Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tricks and Treats

The Setting: Game Day in South Bend. Pumpkin-carving day at the playground. The smell of charcoal in the air; a patchwork of leaves on the ground.

The Soundtrack: The Notre Dame -v- Navy game on TV.

Steaming up the (once again, microwave) Oven: (what will be) Homemade Butterfingers. Yes, you read that right.

The Scenario: Fresh from Oia's first pumpkin carving, we skip the stadium and prepare some tricks and treats for tomorrow's Halloween festivities.

Here's a crazy trick for you:

Combine equal parts (by weight) melted candy corn (yes, candy corn) and creamy peanut butter, let harden in a parchment-paper-lined pan, cut into pieces, and coat with melted milk chocolate. Voila, homemade butterfingers.

Yes, it is crazy, yes, it works, and no, I am not the genius who came up with it.

For me, part of the joy of recreating childhood treats is finding a way to make them all-natural and completely from scratch.

I try to avoid artificial colors and flavors (and candy in general most of the time), but when I saw this evil recipe on Pinterest (my devilish new addiction, I had no choice.

One minute I’m pondering the possibilities of keeping my daughter’s future Halloweens artificial-ingredient free without depriving her of the joys of trick-or-treating, and the next minute I’m running to the store to stock up on neon-colored candies.

I don’t know who came up with this originally—I tried to find out, scouring the Internet (well, a brief but well-intending scour) to give proper credit. I found references dating back as far as 2005 to a post on some Taste of Home forum (, I believe), but I could not find the post itself.

The source of the current viral click-a-thon seems to be So, Plain Chicken, I blame you.

I blame you for your easy-to-follow instructions, your enticing photo, and your prolific Pinterest presence.

These slightly-softer-and-chewier-than-the-real-thing betterfingers are way too tasty to take to the Halloween party for which I was making them—not that I do not wish to share…it’s just that I fear there will be none left by party time tomorrow.

I plan instead to take meringue ghosts, a simple treat that has served me well in the past.

We’ll see how it goes.

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