Joy Ride: Pink Champagne Cupcakes

                                                          

                                               It started out as a joke. Now the joke is on them.

Joy Ride trailer poster

                          Install a CB radio, he said. Fake like a chick named Candy Cane, he said. It’d be fun, he said.

And it was. Until someone got hurt…

CB talk baby joyride   Joy Ride is a 2001 thriller about a road trip gone terribly wrong. On their way ‘cross country back home, two brothers, Lewis and Fuller, and their unwitting passenger, Venna, are stalked and menaced by a vengeful trucker after a CB prank goes awry. It stars Paul Walker, Steve Zahn, Leelee Sobieski, and Buffalo Bill.

Yep; Ted Levine (AKA Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs) puts his deep, foreboding pipes to good use as the voice of Rusty Nail, the horny, homicidal trucker that obviously can’t take a joke. However, don’t expect to actually see Ted in the role as he is just the voice, folks. The actual bad guy is played by another actor, but we only get shadowy glimpses of him during the more action-packed scenes.Being chased joyride

Sounds fun, right?

It is!

terrified Fuller        Joy Ride may not be for the hardcore horror set (as the scares, violence and gore are minimal), but the suspenseful story line, chilling use of scenery, and humorous quips of dialogue make it a fun popcorn movie perfect for a rainy night.

The Recipe: From frosting to filling, the entire cupcake is infused with Candy Cane’s favorite getting-it-on-with-strangers beverage, pink champagne. The sweet Muscato smell reminds me of the tubed warehouse champagne cake filling my boss at the bakery used to slather in between the cake rounds. Except the hand-forged version is less pink-gelatinous looking and tastes fresher, lighter.

Drained the last dregs in that bottle of champagne on New Years, did you? No worries. Just be at the Lone Star Motel room 17. Rusty Nail will be stopping by with a bottle of the pink bubbly at midnight. So, if you’re not dead, you can whip up a batch. You copy that?

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Pink Champagne Cake

(Makes 12-15 romantic offerings)

Ingredients:

2 cups cake flour

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1 stick butter (softened)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

½ cup sour cream

½ cup pink champagne (I really went all out and bought the Sutter Home variety; wink, wink)

*Recipes for Pink Champagne Pastry Filling and Pink Champagne ButterScream (below)

Decoration: Candy bubbles (I found glossy Sixlet candies in the cupcake aisle of Walmart. Awesomeness.)

Equipment: Nonstick baking spray, standard sized cupcake pan, liners, hand/stand mixer, cupcake corer

How to Make em:

Obligatory Reminder: Spray cupcake liners with non stick baking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

*Beat the butter and sugar into creamy submission with your hand or stand mixer. I always use my hand mixer for that ultimately personal experience hehe!

* Crack the eggs into the mix, one at a time, beating again after each addition.

* In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and champagne. Watch it fizz then set it aside.

* In another small bowl, combine the boring stuff: cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

* Stir the dry boring ingredients into the creamed mix alternately with the champagne mixture. I always incorporate them with a rubber spatula for that hand-forged quality, but feel free to use your hand mixer or stand mixer again. Low to medium speed, please.

*Fill each cupcake cavity about ¾ full for the naughtiest results and bake about 15-17 mins at 350 degrees.

*Once COMPLETELY cooled, core and fill each cake with the pastry cream and frost.

Adorn: Complete the look with a few shimmery candle bubbles.

Pink Champagne Pastry Cream

(Makes enough to generously fill 12-15 cakes) 

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp cornstarch

5 Tbsp sugar

½ cup whipping cream (divided)

½ cup champagne

1 egg

2 egg yolks

2 Tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

How to Make It:

*In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and ¼ cup of the cream. Beat the egg and the yolks into the mixture.

*In a saucepan, bring the remaining ¼ cup of cream, sugar, and champagne to a boil then remove from the heat.

*Pour about 1/3 of the boiling mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk constantly as to keep the eggs from cooking/curdling.

*Return the remaining champagne cream mix to boiling. Pour in the hot egg mixture, whisking constantly (again) until the mixture thickens. This will take a few minutes. Patience, my dear!

