Saturday, October 29, 2011

Have Fun Storming The Castle!

In its October 2005 issue, Real Simple magazine ran an item on a simple, creative, fun Halloween dessert/centerpiece: a spooky, sugary castle composed almost entirely of highly processed chocolate junk food. Chocolate snack cakes, chocolate graham crackers, chocolate sugar cones, chocolate doughnuts, all held together with chocolate frosting and decorated with gummy worms, candy corn, Skittles and other treats of the season. (The castle was designed by Clare Crespo, author of The Secret Life of Food.)

Miss C and I first created this homage to trans fats a couple of years ago.

2009 Halloween Castle

Yesterday we revisited it, and Little Man joined in the fun. We don't ever make it exactly as written; it's more fun that way, and as Miss C informed us last night, "We don't need instructions; instructions just boss you around." And, really, who needs more of that?

This year's project was almost entirely kid-directed. For the main body of the castle, they opted to use eight large Entenmann's chocolate doughnuts, stacked in twos and cemented with homemade buttercream frosting. Each tower is composed of three small chocolate doughnuts, one upside-down Hostess cupcake and a sugar cone. (If you can find them in your area, Oreo Cones are specified in the article and would continue the chocolate theme. If you want to use the instructions, that is.)

Castle base
Using more frosting and some chocolate graham crackers, we created the outer walls of our castle. At the entrance stand two Oreo Stix, topped with candy corn. The castle and grounds were then decorated withh more candy corn; gummy worms, pumpkins and spiders; and Sunspire dark chocolate SunDrops (a natural M&M-type candy). We even have some "monster traps" made of pink ice cream cones, purple frosting and chocolate cupcakes.

2011 Halloween Castle

And here is a "witch." A gummy pumpkin head impaled on a candy corn. I love my kids' imaginations and senses of humor!


We used ours as a centerpiece for our annual pumpkin carving party, although the preface of the article was to create a no-bake Halloween party dessert. It was a good family project, and it will be fun to see how the castle evolves each year. And I will simply shove down the guilt I feel buying two types of chocolate doughnuts, Hostess cupcakes, Oreo Stix, ice cream cones, powdered sugar and candy. Ah, motherhood: So much guilt, so little time!

(Thanks to my sweet husband for taking tonight's photos!)

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