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Friday, October 24, 2014

Arachnophobia Cookies

Did you think I had forgotten about Halloweegan? How could I? It's kind of my thing! I had big plans for Halloweegan this year but life got in the way, and then something else got in the way that always keeps me from doing the things that I enjoy. Something to which, unfortunately, I know that many of you can relate. Depression. It's not something I've ever discussed publicly and it's fairly unlikely that I will ever mention it again after today. Unless I do. This post is not about my lifelong struggle with that burdensome beast though, I just thought I should very briefly explain why sometimes I disappear for long periods of time even when we're not traveling and I have plenty of time to blog. There, I said it publicly. Well, that was a bit liberating and also rather terrifying!

That was the most personal thing I've ever shared here since that time I reluctantly told you that I don't like pickles. Should we very awkwardly slide right off to the matter of the Halloween cookies? Yes, I think we're just going to fill the awkward silence with some screams from the arachnophobic crowd now.

Arachnophobia Cookies

Creepy crawlies! Honestly though, a grand total of three of my spiders actually look like spiders and the rest of them really look like dark brown crabs, don't they? Being covered in a swarm of crabs and three spiders does sound fairly scary too though, doesn't it? These are adapted from the Spider Infested Cookies that I blogged about last year, which were originally and brilliantly created by Beth of the Hungry Happenings blog. It just seemed natural to terrorize the poor gingerbread people with spiders because I do seem to enjoy torturing the poor dears. Remember the Man-Eating Burgers, the Spooky Dinner, and the Coffin Cake? And now I've unleashed a horde of spiders upon them. Just for fun. Because I am eeeeevil!



These are, as you have probably already deducted, impossibly easy to make. All you need is a batch of your favorite cut-out cookies, chocolate chips, an extra handful of melted chocolate chips to draw the spiders' legs, and a simple icing of powdered sugar and water to draw the scared facial features. Here's a quick, slightly useful step-by-stepper:

Arachnophobia Cookies

I used this Coconut Oil Shortbread for my cookies, but I used half regular sugar and half powdered sugar to keep them nice and tender (thanks for the powdered sugar tip, Mihl!). Instead of mixing the chocolate chips into the dough I actually pressed them into the raw gingerdudes just before they went in the oven to create a "climbing up" pattern. The dough shouldn't be rolled out too thin or you won't be able to insert the chocolate chips all the way in. The coconut oil shortbread recipe yielded eight average-sized gingerbread men (or shortbread men) cookies. I did use a toothpick to poke the melted chocolate chips in a failed attempt to make them look furry, as pictured on the step-by-step thingie, but I'm not sure that was worth the effort. Don't bother with it if you don't think it would add any extra creepiness to your spiders. 

If you've never made a simple powdered sugar icing before, all you need to do is mix about a half cup of powdered sugar with only a few drops of water until you end up with a pasty concoction. It shouldn't be fluid enough but not overly runny or your icing will not hold its shape when you pipe it onto the cookies. Then cut off a tiny bit of one the corners of a ziploc bag and scoop the icing into it. Now you can squeeze the icing out through the little hole in the corner of the bag and draw the shortbread men's facial features with it. You can use a drop or two of food coloring if you want to use different colors for the mouths and eyebrows, or you can use carrot juice or beet juice or any sort of highly-pigmented fruit or vegetable juice to color your icing instead of using plain water, or you can just leave it all white. My terrified cookies have a dot of melted chocolate chips on their eyeballs.

Just when these poor shortbread men think things could not get any worse, then you go and do this...

Arachnophobia Cookies

Ouch! Alrighty then, now I can say that I have contributed something to this year's Halloweegan festivities. What do you think? Are these arachnophobia cookies or are they really crabophobia cookies or whatever a fear of crabs is called? Either way, I hope you've enjoyed this spooky post! There may be one more last-minute Halloween post coming up soon. It might involve fondant! Or should I say FUN-dant? No? Sorry. I'll never say that again.

Happy weekend! *POOF* (That was me disapparating.)

22 comments:

  1. I <3 you and your awesome gingerbread torture posts!! X

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    1. Thanks, Sal! I <3 you and your awesome posts, even if you don't torture gingerbread men! :)

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    2. I'm thinking I might do after reading this post. I want to make something for work on Friday! :)

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    3. Ooh join me in the torturing of innocent shortbread men! Come to the dark side, Sal! Mwahahaha! :D

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  2. AHHHH these cookies are freaky! Hahaha but so so awesome :D

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    1. Hehe, I thought about giving you a warning when I published this, but then I figured that the title of the post was probably warning enough :D

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  3. An ideal balance of creepy and cute! These guys are great. :)

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    1. Thanks, Hannah! Probably the only time when a spider infestation could be considered cute is when they are made of chocolate! :)

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  4. 'Burdensome beast' is a good way of putting it. I know that old goblin well. It's a vicious cycle not doing creative things because of it and feeling lost because your not doing the things you enjoy. A book/zine that has helped me a lot is 'DIY guide to fighting the big motherf*^*king sad', you can order it from Pioneers Press. I love your blog and you're the first person I've heard of that doesn't like pickles :) Be well.

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    1. I'm sorry you're also familiar with that nasty old goblin. Thank you for the zine recommendation! I had not heard about that one before.

      I know of ONE other person who doesn't like pickles - it's just us two though, I'm pretty sure :)

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  5. What did those poor gingerbread men ever do to you?
    According to the interwebs, kabourophobia is the fear of crabs. I don't have a particular fear of either spiders or crabs, but to be honest I would definitely freak right out if either of them tried to swarm me. Poor gingerbread men. ;)
    Also <3 to you!

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    1. I just have it in for the little sons of batches! :P

      Kabourophobia is a mouthful! I've never met anybody with a crab phobia, but I did once know someone who was terrified of chickens. Not only intimidating roosters, sweet little hens too. How is this relevant to our conversation here? It isn't!

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  6. holy moly!! These are so wonderful, River!!! Ha ha. I always make my yoga classes Halloween cookies, but this year it's on a Friday and I don't teach on Friday. I may just have to make some for my Thursday class. Also, most of all, hugs to you. <3

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    1. You are the coolest yoga teacher, Amey! I hope your lucky students love the cookies if you make them! Thanks for the hugs :)

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  7. Many hugs to you, River. Your cookies are the cutest. I miss your Halloween posts, but I totally understand:)

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    1. Thanks, Mihl! I think I have one more Halloween post coming up. Hopefully it will be ready tomorrow - if I don't hurry up Halloween will be gone!

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  8. These are so cute, River! I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better! You are awesome for mentioning your depression publicly. If more people talked about this struggle, I think more people would feel comfortable seeking help.

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    1. Thanks, Becky! It's definitely hard to mention it publicly. Scary and liberating at the same time :)

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  9. River, your cookies are so much fun and you are right, whether crabs or spiders are crawling around you, it would be pretty creepy.

    I'm happy you are feeling up to creating posts again. I totally understand what you are going through and it sure is challenging to be creative when you just don't even want to get out of bed. Been there, done that. For myself I do find that getting in my kitchen and playing around brings me such joy that it does lift my spirits. I hope your wellness continues.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Beth. Playing in the kitchen does seem to be medicinal, doesn't it? It takes effort to get started, but it is a nice distraction once you get going. Not to mention it often culminates in something delicious! :)

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  10. These are great. When I saw them, I thought of the gingerbread cookie on the movie SHREK. Haha...made me laugh! Fun cookies.

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    1. Gingy! After I made these I regretted not using blue for the eyebrows and red for the mouth to make him look more like Gingy. But I'm glad you still thought they looked like him! :)

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