Full disclosure: These didn’t turn out exactly the way I’d intended.
But that’s okay – I think they’re cute just the way they are. (I don’t want to hurt their feelings, you see. Exoskeletons are rather thin-skinned.)
My original intent was to dip them in chocolate. But that didn’t work out. The spiders…they, um…didn’t really like that.
But I should probably back up a bit.
FIRST, I made some pumpkin muffins. I used the one in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours, but you can use whatever your favorite pumpkin muffin recipe is. And they don’t really have to be pumpkin, now that I think about it. Carrot cake would work well. So would chocolate.
So…make some muffins.
Then, make some cream cheese frosting. Very easy – a stick of unsalted butter (room temp), a block of cream cheese (room temp), a pound of confectioner’s sugar and, in my case, about a teaspoon of “pumpkin pie spice” and a teaspoon of vanilla. Whip the butter and cream cheese together, then add the other ingredients, beat together until smooth, and there you go.
Now, cut the muffins in half cross-wise, and scoop out some of the innards of the bottom half. Like this:
Then fill those holes with a generous amount of the cream cheese frosting/filling. Oh – and that ziploc bag with the piping tip in the picture before this one? Yeah, I squeezed too hard and broke the bag. Turns out it’s much easier to use a spoon.
Oh, and I meant to take a picture BEFORE I put the top half of the muffins on, but I forgot, and so here’s a picture after I remembered to show you how it looks inside.
Sorry about the crumbs.
Next, I mixed some Nutella with some of the cream cheese frosting. Equal parts, but I didn’t measure. And I smeared some of that on top of each muffin.
See, originally I was going to make a nice flat surface and pipe a white spider web on top of each muffin, but…changed my mind.
After the muffins were duly smeared, it was time to add the spiders.
Oh – in case you were wondering, each spider is one standard sized marshmallow, one mini marshmallow, and 9 chinese noodles. 8 for the legs, one to hold the head to the body.
Then I took the end of a bamboo skewer (a toothpick would also work) and dipped it in red food coloring to paint on the eyes and mouths.
At the time I wasn’t thinking “exoskeleton;” I was thinking “albino spiders,” which was also rather creepy.
As I finished each spider face, I took another chinese noodle, poked it partway into the spider’s tummy, and then poked the other end into the top of each muffin.
I must say, I kind of like them.
And, more importantly, I think my kids will, too, although it’s pretty much a given that Alex won’t like the cream cheese filling.
I’m pretty sure he’ll like the spiders.
Have a Happy Halloween!