Pumpkin molasses whoopie cookie pies and Halloween candy bark: embracing seasonal potlucks with Jessey

And here I thought I would have no time for Halloween baking. I was happily proven wrong.

Last week, my friend Jessey (and founder of the blog I help edit, Local Tourist Ottawa, GO CHECK IT OUT) sent me an email request. Her office was having a Halloween potluck on Thursday and she wanted to know if I could help her make some spooky treats. Of course, I had to make time for a friend. Enabling myself to bake for an entire night wasn’t a bad thing either.

After I got Jessey’s message, I spent the next few hours searching the Internet for perfect, not-too-difficult-but-still-impressive-looking recipes. I finally decided on the Halloween candy bark from Annie’s Eats and some super huge variation on this whoopie pie recipe in order to not use cake mix.

When Wednesday evening rolled around, it was time to ingredient shop. After a trip to the grocery store in which half of the world’s chocolate supply was carried home on my bike (seriously, I looked like a girl scorned by a terrible, broken relationship), Jessey came over to my place and we started the baking. But not before eating some mini chicken pot pies. Recipe to come.

Secret: I’m absolutely terrified to bake/cook with or for other people. Things could happen. My oven could explode, chocolate could burn, stovetop fires could occur or, heaven forbid, something could even taste bad. This isn’t me lying to you or exaggerating in any way. I’m scared that either A through D will happen and that the friend, family member and/or roommate that I’m with at the time will harshly judge me, comment all over my blog, and thereby destroy any sort of little community I’ve built for myself here. Luckily none of these things happened. I know, you were really holding your breath for a moment.

Hey look! It's me! I look super happy and about five-years-old. Photo by Jessey

In fact, there was only one thing that happened throughout our entire baking time that could be ranked on the “I’m judging you, Hilary” scale. Here’s the story:

It was the end of the evening and Jessey and I were making the filling for the whoopie pie cookies. During my trip to the grocery store, I had put both the all purpose flour bag and the icing sugar bag in one spot. Both were clear, since baking supplies are best bought at the Bulk Barn. Both looked pretty darn similar.

Poor hindsight. Can you spot my error?

The icing for the cookies required a cup-and-a-half of icing sugar. Guess what cup-and-a-half went into the mixing bowl instead? You guessed it. Along with the orange gel food colouring, the filling started to resemble more of a magic potion (like the ones I stored in film canisters in my closet when I was 10) than an actual edible frosting (or anything for that matter). The mistake was spotted and we laughed. I was only flush red for a few minutes.

Other than that, everything was super. Realistically, the whoopie pies were more like delicious, soft pumpkin-molasses cookies with icing smushed in between them. My evening ended with me piping leftover frosting onto cookies and, when those were all gone, piping it straight into my mouth. Attractive, I know.

Jessey and I at the end of the evening (Photo by Jeremy)
Instagram, you take pretty cookie pictures

Moral of the story: you always have time to bake (and icing makes your stomach sore). Jessey said our dessert plate was a hit!

Food photo shoots are always better when your pretty roommates join in!

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Halloween Wrap-Up

As I promised, here is my Halloween wrap-up post!  This entry will be equal parts food and equal parts awesome Halloween costume.  Basically, all you need to know is that I was a California sushi roll for Halloween and that (I think) I looked adorable.

For those of you wondering how the hell I made this thing (or even if you’re not), the entire costume was made with a big cardboard circle, construction paper folded in this way and that and chunks of styrofoam (for the imitation crab, cucumber and avocado, duh!).

Ariel was very helpful in the whole glue-gunning process

Here is a picture of the roommates + Linda.  Yes, this is our “make a stupid face” picture.  It was the most in focus picture we had, so don’t complain.  From left-right: Natalie as a mummy (or mummified Cleopatra, your choice), Amanda as Snow White, Alex as Eve (her boyfriend Dane was Adam), me, Ariel as Cleopatra, Linda as a geisha and Brittany as her fabulous self (since her mom was in town and she didn’t go out with us).

The pictures above were actually taken the day before Halloween.  These are the images that composed my October 31:

Marshmallows dipped in liquid candy and decorated with sprinkles

Pictures taken with my pinhole camera app that make our kitchen look like an old fashioned candy shop

Candy apple cupcakes made by roomie Britt and new friend Freya

After we missed buying tickets for the Mayfair showing of Rocky Horror, this was the best discovery of the evening.  Rogers on Demand, you’re a lifesaver!

Best line of the evening? It came from a trick or treater: “I’M A BACTERIA!”  Indeed he was, clad in neon green fabric.  Adorable.