Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Ghost of Halloween Past

by Erin

A couple days ago I was checking out Erin Cooks, one of the many food blogs I read habitually (ah, law school procrastination!). Her lastest post is about a Haunted Gingerbread House that she made, and it reminded me of last year's Halloween celebration, where Xani and I hosted a Haunted Gingerbread House-Making Party! Xani and I love Halloween (stay tuned for a post about some spooooky treats), and last year's party was a hit. So, I dedicate this post to our fab party last year (and I apologize in advance for the pics - they were pre-blog so they are not the extreme close-ups we know you love!).

We got the idea for the party from my dear friend Holly, who had had a Gingerbread House-Making Party the Christmas before (of course I had to pick out all the blue and yellow M&Ms to make mine a Hannukah Gingerbread House!). We decided that since there is such fun candy everywhere for Halloween, that we would spook it up and make gingerbread houses for a Halloween party, and that we did!

First, we spent an entire DAY making enough gingerbread so that each of our guests could make her house (it was a ladies-only party). Holly provided us with the cookie cutters for the sides and roof of the house.

Soooo much gingerbread!

The next day, we made royal icing (typically used for gingerbread houses because when it hardens it's like CEMENT) and used food coloring gel (WAY better than the liquid stuff, in my opinion) to make four colors of icing: black, white, orange, and purple. We also set out all the candy in a fun Halloween candy stand so people could grab what they needed. We had M&Ms, candy corn, pumpkin and ghost Peeps, Whoppers, and those little sugary pumpkins.

Of course, this event wouldn't have been complete without SNACKS. In our usual insanity, we made TWO kinds of baked stuffed brie. One was our old standby, the Mushroom-Stuffed Brie En Croute from Epicurious. We also tried a new recipe from Emeril called Brie En Croute with Caramel and Walnuts. We served them with sliced Granny Smith apples and french bread.

Notice Xani's handiwork with the decorative mushrooms made out of puff pastry!

We also made another party standard for us, which was White Bean Dip (also from Epicurious), which we served with crudites and toasted pita chips. Our friends brought us cupcakes and cookies, and we of course had lots of candy to munch on while we created our gingerbread houses.

Our houses turned out super-spooky, don't you think??

It was a great time, and it's a fun idea for a party if you're looking to do something that's not your typical Halloween party. Also, just a note: the recipes in this post are tried and true we highly recommend them for a party or any time!

So, that leaves the question: What are YOU gonna be for Halloween this year??

Happy spooky gingerbread house-making,


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