*Remove from heat and add in the vanilla and butter. Stir until smooth.

*Let the mixture cool a bit before adding it to equally cooled cupcakes.

Champagne Butterscream Frosting

(Makes enough to cover 12-15 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter (softened)

¼ cup champagne

4 cups powdered sugar

How to Make It:

*In a medium bowl, beat the butter and champagne into creamy submission with your hand or stand mixer.

*Add in the sugar one cup at a time.

*Allow the frosting to set a few minutes in the refrigerator before piping on.

stalked in the cornfield joyride Until next time…stay spooky, my fiends!

28 Days Later: Infected Brain Strawberry Cupcakes

deadgirlbaking

What do you get when you cross non-stop televised violence and gore with a rather adorable chimpanzee? Apparently, 28 days later you get a second British Invasion of the worst kind…

Is 28 Days Later a true zombie movie? I’ve heard both sides of the case. Some argue that it is a smart, fast-paced ride through zombie film territory while others will argue that it’s only an outbreak film with nods to the most terrifying aspects of “real” zombies (relentless and nearly unstoppable in their pursuit to consume flesh).

Why all the commotion? Why must we divide everything into sub-genre camps? To me, a zombie is a zombie is a zombie. Do you eat other people?  Will you chase me down like a cheetah or shuffle after me? Are you used-to-be-dead, mindless, and robotic or considered still alive and full of impulsive rage?  Doesn’t matter to me how you got…

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The Evil Dead: Necronomicon Pizza and Candarian Blackberry Trifle

                     The Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror (and Truly Horror-ific Goodies)

                                                   evil-dead-movie-poster-small

            Can they be stopped? Candarian demons. Hmm….maybe. 

            The remakes?

No. But Bruce Campbell is assuring remake skeptics like me that the latest revisioning of The Evil Dead is not one to miss or to reckon with.

ED-Gonna Get you cellar

An image that’s scared me since 1981!

I’m taking his word for it. After all, he is THE original Ash. Although, did you know Ash isn’t even a character in the newest version? Nope; and I’m glad for it. Seriously, who could “they” possibly put in Campbell’s shoes? I’m certain “they” didn’t want that angry mob surging up against them in the sticky theater aisles. I guess that’s the first reason I’m putting aside my snide remake remarks and focusing on the positives.

My second reason is again thanks to Bruce. In his not-gonna-bullcrap-ya style, Mr. Campbell promises a stylishly scary take on the cult classic that is reminiscent of old school horror. He guarantees there will be no trash-talking, no jokes, and no silly jump gimmicks. Just pure unadulterated grueling terror. Like in the old days.

I will unsurprisingly take his word on it. Mr. Campbell and Mr. Raimi have never done me wrong.

Happy Demon possessed

One Happily Possessed Gal

But does fresh-faced director, Fede Alvarez, have that in him?  A newbie to the genre, can he take a handful of Sam Raimi and mold it into a worthy competitor, dueling for a seat next to the original?? Without resorting to the cheap scare tactics of today’s horror movie makers.

I’m pulling the paper from my countdown chain to find out. Only three days left!! Hopefully, I’ll see you there this Friday, April 5th, for the most important movie of 2013 (in my world), The Evil Dead.

In the meantime, let’s gather ‘round the flat screen for a titillating re-showing of the 1981 original; made utterly perfect by its wobbly plot, questionable actors, and enough spasmodic 80’s gore to gag ya!…Oh, and don’t forget the goodies!

the new cellar dweller...

the new cellar dweller…

The Recipes:  What’s a movie night without pizza? Laammme. Sick of plain ole sausage and pepperoni? Boorriing. I got just what you need to get in the Deadite mood.

Necronomicon Pizza, anyone? I promise it’s not made of human flesh, but it does have a rather spooktacular dough and toppings face! I’ve seen this crazy pizza picture floating around the internet amongst the Horror Crowd, and I decided to try my hand at it just for the Horror Congress fans. Follow it up with a serving of rich, decadent Candarian Blackberry Trifle for dessert. But I warn you, beware the size and quantities of your spoonful. This dark delight sits heavy in the belly. Eat too much, and it may just swallow your soul… (Sorry. It had to be said.)

