Hot Polka Dot
26Oct/12

May The Cupcakes Be With You.

Halloween has always been one of my favourite holidays. As a kid I think I enjoyed the creativity and imagination behind each costume just as much as I enjoyed the candy. Sure Kit Kat bars and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are great, but getting to dress up and pretend to be someone or something totally different for a night is the real spirit of Halloween.

I've been a unicorn, a princess, a vampire, a witch, a gypsy, a hippie, a pirate, Cleopatra, Princess Leia and a Jedi to name a few. I think my favourite costume would have to be one of my last, the Jedi. My mom, being an excellent seamstress, made my authentic cloak and tunic from scratch. My dad fashioned my belt out of real leather and crafted a lightsaber complete with a blue LED light. My dad is also pretty keen on Photoshop so he was able to digitally make my lightsaber a reality. Please enjoy the below photo of thirteen-year-old me complete with unkempt eyebrows and surly teenager frown.

When I became too old and too cool to trick or treat I focused on the decorations. I remember one year I fashioned creepy stick figures like those found in the Blair Witch Project while vetoing all my mom's cutesy skeletons and friendly jack-o-lanterns. I wanted an authentically scary experience, the kind that would make you jump and keep you up at night, not cartoon witches and googly-eyed skulls.

Today I'm proud to say our house has the coolest decorations in the neighbourhood, complete with fog machine, strobe light with thunder sounds, leaf graves, cauldrons, candles, spooky sounds, cobwebs, bats, bones, zombie fingers and a skeleton hung with a real noose. I also love helping Sable with her Halloween costumes and, with any luck, she'll look something like this on Wednesday.

What are some of your favourite Halloween costumes from childhood?

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27Oct/11

Cute On A Stick.

There are those among us that dare to claim they don't like candy corn. I won't name names here, but just know the list is a long one. Candy corn is just one of those things you either love or hate. For instance: I love the bright caramel flavour, but I kind of hate the pain I get in the back of my eyeballs when I eat more than my fair share. I tolerate a lot of eyeball pain this time of year.

When I saw some photos of cookies like these floating around on Pinterest I knew I had to try them out with my amazing whipped shortbread recipe. For those of you that have never had whipped shortbread, first of all you must know that I pity you, and second of all you should know that it's like the cookie equivalent of cotton candy. Have you ever honestly had a melt-in-your-mouth cookie? Well you're about to, my friends. No more doorstop shortbread for you! Or chewing come to think of it.

So, getting back to my love of candy corn... These adorable cookies are not only shaped like my favourite candy, but actually have the audacity to perch themselves on sticks thus increasing their cuteness threefold. Everyone knows food is cuter on sticks right?

Ok, let's review.

Candy corn = yum.
Whipped shortbread = life changing.
Sticks = cute.

Now that we know there's a method to my madness, why not bake up some yummy-life-changing-cute-on-a-stick? You know you want to.

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26Oct/11

Fingers Crossed.

Have you ever had one of those thoughts that seemed like a good idea at the time then suddenly you find yourself wrist-deep in cookie dough and the cat is trying to eat the styrofoam gravestones and somehow you spent a small fortune on things like faux cobwebs and glow-in-the-dark skeletons?

This weekend our house will be invaded by a handful of twelve year old girls hopped on on handfuls of sugar. Sugar that I will be providing in abundance. Sugar that I will be encouraging the consumption of. Sugar laid out in pretty packaging on pretty platters and in pretty bowls.

Let's not forget this was all my idea. I claim full responsibility for any resulting cavities, scraped knees, overturned soda bottles, pumpkin carving injuries and popped eardrums.

I'm the sort of person that has the tendency to get a little carried away. Being creatively inclined I am all too familiar with the frustrating feeling that comes from imagination not matching up with reality. I have to remember I have a big imagination. This time I wanted to get it right. This time I wanted to throw an awesome party for Sable. This time I wanted her friends to talk about it for years to come.

So yeah, we pulled out all the stops. Fog machine, strobe light, spooky sounds CD, bubbling cauldron, dessert table, pumpkin carving, talking crows, ghost stories... The works!

And, of course, I couldn't forget the classic Witch Finger Cookies. I'm sure you've seen them before. It's nothing new, but I make them every year and I thought it was time to share them with you. Mine are a bit different. A little less blood and gore and more delicious almond flavour.

Just a little something to make the perfect Halloween party even better!

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