Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Candy Witch Candy Corn Cookies

The Candy Witch was written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Marylin Hafner.  It's one of the books that I remember reading again and again as a kid, even though it's obviously a Halloween story.

Our story focuses on Maggie Witch, the youngest of the Witch family.  Everyone in the family liked to cast good, helpful spells for the people of the town.  To quote Mr. Kroll, "Mama Witch flew around turning garbage into fruit trees.  Brother John changed pillows into purring cats.  Papa Warlock liked giving bald men hair."  But Maggie's good deeds - making flowers bloom, filling empty fridges with food, putting candy in people's pockets - largely went unnoticed. 

Poor Maggie!  She just wanted somebody to pay attention to her.  So, having tried so hard to be good with no results, she now tried a new tactic - mischief!  Eric found mice in his lunchbox.  Bill's milk got turned into a flower.  Patty tripped over a cow on her way to the school bus.  (I love how random this is.)  And then, to top it all off, Maggie waited until late at night, when all the trick-or-treaters had gone home... and she made all their candy disappear!

Maggie lurked near the school the next day, waiting to hear everyone commenting on what she had done.  But what she heard was crying, and with that, she realized that she had done an awful thing!  Oh no!! How could she make it up to everybody?  Our little Candy Witch had an idea.  She set up a huge candy festival in the center of town, with more candy than anyone had ever seen in one place.  Not just what she had stolen, either, but also piles of Hershey kisses and caramel apples and jelly beans, and she made it so the fountains spouted lemonade!  What fun!!  And finally, everyone was happy - including Maggie.

What a sweet story! (No pun intended.)  And there was so much candy in it that I just had to pick something to make for it.  Now, candy corn isn't specifically mentioned in this story, but when I think Halloween Candy, I think Candy Corn.  Of course, rather than trying to make actual candy, I decided it would be more fun to make candy corn cookies. 

The idea for these isn't mine; it's Betty Crocker's.  Her recipe and instructions are here, and mine are here below.  I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe (also below, and, as usual, from the AllRecipes website here), but if you have a favorite, or you want to use pre-made or from a mix, go for it - just skip to step 3.  Just as a note: this recipe is rather confusing in just words, so today you get a special photo shoot of the food in progress!  Hooray!!!

Candy Witch Candy Corn Cookies
3-3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Yellow and red or orange food coloring

1. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
2. In a larger bowl, cream the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy, and then add in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.  Finally, stir in the dry ingredients, a little bit at a time (so it doesn't get flour all over you and the counter), until fully mixed.
3. Divide the dough into three equal portions.  Take one of the portions and push it into the bottom of a rectangular pan, forming an equal layer.  I used a plastic reusable throw-away lunch container (like Glad-Ware, but I'm pretty sure it was store brand). 
4. Use a few drops of food coloring to turn one of the remaining portions orange, and layer it evenly over the white layer.  Color the remaining dough yellow, and layer it evenly on top.  In the end, it will look like this:
Beautiful!  Now, chill this for two hours.
5. After the dough is nice and chilled, preheat the oven to 400.  Remove the dough from the container, and cut slices as close to 1/4 of an inch as you can get.  It will look like this:
 6. Now, take your slice and cut it into triangles, as shown here (sorry about the glare):  

Each of these triangles is a piece of candy corn.  Some will have yellow tops, and some will have yellow bottoms, but really, nobody's going to notice.  As you transfer each of these pieces to the cookie sheet (or wax paper, or tin foil), try to soften the corners a little bit, so they're not quite so sharp.
Your finished cookie sheet will look something like this:
Squee!  How cute are those?  I may have put them slightly too close together on the sheet there, but they don't spread too much, so I was alright.
7.  Now, bake these beauties for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown.  My finished cookies looked like this:
And I am rather proud of them.  Don't they look much more impressive than the actual work involved?  I love it - hope you do, too.

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