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Necronomicon Pizza

(Serves at least 8 friends…stranded in a cabin…with an oven)

Ingredients:

2 tubes of refrigerated pizza dough OR 2 quantities of your fave homemade dough recipe

1 jar marinara sauce (big or small jar depending on how much sauce you prefer)

1 small jar chopped black olives

3 cloves garlic

1 package pepperoni

2-3 jalapenos (sliced) don’t forget your gloves!!

1 (2cup) bag of mozzarella cheese (or shred your own)

Equipment: Nonstick baking spray, cookie sheet, pizza cutter, my photo as a necessary guide

How to Make It:

Lightly prep the pan with nonstick spray. Untube or prepare the dough. Press one tube/quantity of dough into the pan, stretching it lightly as to not tear holes. Now, for the fun! Tear pieces of dough from the other tube/quantity, and like playdoh, begin to mold the pieces of your pizza face, using my photo as a guide. (I can’t really “tell” you how to do it, you just have to dig in!) I recommend pre-baking the pizza at 425 degrees for about 6-7 minutes.

The pre-baked version

The pre-baked version

Remove from the oven and start the topping process. Spoon the sauce over your face, careful to cover the elevated facial features sparsely. Add your pepperoni and jalapeno slices, again, leaving the facial features topping-less. Next, fill in the mouth with the olives. Carefully sliver 1 garlic clove to resemble tiny, sharp teeth. Add them to the mouth, creating a jagged effect. Use the remaining garlic to fill in the eye holes. Smother the face with cheese, again being cautious not to cover the elevated pieces. Bake again on 425 degrees until the cheese is nice and melty (I check it every 3-5 mins; usually takes about 12-15 minutes.)

Note: Remember, take a picture before cutting into it!!

Candarian Blackberry Trifle
nice view blackberry trifle(Serves 8-10 demon possessed souls)

Ingredients:
1 quantity of your favorite brownie recipe (box mix NOT recommended. I’m a dessert snob like that).

1 8oz container mascarpone cheese

½ c Dutch-processed cocoa powder

¼ c cornstarch

1 ¼ c sugar

¼ tsp salt

1/3 c unsalted butter (chopped into pieces)

2 tsp vanilla

2 ½ c milk

1 pint container fresh blackberries

Equipment: Trifle dessert bowl or fairly wide glass serving bowl, plastic wrap

How to Make It:

Bake the brownies according to your recipe.

In the meantime, make the chocolate pudding: Start by whisking together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Slowly add in the milk and cook, stirring all the time over a medium heat. After the pudding starts to boil and begins to thicken in about 10 minutes, reduce the heat, but cook another 2 mins. Remove from heat and carefully stir in the butter pieces and vanilla until the butter melts. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on to the top of the warm pudding and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. The plastic wrap will prevent a nasty skin from forming over the top. When the pudding is cool, gently fold in the entire container of mascarpone cheese until well blended.

Assemble the trifle: Crumble the cooled brownies. Add half of the brownie crumbles to cover the bottom of your trifle dish. Top the brownie layer with half of the pudding-mascarpone mix. Add half the pint of blackberries. Gently add the remaining brownie crumbles atop the blackberries. Smooth the remaining pudding mix atop the crumbles. Finally, add the remaining blackberries, piled nicely in the center of the pudding.

side view

Enjoy!blackberries on top

Hint: You can always make instant box pudding for the recipe. You would need 2 small boxes or 1 large box. I don’t remember the instant pudding method as the cooked homemade version is so much darker and svelte.

Horror Congress Friends, feel free to cut loose with your thoughts and opinions about the new Evil Dead remake, these recipes, or just anything horror-ific that’s lurking around your mind….

Until next time, stay spooky, my fiends!

 

Leprechaun: Guinness Gold Cupcakes, Unlucky Charms, & Evil Leprechaun Cocktail

 lep-thefuntimesguide

Try as they will, and try as they might, whoever steals his gold won’t live through the night.

