witticisms by Jess Witty

August 10, 2011

Halloween Treats & Sweets

Hello, there!

It's Papertrey Ink countdown time and you know what that means... group posts!

We're counting down the days until August's release and today the design team is bringing you loads of Halloween inspiration with this month's new Halloween Treats & Sweets set.

I was super excited to bust out some more homemade baked goodies for this one...

and I also added in a semi-homemade treat, too.

Lots of sweets options here at the ol' blog :)
Because, let's face it... sometimes you've got the time to go all homemade and sometimes you don't.

The beauty of this project is that the Halloween Treats & Sweets stamps do all the decorating for you!

The idea is that the sugar cookies (in the bigger bag) and the dipped Oreos suckers (on the right) are just plain cookies but the bags they're wrapped in provide the Halloween faces.  So no tricky drawing with icing, etc!  All you need to do is stamp to cute-ify these cookies!

For the sugar cookies, I went super, super simple with solid royal icing.  I went with gray for the cat, spider, and bat cookies, white for the skeleton cookies, and orange for the pumpkin cookies.  The packaging allows the cookies to show through a bit so the the color and shape end up forming the base for the little critter faces.

The process was very similar to my first cookie project.  The basic steps of baking, outlining, and filling are the same so check it out.

I used the same cookie recipe (from Bee In Our Bonnet) and went with simple circles to serve as the "faces" for all of the little Halloween critters. 

I switched the icing to Sweet Sugarbelle's version this time around.     The consistency of the icing worked out better for me with this recipe.  Sweet Sugarbelle also has a great tutorial on the actual icing process as well. 

{I love, love, LOVE her tips for preparing the icing and using a spray bottle to thin down the icing from outlining consistency down to flooding consistency.  I'll be using that tip until the day I die and give up crafting and cookies for the dessert bar in heaven.}

I definitely wanted to keep the cookies simple.  They're meant to be given as Halloween treats, and, let's be real here, I know they wouldn't last long :) But just because they're simple doesn't mean they can't be all glittery, right?

So, I added a little pearl dust to each one.

Perhaps I was drawn to it because it's essentially Pearl Ex for cookies :)
No Versamark needed, though, haha!  Just let your cookies dry completely and brush the powder on.

In the picture below, you can see the difference between the pearly gray cookie and the non-pearly gray cookie.

I baked the cookies one night, then whipped up the icing and got them all covered the next morning.  Truly, it was pretty easy so don't be scared.  I baked and iced 2 dozen with pretty minimal effort. 

If you're not into homemade cookies, you could always go with the Lofthouse brand iced sugar cookies that are always out for the holidays. 
Now for the fun part :)

I stamped Papertrey's medium glassine bags with each of the little critter faces then slipped the cookies inside.  I flipped the top of the bag down on the front side just for a little extra detail.

That left the perfect little spot for a stamped sentiment and some stitching to close everything up...

Really digging the mix of fonts on the sentiments in this set.

And the Treats & Sweets dies... good grief they are stinkin' cute!  I think the extra details totally make the critters. 

Love the little spider legs here....

We'll come back to those cutie pie critters in a second.  For the moment, let's consider the semi-home made chocolate dipped Oreo treats.

Blech.  Sounds terrible, right? ;)


Here's what I used....

Note the Double Stuf Oreos.
{As in Oreos with twice the yummy deadly goodness inside.}

Gluttony is not the only reason for this dessert choice.
Oh, no.
It's actual common sense.
I swear.

The extra thick layer actually makes it super easy to put the sucker stick in without breaking the cookie apart.

Sweet logic.

Once you're cookies are all ready, it's time to dip 'em. 

To get the colors I needed, I used two different methods.  I already had the almond bark (available in the baking aisle of the grocery store) so I used that for white.  I figured I could just purchase orange and gray candy melts at a craft store but I figured out pretty quick that gray is apparently not a popular candy melt color and, therefore, not actually made.


They do, however, make candy coloring, so I used a bit of that in the almond bark to come up with gray.
It was super simple.  (Important to note... you must use coloring labeled for "candy" use; not plain colors made for icing.  The regular colors will react with the candy melts or almond bark and cause the texture to seize up.)

To cover the oreos, just heat a bit of the almond bark or candy melts in the microwave.  The goal is to get it hot but not too hot :) Hot enough to spread over the cookies, but not so hot that you melt the oreo stuffing.  Do yourself a favor and stick the oreos on a stick in the freezer for a few minutes first.

I used a spatula to draw the liquid over the oreo, making sure to catch the stick with the almond bark.  Then I just dragged the backside of the cookie across the edge of the cup and tap, tap, tapped the stick on the edge until everything looked smooth and pretty on the front.

To let them dry, I just stuck them in a weighted bowl like so...

What I learned with the different products is that I *much* preferred the almond bark to the candy melts for this project.  It seemed to melt better, cover better, dry better, and taste better.  In the future, I'll just purchase the candy colors and use almond bark instead the candy melts.

And now... for the fun part again...

A little gaggle of Halloween critters :)

I used Papertrey's small glassine bags for this one.  Just stamp the little face on the bag and punch a hole in the bottom for the stick to go through.  {Put a piece of cardstock behind the bag when you punch... totally helps you to get a clean punch.}

Slip the cookie in and stitch across the top. 

I added a little sentiment flag to each made with the double ended banner dies...

And the little tiny dies for the bat wings, spider legs, and cat ears... love 'em.  The stamp set has stamps to add the details to the die cuts... so, so cute :)

And good grief, I think this is the cutest little skeleton face I've ever seen...

Only made cuter when there's two of them...

Or two little pumpkin faces...

Or bats with wings...

