"This is one of the easiest recipes for anybody to create," Beth advises. If you don’t have the technique to pipe on the feet, leave the feet off. You can get creative with the decorations; for example, sticking on an M&M nose. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can buy ready-to-use frosting kits at the supermarket.
Recipe excerpted from Hungry Halloween by Beth Jackson Klosterboer
Hidalgo, PX, Sherry, Jerez, Spain. N.V.
Motor oil in color, with treacle and golden raisin aromas and flavors. Stoic and unmoving, with unctuous texture and richness. From the house of Hidalgo, with a long tradition of producing a wide range of sherry styles.
Winebow Imports — $36 retail, .375mL
OVERALL TIPS FROM BETH JACKSON KLOSTERBOER
* For the buffet, it’s important to have a few focal points but don’t go overboard unless you have a lot of help. If you have too many items, you’ll be exhausted by the time your party takes place.
* Have three or four really great dishes. The rest of the food can be standard–purchase items at the store or make simple dishes.
* "We always do parties for adults closer to dinnertime because I want people to come and eat," advises Beth. "After all, you’ve cooked all this great food–you want your guests to devour it."
- 18 ounces chocolate cream-filled cookies
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened and divided
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- pink paste or gel food coloring
- 2 chocolate chips
- Special Equipment Needed:
- food processor
- plastic wrap
- disposable pastry bag
- #12 and #13 decorating tips
- pastry bag coupler
Pour cookies into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the cookies are fine crumbs. Remove 2/3 cup crumbs and set aside. Add 7 ounces cream cheese to the food processor and pulse until mixture is completely combined, scraping bowl as needed.
Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the cookie/cream cheese dough for Longtail’s legs and ears. Pour the remaining dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help you form the dough into a long oval. Unwrap.
Pour reserved cookie crumbs into a long shallow container. Roll dough oval into crumbs, shaping the body as you go. Place on a serving platter.
Press the two chocolate chips onto either side of Longtail’s face for his eyes. Pinch off small amounts of the reserved dough and roll into 2 short skinny front legs and two longer wider back legs. Attach to body. Pinch off two small balls of dough and flatten them into ears. Attach to head.
Combine the remaining 1 ounce of cream cheese with the powdered sugar and one very small drop of pink food coloring. Stir until well combined. Spoon pink cream cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and # 12 decorating tip. Pipe a long tail onto the back of Longtail’s body. Start by setting the decorating tip at Longtail’s back end. Squeeze and as the frosting comes out of the tip, pull out and around the body tapering off as you go. Pipe on a nose and pipe some pink onto each ear. Remove the #12 decorating tip and replace it with a #3 tip. Pipe on Longtails’ toes. Keep refrigerated for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
NOTE: If you don’t have any experience piping frosting, you can create Longtail’s nose, toes, and tail out of pink taffy or any pink chewy candy. Just soften the candy in the microwave for 3 seconds then cut and mold into the desired shape. (Be careful as candy can get very hot in microwave.)