            According to well-known Irish folklore, leprechauns are mischievous, smooth talking, devious little tricksters. They like their fun, but they also work hard, hammering out shoe after shoe for their elfin employers. They receive gold coins for their pay, and the coin crocks are secretly stashed away from the likes of greedy humans.

Also, it is written that to catch a leprechaun is already difficult, but to keep him captive and get his treasure is just almost downright impossible. If you are lucky enough to do so, it is advised to keep an unbreakable gaze upon him. For if you don’t, the wee man will surely vanish.

Of course, there are other ways one can try to obtain a leprechaun’s treasures. Follow him to the end of a rainbow. Bait a trap with a few faux coins. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be luck enough to land yourself some loot.

Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work out for Dan O’Grady. In 1993’s schlocky horror film, Leprechaun, Mr. O’Grady caught a wee fellow and his gold, but Dan soon discovered his luck had run out…

leprechaun movie poster

Really, I love Leprechaun for all its badness. Bad dialogue, bad acting from a supporting cast, and bad typecasting of leprechaun folklore all blended into one. The best of the worst is the bad death scene. You know; the one involving a homicidal leprechaun on a pogo stick spewing demented limericks while bouncing across someone’s chest. That’s my wheresmygold movifancentralfave! happy evil lep

But you can’t celebrate another St. Patrick’s Day without, at some point, tuning in to this golden stone and rooting for the little bad guy. To go along with this mandatory viewing, I’ve concocted some goodies to die for that correlate with some of my favorite lines from the movie!

The Recipes:

“I’ll not rest til I have me gold. Curse this well that me soul shall dwell til I find me magic that breaks me spell.” –The Leprechaun

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Guinness Gold Cupcakes with Irish Butterscream Frosting

*These deep crocks of chocolate spiked with dark, stout beer are good as gold. Topped with an adults-only hand-forged Irish ButterScream and a generous heap of gold sugar, they make fairly effective Leprechaun bait!

Ingredients: (Makes 18-24 irresistible treasures)

1 cup baking cocoa, 2 cups sugar, 2 ¾ cups cake flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt, 4 eggs, 2 sticks butter (softened), 2 cups Guinness beer, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. For frosting: 1 stick butter (soft), 1/3 cup Bailey’s Irish cream, 1/8 tsp salt, 4-5 cups powdered sugar (depending on how thick you’d like it), gold sugar sprinkles.

Equipment/materials: Gold cupcake liners, 2 cupcake pans, hand/stand mixer, pastry bag fitted with metal tip #2D or spreader

How To Make Em:

Cupcakes: Line cupcake pans with the liners. Give each a squirt of nonstick baking spray. Nothing too dramatic.

Cook and stir the beer and cocoa powder over medium heat. Stir constantly for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture is nice and smooth. Allow this to cool.

Using your hand/stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar into creamy submission. Add your eggs.

In a separate small bowl, sift together the boring stuff-flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Alternately, add the boring flour stuff and the cocoa beer to the creamed mixture. Start and end with your boring flour stuff. Stir in the vanilla.

Fill each cupcake cavity about 2/3 full. Bake for 15 mins on 350 degrees. (Cupcakes should come out clean with a center tester). Meanwhile, make the frosting.

Frosting: Using your hand/stand mixer, beat the butter, salt, and Irish cream into creamy submission. Slowly add the powdered sugar until smooth and your desired consistency. This will frost all 18-24 cupcakes!

Frost the cooled cupcakes using a spreader or metal tip pastry bag. Generously sprinkle with tons of gold sugar! (And prepare for plenty of compliments on your yummy creation!)

IMG_0904Hey, Lep! F*** You, Lucky Charms!” –Alex

Unlucky Charms Bars

*This is a gimmicky version of that favorite crisped rice cereal bar you may remember from your younger days. Except, I Leprechauned it up for you by replacing boring, bland crisped rice cereal with sugar-coated marshmallow-infused goodness.  Now you can have your old childhood cereal and eat it too!

Ingredients: (Makes 12-16 charms)

4 Tbsp butter, 1 bag of large marshmallows, 7 cups Lucky Charms cereal

Equipment/Materials: 9×13 baking pan

How to Make em: Prep your baking pan with nonstick baking spray.

