Halloween is just around the corner. There's a chill in the air, Halloween costumes are being planned and seasonal decorations are beginning to adorn everything from my kids' classrooms to Disneyland (we were there last week). Okay, so here in the Bay Area the first part of that statement doesn't hold true (it was 94 degrees today!) but that hasn't stopped my thoughts from turning to Halloween. And so, naturally, it's time to feature some seasonally appropriate books and recipes on this blog.
Last week when we were in Disneyland we ran across some very cute chocolate covered marshmallows in the candy shops. My younger son and I are fans of their marshmallows anyway (they're gluten-free!) but he was especially taken with these, as they were covered in white chocolate and decorated to look like ghosts:
We really liked them (he chose it for his treat two days in a row) and I thought it would be fun to recreate them at home.
Marshmallow Ghost Pops
- 1 bag large marshmallows
- 1 bag of caramel candies (11 oz.)
- 1box of white Baker's chocolate (this covered about 3 marshmallow pops)
- Black cake decorating gel (if gluten is an issue, be sure to read labels carefully!)
- lollypop sticks (available at craft stores like Michael's)
1. Place three or four marshmallows on the end of a stick. Make sure you don't poke the stick all the way through the top marshmallow.
2. Melt your caramels--along with 2 tablespoons of milk--in a double boiler. (The milk will prevent the caramel from taking on the consistency of cement once it cools.) Stir together until melted.
3. Working quickly, dip your marshmallows in the caramel. I found I was able to get the best coverage by using the spatula to drizzle the caramel over the marshmallows.
4. Place caramel covered marshmallow pops on a baking sheet lined with NON-STICK foil. Put in the fridge to cool.
5. (I took my caramel covered marshmallows out of the fridge after about an hour.) Melt the white chocolate. The instructions on my box of Baker's Chocolate said to use the microwave but I found that the double boiler worked fine. Be very careful not to overheat the white chocolate or it will harden and smell weird. Not that I would know anything about that...
6. When the white chocolate is melted, dip caramel covered marshmallows. Once again, I used a spatula to spread the white chocolate around to make sure it covered the visible surfaces and all of the caramel covered areas.
7. Return candy to the fridge.
8. Before serving, pipe on faces using chocolate or edible gel. It's easy to find black tubes of edible gel during this time of year. (Though the faces on the Disneyland ones were made from piped on chocolate.)
|Not quite as nice as the professional ones but not bad. Still tasty.|
Wondering which book to pair these cute ghost marshmallow pops with? There is an abundance of Halloween/ghost themed kidlit available at this time of year, but my current favorite ghost book is Kazuno Kohara's Ghosts in the House! (originally published as The Haunted House in the UK).
Ghosts in the House! is a cute story about a little girl who moves into a haunted house. Fortunately, the little girl happens to be a witch so she knows exactly how to handle those ghosts! First she traps them, then she washes them, then she finds new household uses for them. Ghosts become curtains, table cloths and sheets. It's a sweet, not-scary Halloween story that is perfect for young preschoolers but the pictures are interesting enough for older children to enjoy. I love them so much! The pages are orange with only two colors--black and white--used in the illustrations. The white ghosts are nearly transparent; a very cool effect. It almost looks as through they're done in chalk or sponge paint. I really enjoy books that incorporate unusual or unexpected design techniques, and the orange pages really work for this story.
Coincidentally, the very day I chose to blog about this book was the day my younger son happened to bring a picture of a haunted house home from school. The house is made out of orange construction paper and his ghosts are drawn with . . . chalk! This would be a fun and easy project to do at home after reading this book. It makes a great Halloween decoration.
Other books by Kazuno Kohara:
Here Comes Jack Frost