Or spiders with legs :)

And, of course... the little kitty cat.

I couldn't decide whether to do a scary black cat (gray) or a sweet dressed-up-for-Halloween kitty (white), so, of course, I did both...

And... of course, I stuck everything in the freezer to save for Halloween.

Or not :)

In reality, making these little treats coincided with the Great Potty Training Escapades o' 2011 in the Witty household.  And when I promised Noelle a special treat for progress of any sort (I was reaching desperation mode here) she immediately said "Hookies?  Hookies?"

As in, "cookies! cookies!"

So trust me... these cookies are already being used as treats & sweets in this house :) 

To see all the Halloween cuteness that the rest of the team came up with, check 'em out right here...
Nichole Heady
Betsy Veldman
Erin Lincoln
Maile Belles
Lisa Johnson
Dawn McVey
Heather Nichols
Melissa Phillilps
Michelle Wooderson
Danielle Flanders

Happy haunting!


{Halloween Treats & Sweets Cookies & Dipped Oreo Pops}


Amber said...

This is exactly my kind of project! I love everything from the rooty to the tooty! I am definitely filing this away as a "must-do" project!

Cathy Weber said...

I just knew this was going to be a spectacular post from you! I was not disappointed. This must have been so much work, but the results are so cute and creative. You must be the most fun mom, EVER. How smart to put the faces on the outside of the bags. Way, easier. Wish I had some little kids to make these for, my grown up ones would be looking for money inside the bags instead of treats!

Ginny said...

What a fabulous project!! Love all the little details! You truly are an amazing talent, thanks for all the inspiration! :)

Anonymous said...

Ok, I seem to always begin the comments in our blog with the same sentence but... HOLLY COW!!! What an amazing project and cuteness overload!! And they obviously seem the perfect treats for potty training... that scary phase ;)

Wendy ten Hove said...

Love these, Jess!!! Such a perfect idea to make the treats this way!! Those faces stamps are perfect for this, great thinking!! I'm sure the kids will be in a loooong line in front of your door this halloween, hi hi!! (I know I would be one of them if I lived closer ;-)
Hugs, Wendy

jan metcalf said...

Very clever to stamp the faces on the bags, great projects/ideas!

Suzanne Russell said...

Kudos to the Cookie Queen! These are adorable AND delicious...I know from experience! Love making sugar cookies for my family as I have for many years. Now I will be making such delectable treats for our grandson and his little buddies! Thanks for the inspiration

Denise E said...

Such cuteness! Great ideas. Thanks for all the tips...love the iced cookie pop idea. One idea to add...if serving these cookie pops at a party, use as gifts and give the jars with them, filled with candy corn or M&Ms or any other candy treat (instead of beans! =o)
Thanks for all the inspiration!

Stacy W. said...

Very cute and fun!I can never get my royal icing to work...going to have to check out your links. Thanks for sharing.

Paulette S said...

Oh my gosh, these cookies are a hoot Jess!

Tiff said...

The "hookies" came out so yummy looking and those cute glassine bags- so clever! I'm not the best with decorative icing so thank you for showing us something new and fun!

Ashley Harris said...

Ah Jess...you ROCK my world. I want to be just like you when I grow up. Seriously girl you have some insane TALENT! Have a wonderful day!!

Luc and Sonia said...

I have so missed your posts!! Glad you are back, and of course, for Halloween, no less! Love the cookies...so cute and so easy to mass produce for a party. can't wait to see what else is coming :)

Sarah said...

Awesome idea to let the packaging do all of the heavy lifting. I know where my skills lie (in baking and paper crafting, but not in frosting and piping), so this is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing such a great idea.

(And good luck with that potty training thing, we're still working on it.)

Unknown said...

for the love of God woman. your release creations always blow my mind! i can't get over how creative you are!!!!! i'm only 98.2% jealous of your skillz. love it all! :)

Jill Norwood said...

Wow! These treats are adorable and I am so impressed that you made time to bake while potty training! Love the Hookies! :)

Noreen said...

How clever and fun to stamp the faces on the bag! And I like the way you closed them, too.

Rachelle said...

Jess, these are amazing! I love that you made them so simple and doable. Whenever I try to make fun projects like this I find myself cursing all the icing details...you've eliminated that completely. Brilliant!

Nancy said...

what can I say that hasn't already been said...Love, love, love, all the Halloween treats and the Oreo cookie idea is so cool. You sound like one cool mamma!

Mendi Yoshikawa said...

Wow! You out-did yourself! These are awesome!!! I'm feeling inspired to give these a try and I don't even consider myself a baker (in the slighest)

Renee M said...

Absolutely adorable--really appreciate all the great tips too!

Carol's Ink Spot said...

OMG! Just loved all the details and tips and the final outcome of your projects! Excellent idea to stamp on the bag instead of the cookie that disappears so quickly. Saving this post for October!

Eveline said...

What a great post. I love everything shown here. Thanks for sharing the recipes as well.

Islander Girl said...

Such an awesome idea! You are sooo creative! I will have to do this!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

see mary stamp said...

Just love these. Adorable!

Broni said...

Get out of town! These are adorable! You are so crafty and brilliant!!

Chris said...

Amazing and adorable. Sounds like a great project for my Halloween treats I send to extended family all over the country. Thanks for sharing and the inspiration!

Jessica Wekenman said...

Holy Creative Genious, woman!!! I could totally see myself making these and passing out to the kids! Really love these, Jess!

Gabby said...

Cute cookie bags! I love that skeleton, too! :)

Karen said...

What a fabulous idea to leave the icing plain and jazz up the bag! These "hookies" are simply spectacular! Thanks for sharing.