In a large pot on the stove, melt the butter. Add the marshmallows, stirring until they are melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Add the cereal a cup at a time until it is completely covered in melty marshmallow butter. Spoon out into your baking pan and gently-with the slightest touch-press into the pan. Allow to set. Cover to keep them fresh.

Note: The slight touch will give you soft crunchiness that won’t break your teeth out at first bite!

Tip: You can liven them up even more by adding flavored marshmallows. This time of year there are lots of choices for pastel marshmallow flavors!

IMG_0909Evil Leprechaun Cocktail

“That thing is a leprechaun, and we’ve gotta find a way to stop it.”-Tory

*Ah, a naughty, creamy libation depicting all the qualities of the iconic Irish leprechaun. It’s fun, it’s quirky, it disappears quickly, and it’s loaded with drink. But the addition of ice cream turns it totally sinful!!

Ingredients: (Makes 1 evil cocktail)

3 ounces cold coffee, 1 ounce Irish whiskey, ½ ounce Kahlua, ½ ounce Bailey’s Irish cream, 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, and 2 cups crushed ice

Equipment/Materials: blender

How to Make It: Add all the ingredients to the blender, including the crushed ice. Give it a few spins on blend until well blended. I give it a few rounds on liquefy just to get those bigger ice chunks to size. Blend to your tastes. Pour into a serving glass and garnish with a cute flag like I did!

Tip: If you must have it green, substitute mint chip ice cream  for the vanilla ice cream.

              Until next time…Stay spooky, my fiends. And stalk The Horror Congress regularly.

deadgirlbaking

                             Sleep all day. Party all night. It’s fun to be a vampire. And eat treats…
                                                                                                               lost boys movie poster
     License to Drive, Dream a Little Dream, Lucas, Murphy’s Romance, Watchers, Blown Away, Shark City, Demolition High, and Silver Bullet-if you were a boy-crazed girl of the 80’s and 90’s, you may guess what all these films have in common; besides relatively interesting soundtracks.
            Corey Haim. You know, The Haimster; the Canadian actor that catapulted to teen stardom alongside his…

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The Loved Ones: Pink Princess Cupcakes and Lovesick Blondies

 It’s Valentine’s Day. Are these treats “pretty enough?”

 the loved ones movie poster

            Valentine’s Day. The day of love.

For those of us gals fortunate enough to be married, attached, committed, or sought after,  Valentine’s Day can be a tasty, thoughtful day of fresh roses, candy, skimpy lingerie, or tickets to see The Evil Dead Musical (hey, whatever trips your trigger, right?)

But what about those single others? The day of love must be a virtual day of sorrow. And now that Valentine’s Day apparently has its own season (from January 2nd when the Christmas decorations come down to February 14th) it must be just one huge month of misery leading up to the Big Depressing Day.

If you are one of the fateful that falls into the latter category, don’t do it. Don’t slide into your yoga pants and oversized shirts. Don’t crawl under the covers, tear into that heart-shaped box of chocolates you bought yourself, and tune into John Hughes movies all night.

stone family fun

Dinner with the Stones

Instead, I invite you to call upon your other lonely lady friends and spend the evening at prom with Princess, Daddy, Bright-Eyes, and The King. It will be an absolutely terrifying night of looking through creepy stalker scrapbooks and blood-soaked torture porn all set to an eerie pink disco-ball backdrop. Refreshments like Lola’s “finger lickin good” chicken and a sludgy syringe cocktail-to-the-neck will be served, but you could always just bring your own…I’ve got a few in mind!

 

lola and drill

Princess and her drill

The Loved Ones. Think Pretty in Pink meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In fact, Lola (aka Princess) is exactly the type of tormented, obsessed, deranged girl I’d expect to see spawned from Leatherface and Molly Ringwald’s character, Andie.

