::Insert creepy Woooo-OOOOOOO-oooo music here::
After my siblings and I returned from trick-or-treating, we dumped our candy on the floor so our parents could inspect our haul. We’d be allowed to eat a piece or two that night but were usually sent to bed because we usually had to drag ourselves out of bed the next morning for school.
I don’t think any of us ever missed school on November 1st due to a tummy ache, but I’m sure there were plenty of times that we were were late. And I can remember at least once when my blonde hair wouldn’t release its death-grip of spray-on “temporary” hair color. “Washes out with normal shampooing” can sometimes mean “it will fade after two weeks regardless of what you try.” Did you know that you can actually stain blonde hair? You can!
Where are the Butterfingers? I know we had more peanut butter cups than this. What happened to all the little Snickers bars? Where’s all the good candy?!
At some point, a child learns the difference between “good candy” and “bad candy”:
Bad candy stayed in the top of a round plastic cake carrier, inverted, since it was the biggest, unbreakable bowl-shaped item in the house. (Bad things can happen to nice things when there are 4 pairs of hands scrambling to access its contents.) It disappeared over the course of the next couple of weeks.
Good candy was magical. Most of it, somehow, disappeared off the face of the earth after the Halloween-night candy inspection. As I got older, I realized that “off the face of the earth” was actually an opaque plastic container in the top of the pantry. Call it what you want: Road Tax, Parents’ Tax, or Re-payment for 18 hours of labor without an epidural. Either way, it disappeared
The big kids got a big kick out of the Halloween eyeball cupcakes. I brought them to a pre-haunted house, pumpkin-carving party. We had far too much fun and the haunted house closed before we were ready to leave so we spent the next hour shouting scary movie titles at the TV. Playing “Dark Just Got Fun” after a couple of adult bevvies on a huge flat screen is seriously entertaining at 1:00 am (We only got 39 at the party but Jason and I came home and were able to solve 3 more.)
Method: The cupcakes are red velvet, the frosting is cream cheese. Reserve 1/4 cup frosting for the “blood vessels.”
Frost the cupcakes and smooth the surface with an offset spatula dipped in hot water (don’t get carried away with this, you’ll be late to the party!).
Tint the reserved frosting red and pipe onto the surface, from the center branching outward. I used a #4 tip but I think a smaller opening would have been even better. Place a Lifesaver in the center (the side with “Lifesaver” printed on it should be face-down), and pipe a little bit of frosting into the hole to hold the mini M&M in place. Voila! Eyeball cupcakes.
Red Velvet Cake, adapted from The Pastry Queen Christmas
Decoration inspiration, Epicurious