October 30, 2017
This is about...

        WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, EVERYBODY GOT DRESSED IN THEIR HALLOWEEN FINEST in the morning, and kept their costumes on until bedtime. After sundown, along with every other kid on the block, my sister and I would hit the streets, literally running from house to house, collecting as much candy as we could. Once we couldn’t carry one piece more, we’d run home to dump it out, and head out for a second round.
        AFTER AN EXCITING AND EXHAUSTING NIGHT OF CANDY SCAVENGING, one more task was still to be completed. My sister and I would neatly line up all of the candy in rows by flavor—Mounds bars, M&M’S, Hershey bars, Butterfingers, a never-ending bonanza-- along with the occasional boring pencil or eraser. It took quite a while. And, not ashamed to over-sugar their children, our parents would let us eat a bunch of candy as we worked---after all, this was decades ago when the sins of sugar hadn’t quite taken hold yet. And, who knows how much candy they actually ate and tucked away while we went out for our second run.
        FOR THE LAST ACT OF THE NIGHT, once we were done, we’d step back and marvel at all of that SUGAR. IT WAS FANTASTIC!!! What could be better than TONS OF FREE CANDY!
        Today, that much sugar would certainly be frowned upon. But, IT’S STILL ONE OF THE SWEETEST DAYS OF THE YEAR. So, I had to offer up a fun Halloween treat that I saw online—DRACULA’S DENTURES! They may look a little scary, alright more cute than scary. Either way, they’re sweet and so much fun to eat.
        These are super easy to make. Simply line about one-third of each edge of each cookie with red frosting (I cheat here and buy a can of red frosting equipped with pastry tips at the market). Add a scoop of any filling or frosting you like in the center of half of the cookies. Add a few mini marshmallows for teeth, top with another cookie and 2 slivered almonds for fangs, and you’ve got SPOOKY!

LESSONS Learned:
1. You can use any cookies you like, homemade or store bought. And any size as well. The cookies I used are chocolate chips about 4 inches in diameter.
2. The filling is up to you as well, frosting, even ice cream. I’ve included my pretzel peanut butter truffle filling below.
3. If you don’t want to make your own red frosting for Dracula’s scary mouth-which I didn’t, I just bought some Betty Crocker frosting in an aerosol can and squirted it around the edges.

(slightly adapted from Lori Fillmore)
(she took 2nd place with these in a 2010 Nestle Spooktacular Contest)

24 chocolate chip cookies, mine are about 4 inches diameter
one can of red frosting (I used Betty Crocker decorating cake icing)
1 batch of peanut butter pretzel truffle filling (recipe follows)
a bag of mini marshmallows
slivered almonds
chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Make the dentures:
        On a flat tray, lay out all 24 cookies with the flat sides facing up. Pipe an 1/2“ wide line of red frosting about one third of the way around each cookie. I piped about a 4 inch line.
        Press 6 mini marshmallows into the red frosting close to the edges on 12 of them. And, with a 2” ice cream scoop, place a level scoop in the center of the 12 cookies. (Alternatively, you can spoon out about ¼ cup filling into the center.)
        Line up the red icing on the unfilled cookies on top of the marshmallows and filling. Gently press down to flatten the filling and connect the marshmallows to the top cookie. Dip the tip of the slivered almonds into the red icing and press one on each side of the two front teeth. If you like, you can carefully coat the unfrosted edges with chocolate sprinkles. If time allows, let them sit out for a few hours to allow the frosting to harden.

Makes 12 Scary Dentures.      YUM!

Janice’s Pretzel Peanut Butter Truffle Filling:
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 16 0z. jar peanut butter (I like Smucker’s natural creamy)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Make the filling:
        In a medium size saucepan, melt the butter. Over low heat, stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Stir in the vanilla and let cool to room temperature. Makes enough to fill 12 sandwich cookies.
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