What do you do when your children get too old for Trick or Treat? Or how do compromise when you think they are too old to be Trick or Treating but they don’t think so? What we did in our household was to create a party right at home. If I recall correctly, parents and children were in mutual agreement to not go out and knock on doors. We hosted a party with yummy food and treats. I am not one to go overboard with decorations. I was raised with Argentine customs. So, decorations are at a minimum. For my taste, it’s just enough to make it festive without going crazy. I like for it to be fun without taking over the house. Part of our celebration included Alfred Hitchcock movies and Dirt Cake. I would mound the Dirt Cake over some covered cardboard as if it were a newly dug grave with a tombstone and a wax hand coming out of it. I, also, added gummy worms to the cake. I remember this fondly. The cake is not a memorable bite but if it is made correctly, it looks just like dirt. So fun.
This year, I wanted to bring a Halloweeny treat to my fellow volunteers at the food locker. I decided that a dirt cake is hard to contain and to serve and, face it, we are there to work. I didn’t want the cake to be too distracting. So, I decided for cupcakes. They worked OK. I had to fill them in a muffin tin because the paper cups were too filmsy. I saw on Pinterest where someone filled a transparent plastic cup with dirt cake. Not a bad idea. I might try it next year. I added a wooden spoon that loosely represented a shovel or trowel but was there so that people would not peel the paper back and try to eat it like a regular cupcake.
Now, if you follow my blog at all, you know that I like to make things from scratch. I think they taste so much better than anything packaged or precooked. I do not make anything from scratch with this recipe because it would take a lot of time and the purpose, I think, of all this is the impression it makes and not necessarily the taste. But you are welcome to make everything from scratch if you like and I am sure it will be delicious. The Oreo Cookies are ground up to fine crumbs which looks like wet dirt. In the past, I have ground them to crumbs that look like potting soil. If you leave them a little bigger, the white center looks like the white perlite in potting soil. It’s up to you. This second method is better if you are filling a flower pot and putting a cute silk flower on top.
1 Chocolate Cake Mix (made according to directions in a 9 x 13 inch pan)
1 Brownie Mix (made according to directions in a 9 x 13 inch pan)
1 small pkg. Jello Chocolate Pudding Mix -NOT THE INSTANT KIND! (made according to directions.
1 pkg. Oreo cookies
While Chocolate Pudding is cooling, Process cookies in blender or food processor. The Oreos can be fine crumbs.
To assemble, break Cake and Brownies into small chunks in a large bowl. Add the Pudding and mix with a wooden spoon. Add 1/2 Cookie crumbs and mix.
Put Chocolate mixture into the container of your choice and top off with the rest of Oreo crumbs.
To make the little ghosts or tombstones you need Pepperidge Farm’s Milano Cookies, White Chocolate or Wilton’s White Wafers, a little Semi-Sweet Chocolate and pre-made black Icing.
Melt the White Chocolate and spoon into a small plastic bag. Cut a corner and squeeze it onto the Cookie. I stood them on a cookie rack and after they hardened, I melted the Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Using a toothpick I made the eyes and mouth. Insert into the cake. I just wrote RIP with the Icing on the Cookie for the tombstone.
I hope you and yours have a Happy and Safe Halloween. Until next time…