Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monster's Eyeballs And Free Printable Tags

So, Lets talk Halloween food. You know, I really like holiday inspired food. And, Halloween is no exception. Now, I admit, I usually tend to steer towards the cutesy stuff. Hey, I have 2 little princesses. They like the pumpkins, jack o lanterns and sweet smiley ghosts. Though as they've gotten older, they think the mildly grotesque inspired treats are somewhat cool. So, I'm not opposed for the most part. But, the other day I ran across this....

Oh my! No, no, no! This is just wrong...
There should never be cute little chubby baby arms poking out of mounds of chocolate cupcakes. Uhhgghh....Man, that just brings back those horrid thoughts of that sweet little blonde headed baby Gage from the movie Pet Cemetary that went horribly bad.
Soooo don't need that visual. Don't do this. Nobody likes to see sweet mixed with gorry....

On the other hand, I'm perfectly ok with eating eyeballs ;)
Well, as long as they're Monster's Eyeballs- peanut butter toffee balls coated with white chocolate. Bring on the eyeballs!
I learned a few things about making the eyeballs. First, don't skimp on the colored part of the eye and don't use mini chocolate chips. Big colored circle and full sized chocolate chip. The others might pass for something you'd find at a bachelor's party....

You can use a red food safe marker to draw some squiggly lines to make them appear bloodshot, but I'm not so much into eating things that look like their bloody.
Eyeballs I'll eat.
Bloody eyeballs... even filled with peanut butter....something about it just seems wrong. I know, I'm a weirdo

These are essentially just your basic peanut butter balls that you find on many a homemade christmas tray, but I've added toffee chips for a little something different. Eyeballs with crunch. Good stuff.

Bag up some of these Monster's Eyeballs and give them to your neighbors, your kids' friends or your kids' teachers. Here is a close up of the monster eyeball tags.
Click here to download the Monster's Eyeballs gift tags I've made up just for your gifting pleasure. Hope you love them!

 Monster Eyeballs
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (I used Natural Skippy w/honey)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 block Almond Bark (white candy coating)
2 drops blue food coloring
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 c toffee bits (Heath)


  1. Beat the peanut butter and butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in toffee bits. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll chilled dough into small, eyeball-sized balls and place on 2 baking sheets lined with wax paper. Freeze for another 30 minutes.
  2. Melt the white chocolate coating in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, for 1 to 3 minutes (depending on your microwave). Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch. Dip each eyeball into the white chocolate and transfer to the waxed paper until the chocolate has set. You can chill them in the refrigerator.
  3. Stir a few drops of blue food coloring into the remaining melted white chocolate. Make a round  "Iris" on the top of the cooled eyeball and press a chocolate chip in the center for a "pupil." Don't press to hard or you'll crack the cooled white coating. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tate's Bake Shop Cookie Winner!!

Forgive my tardiness on this announcement, but the winner of the Tate's Bake Shop Cookie Giveaway is 


Karen, I've sent you an email. Let me know your shipping address and I'll have Tate's get your prize on its way!

Thanks for entering!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I've Been Boo'd! Have You Been Boo'd? Free Boo Printables and Chocolate Boo Cookies

Have you seen the "We've Been Boo'd" signs all around town yet?? Tis the Season....

So,  Are you wondering what up with all this talk about getting 'Boo'd?" Well, we're not talking about some vindictive behavior toward stage performers or anything like that. Around this time of year, many people participate in a little neighborhood game known as "Boo-ing." Its kind of a Halloween take on "Secret Santa."
To start a Halloween BOO, one neighbor secretly leaves a small gift, a BOO poem(that includes the  BOO instructions) and a BOO sign  at a neighbor's doorstep.
The lucky BOO-ee is asked to post the sign near the door, alerting others that "We've Been BOO-d!" That way, new BOO recruits won't leave a duplicate BOO on the doorstep.
In turn, the neighbor is asked to BOO two other households, leading to a chain reaction--and lots of Halloween fun. This is especially fun if you've got kids in your neighborhood, but I think the adults enjoy it just as much.
Day by day, the BOO signs proliferate. Soon, the entire neighborhood is sporting BOO signs. Sounds like fun, right?? Right. So, I'm gonna help you get starting on your very own BOO adventure. I've created  some BOO printables for you to download. There are gift tags, a BOO sign and a BOO Poem.
Click here to Download the Boo Sign , Click Here to Download the Gift Tags , Click Here to Download the Poem with Instructions for Boo-ing. All of these were printed on 8.5x11 cardstock. Tags cut with 2 5/16 circle punch.

Don't you love the little ghost with the top hat? I thought he was a very charming fella' and perfect for our BOO.

But, first you have to decide what you're going to leave as your BOO gift. Really, it can be anything. Some people do small gifts like candles, Halloween trinkets or something store bought that is age appropriate for the neighbor they are buying for. Me, well, I like the home baked treats. I miss the days when neighbors made popcorn balls and candied apples for the kids. Then, BAM!, somewhere in the mid to late '80's everybody got  scared that weirdos were trying to slip razor blades into the Halloween treats. So, no more popcorn balls and candied apples for us:( Isn't that always how it goes, one weirdo ruined it for everybody! Well, I'm hoping if we really wrap our treats super cute with these cute little tags and such maybe no one will think we're trying to poison them or slip sharp metal objects to their children. Let's bring back the home baked Halloween goodies!! But, just in case, you could always slip a little note in to let them know who baked the goodies, in case their not on the home baked Halloween goody bandwagon yet...

