Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spiders, dirty hands, and eyeballs...oh my!

Happy Halloween!

Had to post an entry today.  Had to.

I know lots of people don't do Halloween.  But, I have to admit that I kinda like it. Dressing up, candy, eating normal foods but that look like weird things...

Okay, maybe not so much the last thing in the list, but the candy and the dressing up are so cool!

I liked the dressing up for Trick or Treat as a kid. I remember my mom making us costumes from scratch. KB was a clown, and I was Snow White. KB was a sprite and I was Cinderella before her gown got destroyed by the stepsisters (I liked the pink gown better than the blue). I was a slice of Cherry Pie...you name it! My Mom was AWESOME at the sewing machine. We would wait so eagerly for her to get home.
As soon as she got home and changed into more comfortable clothes, we'd go around our neighborhood with her. Then she'd "inspect" our candy when we got home...funny how all the chocolate pieces for a while seemed to be "suspicious".

My old church used to do things on Halloween too.  We would go sometimes, depending on whether Mom had to work late or not.  The rule there was you could be anything you wanted from the Bible, except a demon . So we had food, like Baked Potatoes, running around, lots of ducks and cows and sheep (they were the babies), and of course many Roman Soldiers and Davids (it was the best costume to be if you wanted to have a sword or slingshot). I was Esther one time, but it was hard to explain because many people thought I was a gypsy due to the colors and not owning a long dress. KB had it easier. She could choose the angel costume that she had from the performance of the Nutcracker.
They would do games and prizes inside a big hall and of course there was the parade at the end of the night. :-)

This year we were invited to a colleague's home in Bures-sur-Yvette. I'm glad we can go, even though we're in France and they don't do that here. The wife is making homemade pizza and calzones and has asked if people attending would bring a side dish or dessert. How can you say no to that?!

Mr. K and I will be dressing up, but as we have to take the metro to her house, no face make up. That's fine. We don't need any for our costumes! He's going to be Jamie Hyneman from the Mythbusters TV show and I'm going to be Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory TV show.  Can't wait! I even made Mr. K a sign that reads "CONFIRMED" on one side and "BUSTED" on the other. I'm going to put a nametag on my costume just in case, you know.

So...in the spirit of all things halloween-y...I made French cookies and decorated them.

Here's the recipe (in metric units):

1 egg
1 pinch of salt
120 g of sugar
1 packet of vanilla sugar
250 g of flour
125 g of butter (unsalted)

Mix the egg in a bowl, then add the sugars and a pinch of salt and beat them until the mixture is white.

Add the flour and mix with your fingers until it's a sand-like texture.
Add the butter and knead it until it is a smooth dough.
Pack it into a ball shape and let rest 15 minutes in the fridge, covered with saran wrap.

After 15 minutes, take the ball out and roll out the dough to 5mm thickness (or about 1/2 inch).
Cut shapes in the dough and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Put in the convection oven at 180 C for about 11-12 minutes or until the edges are golden.
Remove from oven and let sit 1-2 minutes to set, then remove from tray to a cooling rack.

Once cool, decorate and have fun!


The spiders came out pretty well!

Artsy shot, and a close up.  The dirt is cinnamon and Nesquik and the fingernails are cranberries. The black lining is a hazelnut chocolate icing in a tube and the pink is SPARKLY strawberry! I love France.

Hope everyone has a safe holiday!

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