You know it’s Halloween at the Boyds’ house when we start eating bugs.
Photo: Don’t get the creeps. Get the munchies!
Update: I’ve made some cool modifications to this recipe, so don’t miss the updated 2010 edition — now with extra creepiness!
We tried making these Tarantula Cookies from Clare Crespo’s awesome book, The Secret Life of Food, for the first time last year, and we love them. Not only are they incredibly creepy-cute, they also taste really good.
This year, we modified them a bit to improve their structural integrity. Plus, our friend Keri helped bake them with us yesterday and added a new buggy companion: Centipede Cookies. Do you think we could figure out Daddy Longlegs for next year?
2 c flour
½ t baking powder
½ t salt
¼ t baking soda
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
10 T butter, softened
½ c brown sugar
¼ c white sugar
1 t vanilla extract
thin pretzel sticks
12 oz chocolate chips
1 T vegetable oil
small red candies
Preheat the oven to 350Â°. Grease a few cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
Sit down with a bowl of pretzel thins and break them in half, so that they are 1-2” long. (You can try leaving the pretzel sticks longer, but I found that they break much more easily then.)
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat to form a smooth dough.
Roll heaping teaspoons of dough into balls, then poke eight broken pretzel sticks into the sides of the dough balls, creating “legs.” You might need to smoosh the dough balls together with the pretzels a bit to get it all to stick. Put the creation on a prepared cookie sheet and repeat. (For centipedes, roll the dough into a fat cigar shape, then stick many legs on each side.)
Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until they seem pretty firm and solid.
Lift cookies from the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, nuke for one minute, and stir. Nuke two more times for 30 seconds each, stirring between each one. When the chocolate is mostly melted, keep stirring and it will probably all melt, or zap it for a bit longer. Add the vegetable oil and stir together.
Photo: Now it’s time to cover them in tarantula fuzz! Little girls make perfect laborers.
Using a pastry brush (we have a silicone one that works great), brush the melted chocolate over each cookie, covering the body and legs. Sprinkle chocolate jimmies all over. Place two red candy eyes on the front of the head. Let rest for awhile until the chocolate is nicely set.
You’ll probably have some chocolate left over. This is good for dipping just about anything — pretzels, strawberries, peanuts, graham crackers, or just your fingers!
I have had success freezing these, but it is important to pack them carefully in a plastic container so that they don’t break!
Makes 30-35 cookies.
Photos courtesy of Keri Chryst.