Spooky Halloween Lunch

I always love to put a little something together for my kids to celebrate each holiday. It’s so cute to see them both enjoy something together as brother and sister and to get into the holiday spirit!

They loved all of the spooky snacks and yummy treats…and their favorite part was (by far) the mini skeleton shot glass cups from which they they drank their water ☺️.

Our menu includes the sugar cookies we baked together; white-chocolate dipped Oreo ghosts; breadstick snakes; orange pepper jack-o-lanterns filled with spinach and artichoke dip; and mini chocolate cakes from our grocery store topped with Halloween bottle brush trees. Overall pretty simple, but festive!

Below I’ll include some sourcing information in case anyone is interested. Hopefully this inspires some fun moments with your favorite littles this Halloween! 😘🖤🧡

Spiderweb backdrop– HGTV has a great how-to on Pinterest we followed for this. I used the extra thick yarn (1 roll) from Michaels to give it a very defined web. Then we added spiders on smaller yard for a drop-down effect.

Halloween Banner – Michaels holiday section

Bottle Brush Trees – Halloween dollhouse/miniature section of Michaels

Mini Skeleton Shot Glass Cups – Michaels, Martha Stewart Brand

Skull Melamine Plates – Home Goods, Nicole Miller brand

Black Gingham Mini Platter Hearth & Hand Magnolia

Black Cake PlateRosanna

Evelyn’s Cat DressStylin Sophie

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Sugar Cookies

Baking and decorating sugar cookies can be very daunting, and in my opinion it’s definitely an art! If you ask my mom and I, a sugar cookie is really only as good as it tastes. We’ve baked lots of sugar cookies, both for taste and for cuteness…and finding a balance between the two is definitely a challenge. The recipe included here yields delicious cookies! They don’t fully hold their shape, so we re-cut the shapes after baking and cooling for a clean and crisp shape. Honestly, it’s the best way to accomplish the perfect cookie shape. Below is the recipe and all of my mom’s tips for baking the perfect sugar cookie. A huge Thanks to her mom for sharing all she has learned over the years!

Cookie Recipe:

2 cups salted butter

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp vanilla (we used a vanilla bean paste)

5 cups flour

Directions:

Beat butter with a paddle attachment, adding sugar one cup at a time until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat just until incorporated. Add salt and vanilla and mix until just incorporated. Add flour in 3 different batches and mix until just incorporated.

Split cookie dough into two evenly distributed batches. Place each batch of dough between two pieces of parchment paper and slightly roll into a flat circle before refrigerating. Chill for a minimum of one hour. After chilling, roll dough (we did about 1/4 inch thick cookies) and cut into shapes. Re-chill shaped cookies. Bake at 375 for approximately 10-12 minutes–don’t overbake! Allow cookies to cool and then store in an airtight container until decorating.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Handle the dough as little as possible and add as little of additional flour as possible
  • When rolling out the dough after chilling, leave it between the two pieces of parchment to prevent sticking to rolling pin, counter, etc (this makes the process SO MUCH cleaner!!)
  • Keep dough as cold as possible. The warmer it gets, the stickier the dough will be and the less they will hold their shape
  • After cutting dough into shapes, re-chill on a parchment lined cookie sheet before baking
  • Bake cookies of similar sizes in each batch
  • Freeze cookies either undecorated or fully decorated (or both) if you’re not serving right away. This will allow you to serve the freshest cookie possible!
  • We personally only re-work the dough once for re-rolling. After the second rolling/cutting, we bake the scraps for snacking, practice decorating, etc. if you re-work dough too many times, the texture of the cookie will change

Buttercream Icing Recipe:

2 cups butter

6 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tablespoon milk

Directions:

Beat butter with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and milk. Split icing into the desired number of batches for coloring. Add gel coloring (These and these are our favorites) until desired color is achieved. Place icing in piping bags and have fun decorating!! I used icing in piping bags to outline and fill the cookies and then used a small spatula to spread the icing to get a cleaner look.

DIY Pumpkins

I had way too much fun crafting these pumpkins to add to my pumpkin collection. I love the variations of color and texture and that they are uniquely mine! The great thing about this project is that the possibilities are truly endless!

Decorating craft pumpkins is something that offers a wide variety of options. I opted to do a scrapbook paper mod-podge with different patterns and then added a yarn scroll for a variation of texture. For the paper, I looked for the 12×12 paper that was fairly thin so that it could be molded to the pumpkin shape. I purchased the smaller white pumpkins from the floral section at Joanne Fabrics (instead of the big crafting pumpkins they sell in mass) simply because I like the shape and size better…but the more drastic the humps are, the more tedious the mod-podge process is! You’ve been warned ☺️.

Here’s a quick step by step process I did for the mod-podge pumpkins:

    Cut the paper into strips, approximately 1″ wide and as long as the pumpkin from top to bottom
    Strip by strip, apply mod-podge to the back of the paper and apply to the pumpkin from just under the stem to the bottom center of the pumpkin. Use extra mod-podge to gently work the paper down to the pumpkin. I did add small slits into the paper where it was lumpy and far from laying flat. It takes a lot of patience and time just working the paper strip to fully lay down. By the end of it, the paper will likely be fully coated in its first layer of mod-podge
    After the entire pumpkin is covered in paper, add a 2nd coat of mod-podge for securing it all down
    After 2nd coat is dry, apply 3rd and final coat
    Paint your stem your color of choice (I went with a gold)

Have fun choosing papers that work for you but be sure to go bold and choose a fun pattern that might not be your norm. It’s fun to blend the simple with the interesting!

As for the yarn pumpkin, just use hot glue to create a mixture of patterns on the pumpkin itself. Fill in holes at the end to make sure no white is peeking through.