I know Halloween is primarily supposed to be for the kids, but I can’t help it…  I.  LOVE.  HALLOWEEN.  How often can you dress up like anyone (or anything…) in the world, and walk around like it’s completely normal?  I think my brother was the one who ultimately got me hooked on Halloween.  When we were kids he would babysit me and would force me to watch scary movies and constantly scare me with his freaky Mike Meyers outfit.  Um, what 10-year-old WOULDN’T be scared of this in the middle of the night?!

While you may think that this make Halloween a particularly traumatic time of year for me, surprisingly, I just got hooked on the adrenaline rush of being scared.  Scary movies – Yes.  Haunted Houses – Absolutely.  All things ghosts, spiders, witches, aliens, vampires, monsters…. Count Me In.

So when I saw these awesome Tarantula cookies in the Halloween issue of Rachael Ray, I had to give them a shot.  For the most part, these little guys are pretty easy to make, although I did learn a few crucial tricks along the way that I think would ease the process the next time I make them.

Crank your oven up to 350 degrees.  Start with a basic cookie dough – combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and 2 sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in the flour mixture to form a smooth dough.

Roll out a tablespoon-size ball of dough and place it on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Push the skinny pretzel sticks into the side of the cookie dough to make the legs.

Tip #1 – I used two pretzel legs per side, but I think 3 or 4 is possible and would look cooler.

Bake until the cookies start to brown around the edges, 7 to 10 minutes.  For me, it was closer to 10. In a double boiler or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the oil; stir to combine.

The original recipe says to pour the chocolate over the spiders to coat. I did not do it this way since I thought a lot of chocolate would get wasted int he process.

Tip #2 – Submerge the spiders about 3/4 of the way, enough to cover the majority of the cookie and the pretzels, but not covering the bottom.  Of course, you can choose to do the whole spider, but I just figured it would be a lot less messy this way.  Also, the thought of wasted chocolate makes me cry.

Next, I tried to dip the chocolate spider directly into a bowl of sprinkles.  While this was effective in getting the spider covered, it made a mess of the sprinkles.  I eventually changed methods to just using my fingers to drop the sprinkles over the spider.  Again, this is personal preference, I just found this easiest.

I didn’t sprinkle the legs at first, but I did eventually go back and do it.  Nothing like hairy spider legs to get your appetite going….

Lastly, press two red candies (the ones I found were cinnamon) into the front of the spider to make their freaky, devilish eyes.

Tip #3 – This one was something I learned the hard way.  Make sure that none of the spider legs are touching each other while the chocolate is setting.  Unfortunately, a few of my little guys lost their legs while they were setting and happened to be touching another neighbor spider.  These little buggers are delicate, so try to be extra careful with them.

And that’s it.  How fun are these??  Hopefully, I will have a few more Halloween recipes coming your way.  Might even give the Severed Fingers a shot next – uber-gruesome!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large bag (16 oz.) pretzel sticks
  • 1 large bag (24 oz.) chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Chocolate sprinkles (I used about 2 small bottles) and small, round red candies, for decorating

Yields 2 1/2 dozen

Recipe Adapted from Rachael Ray, October 2011

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Categories: Cookies, Recipes, Sweets

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One Comment on “”

  1. February 5, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    I recently had sihotmeng similar happen to me except my bed WAS actually full of spiders. I was about to go to sleep one night, when I saw a few tiny spiders on my blanket. I got up and looked at the foot of the bed and there were several dozen more. Then my eyes moved to the basket of freshly cleaned and folded laundry, and guess what…teaming with tiny spiders. I’m pretty sure an egg sac of baby spiders had just hatched ON my bed. Now usually, I hate killing spiders. I will take them outside or just leave them, but there were 100 baby spiders crawling all over my bed, and I wanted to go to sleep. So I spent the next hour and a half on a spider killing rampage with some tissues. I then spent the night on my futon in the next room, and washed my sheets and vacuumed very thoroughly in the morning. It was super traumatic.

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