1 cup shortening
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1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 package colored rope licorice, cut into short pieces, no longer than 2 inches
1 small tube of green (or color of choice) decorating gel
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine shortening, sugar, water and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add eggs to the mixture and blend. With a mixer set on low-medium speed, slowly mix in flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.
Drop tablespoon helpings of mixture onto ungreased cookie sheets and roll each helping into a ball. Bake 9 minutes at 375 degrees. The batch should produce about three dozen cookies. Let cookies cool for about 10 minutes. Then using a toothpick, create four small holes in either side of the cookie.
Still using the toothpick, push one end of a piece of the cut licorice into each hole, creating the "legs" of the spider. Keep licorice pieces short so as not to harm braces. Create eyes or decorate at will using the green decorating gel.
From American Association of Orthodontists
Low-fat moist chocolate brownies
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
14-ounce can low-fat sweetened condensed milk
1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 egg whites
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tub reduced-fat chocolate frosting
1 tub reduced-fat vanilla frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13- by 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. In saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with low-fat sweetened condensed milk and cocoa. In large bowl, combine chocolate mixture and remaining ingredients, except frosting. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. When cool, cover with chocolate frosting if desired.
Transfer 1 cup vanilla frosting into resealable plastic bag with a snipped corner. Pipe skeletons over the uncut brownies or on each brownie. Decorate with mini chocolate candies. Makes 18 brownies.
Adapted from Brightideas.com and Eagle Brand
12 ounces white candy coating
11/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Chocolate decorating gel or assorted candies
In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Stir in marshmallows until coated. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper; smooth and flatten into ghost shapes. Decorate with gel or candies for eyes. Cool completely.
from Taste of Home
8-ounce can pressurized American cheese spread
14 rectangular graham crackers or toasted bread slices
Tiny pretzel twists
Pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced pitted ripe olives and/or roasted red pepper strips
Pipe cheese onto graham crackers or toasted bread. Form a skeleton shape on the cheese using pretzels, breaking pretzel sticks into small pieces as necessary. Use tiny pretzel twists for pelvis and pretzel rings for the head. Press pretzel pieces into cheese. Decorate faces with sliced olives and roasted red pepper strips.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
Chocolate-rolled sugar ice cream cone
Unfrosted plain or chocolate cake doughnut
Canned chocolate icing
Nonpareils or sprinkles
Orange, yellow, and green Starburst candy or candy-coated gum
Melt semisweet chocolate according to package instructions. Holding the open end of the cone, dip the bottom half at an angle into the melted chocolate. Immediately press candy pumpkins into the chocolate. Place the cone on waxed paper and let sit until the chocolate sets. Frost the top and side surfaces of a doughnut with icing. Sprinkle icing with nonpareils or sprinkles. Center the open end of the cone on the frosted doughnut. Use a sharp knife to cut candies or gum pieces into quarters and adhere them around the bottom of the hat with icing.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens