Friday, October 28, 2011

Witches Hats: a costume or a snack?

Today was the kindergarten Halloween party! I signed up for snacks thinking I could provide some cheese or pretzels or something (read: I am short on time & I want something easy). The party coordinator mom had a different idea. Suddenly the snack turned into: "come up with one snack they assemble and eat and one they assemble & take home." Really? So much for easy! 
For the snack the kids assemble & eat I made witches hats that the kids could decorate. I briefly saw a picture of this in a magazine at someone else's house & thought it looked really cute. Unfortunately I couldn't find it online (or instructions on how to do it) so I was on my own. I was looking for chocolate covered graham crackers to work as the base, or bottom of the hat and chocolate covered sugar cones that I could turn upside-down as the top part of the hat. A little frosting to make them connect & there you have it!
I finally found chocolate covered graham crackers that were large enough. I really shouldn't read the list of ingredients for stuff like this, but I did. TBHQ (a relative of the harmful preservative BHT), yellow dye #bad & red dye #bad. Ugh! I just couldn't bring myself to buy it. And why would there be dye in this stuff anyway? Weird. Plus, I couldn't find chocolate covered sugar cones. Then it hits me: I can buy regular graham crackers & cones & coat them in chocolate myself! 
I did it & it turned out fairly cute & it ended up being SO easy! Here's what I did: I bought milk chocolate chocolate chips & melted them. You have to make a double-boiler so you don't burn the chocolate. Do this by boiling a little water in a larger pan & putting a smaller pan in that water with the chocolate chips in it. After it was melted, I removed the top pan & carefully dipped the graham crackers in the chocolate (be careful not to burn your fingers). Then I rolled the cones in it & stuck them on the graham crackers. To decorate: I did break down & buy frosting. I would totally prefer to make my own, but the consistency of the store-bought is perfect for kids spreading on things like this & I just haven't managed to figure out the trick of getting it just right at home. I bought white & I colored one can purple using the juice from blueberries. It's the first time I've tried dying without actual food coloring & though it was really more violet than purple, I was proud! 

A couple notes: I wouldn't make them more than a day ahead, but they do need a number of hours to harden & dry so you also can't wait until the last minute. The chocolate in my finished picture looks a little 'off' because I put that hat in the fridge after assembling.

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