three days tearing up the kitchen and being silly. I won’t tell you all gross snot stories I promise.

We only hope that y’all have a blast this Halloween playing in the kitchen. You can find everything that you need to make some easy, creative treats at They have a plethora of fun products to choose from such as baking tools, a variety of icing and fondant, cute gift boxes  and even rotating cake stands. You can also find some helpful tutorials on-line.

My next adventure during the holidays will be playing with fondant. I’m so excited. Keep me posted as to what y’all decide to play with, I can’t wait to hear all about it.


Tickled Red