Lemme just start off by saying…making animal-y things out of food is just far too much fun. When I was assembling these guys I couldn’t help myself from gushing about how adorable they were with each eyeball and piped leg. Gah. I can’t even. Too cute!
Okay. So. I am definitely one of those holiday freaks. I just love the festive spirit of all things holiday related, because there’s always that happy and fun essence all over. People are just happy (not necessarily everyone, but y’know what I mean).
My particular favorites are of course all the ones coming up: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas (duh). They’re just all equally and uniquely the most fun times of year. And don’t even let me get started on all the holiday food things (again…duh).
The thing about Halloween is that it’s always so full of candy and all things crazy. The costumes, the decorations, the creepy crawly mood of foggy and windy skies. The changing weather. Just when it starts to get cold and cozy (theee best). 🙂
I went to the pumpkin patch in my childhood town this weekend with one of my best friends, Pheebs (Phoebe). And even though it was like 80 degrees out (Hullooo. Fall in California is very confused) it still just felt so festive! And it was so nice to go back to my little cowtown and see it still so much the same. The place is so small, and the houses are so spread apart by farmland and such that the only stop to trick or treat at is the tiny convenience store in the middle of the town square.
And three or four of the “town elders” would camp out for an hour or so on Halloween to give out some little goodies to the few children who’s parents would have them stop by on their way to the bigger more happening trick or treat dwellings. Martha, the first grade teacher, was always our favorite because she’d give out WHOLE candy bars. I have never been one of those candy-crazed kids. I love me some chocolate, but like candy candy… All things gummy or excessively sticky. Not so much my thing.
These cookies combine three of my loves…peanut butter and chocolate, and the fact that they’re peanut butter cookies. Reese’s are totally one of my favorite chocolate candies. When I lived in Spain for a semester (where Reese’s are virtually nonexistent) in college, I’d FLIP out if I found Reese’s in any of the places I travelled to elsewhere in Europe. They were that sparse.
I don’t even eat them that often, but being away from home for any extended period of time…you really start to miss the little things. Especially anything peanut butter-y. It’s just not so much a thing in Europe. You can find some stuff, but it’s rare and sooo not the same.
They are the perfect little candies to make spiders out of. The cute little ridges… Easy to glue little candy eyes to. And the piped chocolate legs! Adorable. Ohhh and the peanut butter cookies. They are SO soft and chewy and perfect. For sure my new absolute go-to peanut butter cookie recipe from now on. So yummy. I’ve also made these kinds of spiders on cupcakes before. Too much cuteness.
Ingredients (Adapted from Joy of Baking):
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar for rolling
1 package mini Reeses, unwrapped
6 ounces dark chocolate, melted
1 package candy eyes
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Next beat in the peanut butter. Then add the egg, vanilla and milk and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Add the baking soda and salt and mix until incorporated. Then add the flour, and mix on low until the dough just comes together. Chill the dough, covered, for at least an hour, or overnight. Prepare 3 baking sheets with parchment.
After chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and scoop out the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll them in the sugar, and then bake on your baking sheets for 9-10 minutes until lightly golden (they should not spread much). Gently transfer to a cooling rack lined with wax paper and immediately place the Reeses into the middle of the cookies. Press them down slightly into the cookie so they stay.
Allow to cool (you may need to refrigerate them if the Reeses start melting too much), and then glue on the eyes with your melted chocolate. Transfer some of the chocolate to a piping bag, and snip a small hole. Pipe out the legs onto the sides of the cookies. Allow to firm up, and store in an airtight container.
The theme this month is Halloween! Spooky, silly, creepy, we’ve got it all! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!
Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
Spider Covered Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Spiced Life
Pumpkin Chip Bars from What Smells So Good?
Headless Gingerbread Men from Noshing with the Nolands
Swirly Halloween Cookies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Enchanted Pumpkin Cookies from NinjaBaking
The Witch’s Cauldron Cookies from Cookie Dough & Oven Mitt
Witch Finger Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Pumpkin Macarons from A Baker’s House
French Butter Cookie (Bones) from Made with Love
Pumpkin Cookie Bars from Food Lust People Love
Spooky Almond Cookies from Basic N Delicious