By Jessica Roy
Trick or Treat, which do you please? Never fear, I've got your All Hallows' Eve covered with one of each. The trick part, though, is less of a trick and more of a solution to entertain those mini ghouls and goblins disappointed by the soggy remnants of Sandy.
If adventuring out in the neighborhood for an evening knocking on doors sounds a little less than exciting, why not have some of the neighbors over to make your own treats? Homemade Halloween candy at its finest, these peanut butter coconut chocolate spiders are a fun activity for kids and adults alike and are devilishly decadent.
I've used a couple of staples from the candy cauldron by the front door to accessorize our eight-legged friends. Feel free to get creative with whatever you've got on hand already and decorate away.
For the legs, I've used chocolate licorice that I've thinly sliced. Pieces of Mike & Ike (or is it just Mike now?), make for great eyes, as do mini M&Ms or any gummy candy.
When melting chocolate, use a double boiler on the stove, made from a metal or heat proof bowl (or even a second pan) that fits snugly over a small sauce pan of low simmering water. To thin the melted chocolate and give it a nice sheen, stir one teaspoon of mild flavored oil to the chips as they are melting. Be careful not to get any water into the chocolate or the batch will be ruined. Happy Haunting!
- 1/2 cup softened peanut butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 12 oz. package chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. mild flavored oil (optional)
- Chocolate or black licorice for legs
- Colorful candies for eyes
- Parchment or wax paper
- 1. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over low heat. If desired, stir in a teaspoon of mild flavored oil such as vegetable or safflower oil to thin the melting chocolate, and for a nice sheen.
- 2. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, flour, sugar, and coconut. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.
- 3. Trim the licorice into very thin slices about 3 inches long. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Place a dollop of melted chocolate onto the paper, and criss-cross 4 licorice pieces over each other with the chocolate dollop as the center. This will create the 8 spider legs.
- 4. Roll peanut butter mixture into 1-inch balls, and dip into the melted chocolate to coat. Set the chocolate covered balls onto the leg pieces on the baking sheet. Decorate with candy eyes and whatever else you please. Place into the refrigerator to allow chocolate to set.
Jessica Roy is a private chef, specialty caterer and author of foodie blog, Shiso Fresh. Follow her at http://blogs.lowellsun.com/ yourpersonalchef.