Black Cat Cookies

If a brownie married a sugar cookie, you’d get these wonderful chocolate cookies. I think these are called “Black Cat Cookies” because they started as a recipe from one of those Halloween recipe books many years ago, like the small ones you’d find at the checkout stand. I remember the cats had candy corn eyes and red hot candies for a nose. We’ve made those, but I’ve also used cookie cutters to make bats, witches, cats, and vampires. The dough holds pretty well with the cookie cutters even after baking in the oven–I don’t bother rolling out the dough; I just smash pieces of the dough flat with a cup and then cut them out with the cutter.

If you’re making these gluten free, I haven’t tried making these gluten free yet. But when I do, I’ll just substitute cup for cup gluten free flour and possibly bake a little longer.

Black Cat Cookies

  • Servings: 24?
  • Difficulty: medium
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Rich, chocolatey, and great for Halloween.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Butter, softened
  • 2 c. Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 tsp. Vanilla
  • 3 c. Flour (or gluten free flour with xanthan gum)
  • 1 c. Baking Cocoa
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Pinch top of cookie to form ears. For whispers, press a fork twice into each cookie. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set. (Optional decoration: Immediately after removing from oven, press on candy corn for eyes and Red Hots for noses.) Makes 2 dozen.


 

Pistachio Salad

This is a fun, sweet side for summer BBQs or a green side for Halloween. Even though the idea of a pistachio side may sound weird, it’s always delicious and a crowd favorite.

And this one is naturally gluten free.

Pistachio Salad

  • Servings: 12?
  • Difficulty: easy
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A sweet, green side for summer or Halloween.

Ingredients

  • 1 box Pistachio Pudding Mix
  • 2 c. Cottage Cheese
  • 1 container Cool Whip (or homemade whipped cream)
  • 1 can Pineapple Tidbits (drained except a small amount of juice)

Directions

Mix together cottage cheese and pudding mix in a bowl. Then add pineapple and a little bit of juice, to keep from getting too dry. Stir in whipped cream and chill.


Harry Potter Butter Beer

We’ve had this as part of a Harry Potter Halloween party a few times, including dragon steaks, gnomes (aka baked potatoes with smiley faces because gnomes are described as looking like muddy little potatoes), and venomous tentaculars (green beans). This is adapted from a news site’s butter beer recipe that they posted after Harry Potter land opened.

And like most drinks, this one is also naturally gluten free.

Harry Potter Butter Beer

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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It takes a little work and you have to let the caramel cool, but it makes a fun drink and the cream is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Water
  • 6 Tbsp. Butter
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¾ c. Heavy Cream, divided
  • ½ tsp. Rum Extract (optional–maybe even better without)
  • 6 c. Cream Soda (about 1 ½ liters or 4 cans)

Directions

Gently boil brown sugar and water, stirring often, until candy thermometer reads 240° (230° for high altitude). Stir in butter, salt, vinegar, 1/4 c. cream. Cool to room temp, then stir in rum extract.

Topping: Combine 2 Tbsp. of the mixture and remaining ½ c. cream. Use mixer to beat until just thickened, about 2-3 minutes. To serve, divide brown mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 c. per glass). Add 1/4 c. soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill glass nearly to top with additional soda, then spoon whipped topping over each.


Homemade Root Beer

One of the best parts of homemade root beer is the root beer slush that forms after an hour or two of bubbling. It’s not the Fourth of July without it! And it’s also really fun at Halloween for a witch’s brew.

And like most drinks, this one is also naturally gluten free.

Homemade Root Beer

  • Servings: 5gallons
  • Difficulty: easy
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Perfect for the 4th of July or witch’s brew on Halloween.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle McCormick Root Beer Concentrate
  • 5 lb. Sugar
  • 6 – 7 lb. Dry Ice
  • 5 gallons Water (a little less)

Directions

In an Igloo dispenser, stir sugar, some water, and concentrate until sugar is dissolved. Then add ice (being careful not to let it touch your bare hands) and remaining water. Cover loosely with lid and stir occasionally. Ready in 1 hour.