So, for my Boo treats, I decided on these great Chocolate Cookies that are wrapped around York Peppermint Patty Pumpkins.
I do have one word of advice on these. Don't wrap too much cookie dough around the Peppermint Patty. If you do, the end result will look like a fried egg that originated from a chocolate chicken. Look:

See, I'm not kidding. This is serious stuff. Nobody wants Chocolate Chicken Cookies for their BOO treat. So, just go easy on the dough. Cover the patty, but not with a heavy hand.
Otherwise, they are very simple, just bake them and let them cool on the pan.

Then, you're ready to wrap your little treat up and deliver it with your BOO gift tags, sign and BOO Poem.

Part of the fun is delivering the BOO without getting caught. So, try to do the delivering after dark!


Chocolate Peppermint Patty Boo Cookies
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 24 to 26 small (1-1/2 inch) YORK Peppermint Patties
  • White decorator's sugar


  1.  Beat butter and sugar in large mixing bowl; add egg, milk and vanilla, blending thoroughly. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture, blending well. Refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. (Dough will be a little soft.)
  2.  Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Remove wrappers from peppermint patties.
  3.  Roll dough into 1-1/4 inch balls. For each cookie flatten ball slightly; press peppermint pattie into dough. Mold dough around pattie so that it is completely covered. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle with decorator's sugar or sprinkles.
  4.  Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until cookie is set; sprinkle with additional sugar, if desired. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Double Cookie Layer Dessert AND Tate's Cookie Giveaway!!

*Please read to the end of the post for the Tate's Cookie recipe.

Did you know that October is National Cookie Month? Yes, that's right. So, I thought we should to start this month off with a recipe including cookies. This is not just a cookie recipe, but a layered recipe containing some of the best purchased cookies around: cookies from Tate's Bake Shop. If you've forgotten about Tate's, I did a review about this sweet Bake Shop last year. You can read about it here.

To celebrate National Cookie Month, Tate's asked me to try out some of their newest cookies, the Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip cookie –which won GOLD in the Cookie category in the 2011 sofi™ Awards, presented at the Fancy Food Show (known as the Oscars® of the specialty food industry) in Washington, DC. 

Well, you know me. I'm not one to turn down award winning chocolate chip cookies. So, I fell in love with Tate's all over again. There are so many positive things to say about these great cookies. My favorite thing about them- besides the fact that they are thin and crunchy and buttery and addictive- is that they are natural. You know what makes homemade cookies so wonderful? Well, it has a lot to do with the fact that they are simple and not stuffed with every conceivable preservative on earth.  Tate's Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, which do not taste whole wheat in the slightest, contain 10 ingredients: chocolate chips, wheat flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking soda, salt, vanilla and water. I don't know about you, but that's what I make my own chocolate chip cookies with too! Its very rare to find packaged cookies that taste like homemade, but Tate's has got it perfected with their buttery, crunchy cookies.

Ok, so back to the recipe. This is a classic layered dessert. Great combination of crunchy meets creamy. I've had it many times, but never so good. It begins with a nutty shortbread like crust enhanced with a few of Tate's cookies. This layer is baked and cooled and topped with a cream cheese layer. This layer is covered with crumbled Tate's cookies, Oreo Pudding and Cool Whip. The perfect beginning to Cookie Month!! Enjoy!**Please read on after recipe for GIVEAWAY!!

Double Cookie Layer Dessert
featuring Tate's Bake Shop Cookies!
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip, divided
  •   1 large pkg Oreo Jello instant pudding mix (any flavor is fine)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 bag Tate's Bake Shop cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine the flour, nuts, butter and 3 crumbled Tate's cookies.
  3. Press mixture into a 13x9-inch pan.
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes.
  5. While cooling, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 cup Cool Whip.
  6. Spread over first layer. Crumble remaining cookies (reserve 1/4 cup) Top cream cheese layer with remaining cookies (except for the 1/4 cup). Set aside.
  7. Mix the pudding and milk until semi-set; pour on creamy layer
    Spread with remaining Cool Whip. Top with 1/4 cup remaining crumbled cookies. Chill.
Now, if you've hung around this long, you're probably waiting for the Tate's Giveaway. Tate's Bake Shop is in the celebrating mood too! In honor of National Cookie Month, they are offering Sinful Southern Sweets readers 15% off your purchase the entire month of October when you use the discount code COOKIE at checkout. Also, they will are giving one lucky winner three bags of the Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip cookies and a signed copy of Kathleen King’s cookbook, The Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook
Yea for National Cookie Month!!
To enter the contest:

To enter the giveaway to win 3 Bags of Tate's Cookie Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies and Tate's Cookbook:
1)Be a Google Follower of Sinful Southern Sweets:You must do this before any other entry can be made.
2) Like Tate's Bake Shop on Facebook
3) Like Southern Sweets on Facebook
4) Follow Sinful Southern Sweets on Twitter 

5)Follow Tate's Bake Shop on Twitter

**Please leave a separate comment for each entry you make. Leave your email in your comment, if it is not visible in your profile. We want to be able to get you those cookies if you win!!

Giveaway will end on October 15th at midnight. Winner to be announced October 16th and chosen via Entries open only to US residents. Good Luck!!