Happy day after Halloween to you all! If you have children, I hope you didn’t steal too much of their candy last night “for the sake of their health.” For those of you that did, I suggest a supervised withdrawal action plan that involves adding a Snickers bar to each meal to avoid crashes throughout the day. We’re in this together folks.
I realize November 1 often (OK, always) comes the day after Halloween but it’s especially jarring this year as I suddenly feel like I have to toss my candy corn (in more ways than one) and start thinking about turkeys already.
Halloween is becoming one of my favorite seasons of the year and I’m not ready for it to be over yet. I realize for some it’s just a day but if you don’t think it’s a season, just try to go into Target mid-August and NOT buy a bag of candy corn.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Halloween as a child, too. That probably has something to do with it. If you were scared by say a creepy BOZO wanna-be at a very young age you might have a different opinion. But for me Halloween was a day when my creepy, dark and damp childhood basement finally found use as a fun haunted house for our neighborhood friends. A day when I entered a costume contest as a bag of jelly beans only to realize I couldn’t use the bathroom or sit down until the voting closed that afternoon. And a day when my older sister actually agreed to share with me likely only because she hated my favorite kinds of candy.
OK fine. I‘ll trade you two Reeses for two, two-packs of Starbursts.
Deal! (opens Starburst packages and of course finds two yellows in each pack)
No fair! Do you take returns?
There was a brief hiatus on Halloween in high school when sports took over most of our lives, but college brought it back with an onslaught of themed parties and exchanges. Golf pros. Tennis hoes. You get the idea.
So that brings us to the present day and for the first time in a long time I’m going to credit Facebook for helping renew my love of something. Previously, on a post-Halloween morning, my newsfeed was filled with enough “sexy” versions of career paths to fill a job fair. I’m happy to report that over the last few years those photos are increasingly being replaced with cute babies and toddlers dressed as monkeys.
I don’t think I’m alone in my love for Facebook’s costume extravaganza. After all, Halloween is a time where creativity is celebrated. Homemade costumes are awesome, nostalgic ones even better and you get a king size Butterfinger for those costumes that don’t make any sense until you really think about it. Like this one. or this one. Pop-culture references are fun but don’t seem to mean as much after the hype has gone away. And I’m not just saying that because my Supermarket Sweep couples costume lost out to a now-forgotten Eastbound and Down star at the 2nd Annual Bensko Halloween Bash.
I don’t yet have a child to dress up as a monkey but this year I managed to go against everything I stand for in terms of dressing up your pet for a chance to catch Finn in the homemade moose antlers I made him. He was an elusive moose, that Finn.
I thought it was fitting because he is awkwardly tall and clumsy. He chewed them off approximately 5 seconds after this photo was taken, but as of this morning, Finn the Moose has more likes on Facebook than a marathon finisher. And with a lot less effort!
It’s not just the costumes that make me love Halloween. It’s the chance to celebrate. The chance to build a sense of community through a shared interest. The chance to share food and treats with people you care about. The connection it brings to friends, family and complete strangers as people who may not otherwise interact share funny stories, compliments and lighthearted jokes.
It’s also an excuse for me to bake something. I ran out of time to do my traditional treat bags this year but I did manage to get a batch of thumbprint cookies out the door in time for work. So to wrap up the longest Halloween post ever, here’s a recipe for holiday thumbprint cookies adapted from this recipe.
Halloween Thumbprint Cookies
- ½ C unsalted butter
- ½ C sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 TBL pure vanilla extract
- 2½ C all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Holiday colored sprinkles
- Orange is the new black candy melts
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add one egg at a time. Add vanilla.
Mix dry ingredients into wet until combined. Refrigerate dough for an hour.
Fill a small glass bowl with sprinkles. Line jelly roll pan with silpat.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop a teaspoon-sized piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Roll dough in sprinkles. Place dough onto baking mat and press center down with the back of a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon. (tip: use non-stick spray on spoon if it gets sticky)
Place cookies in oven for 10 minutes. Remove just before they are done and place candy melt in center. Let cook for 1-2 more minutes until candy melts start to glisten.
Let cool on pan and then wire rack. Take a photo while it’s pouring outside and there’s no natural light to add a spooky orange Halloween vibe to your cookies.
If you’re wondering what I wore this year, we didn’t have any parties but my Yoga studio was encouraging costumes and I am not one to show up unprepared so I wore bears (bear ears) to my yoga class. If you don’t get it with that clue, see below.
Part Yogi part Bear. Just missing the pic-a-nic basket!
I hope you had a fun-filled holiday. Here’s to the next one, which is right around the corner!