 

the king

Brent, the new Loved One

When Lola is rejected by her latest crush, Brent, and then later finds him having sex with his beautiful girlfriend, Holly, she goes totally over the edge. She recruits her equally psychotic father (aka Daddy) to kidnap Brent and make him into her new King. But when Brent refuses to play along nicely with the sick prom night fantasy, he’s put through some pretty horrible, mind-bending punishment involving nails, drills, and crappy teen love songs. His rebellion eventually lands him in the cellar of surprises with Lola’s other collected “loved ones”.  I must say Robin Mcleavy is flawless as Princess; so sadistic and cute all drenched in pink. The only thing truly off-putting about this movie is Lola’s angsty theme song “Pretty Enough” that has been lodged into my brain for weeks now.

 

Am I not pretty enough? Is my heart too broken? Do I cry too much? Am I too outspoken?” Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

The Recipes: I don’t like pink. But it’s Valentine’s Day, and Princess wouldn’t have it any other color. In fact, I was told the cupcakes are almost too pretty to eat. Don’t let their outer charm deter you. Inside they are a sadistic, fluffy addiction just waiting to overcome you. The blondies are rich, buttery, and loaded with crunchy candy. When the last one is gone you’ll be lovesick for more…

 

DGbaking Blog 002Pink Princess Cupcakes

(makes 18-24 pretty treats)

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter

3 eggs (room temp)

1 cup buttermilk

¼ tsp pink paste food coloring ( I used Wilton Rose Petal Pink to get the closest color to Lola’s dress)

1 batch Pink Vanilla Butterscream frosting

White pearl candies (I used Wilton’s white sugar pearls)

9-12 fresh strawberries (stems removed, cut in half)

Cupcake pan, pink or V-day print liners, pastry bag, large decorating tip ( I used tip #1G)

How to Make em: In a mixing bowl or bowl of standing mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and food coloring with your hand mixer or stand mixer into a creamy submission. Add the eggs, one at a time,  and the vanilla until fully combined. In a separate smaller bowl, sift together the boring stuff- flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to your creamed butter mix alternately with the buttermilk. I always start and end with the dry stuff. Mix until just combined. Fill liners about half way. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before dressing up.

Pink Vanilla Butterscream Frosting

(Makes enough to dress 18-24 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter

1 pd powdered sugar

1/8 tsp salt

¼-1/2 cup whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp pink paste food coloring (I used Wilton Rose Petal Pink)

How to Make It: In a mixing bowl or bowl of standing mixer, beat together the butter, cream, vanilla, and salt with your hand mixer or stand mixer into a creamy submission. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until smooth. Stir or mix in the food coloring until thoroughly assaulted with pink.

Dollin’ Up the Cupcakes: Fit your pastry bag with your preferred decorating tip. Pipe on the pink frosting however thick you like it. Add a dash of classy white pearls and pierce with a strawberry slice. Too pretty!

 

100_1566Lovesick Blondies

(Makes 12 addictive bars)

 

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) melted butter

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs (room temperature)

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 bag Valentine’s Day M&M candy (I used the peanut butter ones)

13×9” pan

How to Make Em: Prep your pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar until well combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla. In a small bowl, sift together the boring stuff-the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Mix in the candies until well incorporated. Spread into the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-28 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into. Tastes awesome with vanilla ice cream!

Mama: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies

                                                          Peanut butter & Jelly offers comfort. Mama does not…

Mama movie poster

             It’s a classic tragic ghost story that sucks you in, scares you some, and tugs on your heart strings as well. Like any good tragic ghost story should, right? But don’t be fooled by the innocence the movie’s simple title conveys.

I got spooked.               mama grabs hand

The story starts bleak and rapidly grows colder. Two young girls are led into a thought-to-be abandoned cabin in the woods by their father after a terrible car accident. You find out right away it’s not uninhabited, and you get awfully disturbing glimpses of the “soul” proprietor right away. Mama.

But Mama saves the girls. First, from the unexpected danger of their father and then from impending death brought on by starvation and being left to fend for themselves at such a tender age. After years of existing only with the ghostly Mama as their caregiver, the feral children are discovered and brought back into a new world of human contact, comfort, and care from a devoted uncle and his reluctant wife.

feral child mama      But don’t they know a mama’s love is forever?

I’m certainly no movie critic, but I think everything fell right into place for this ghost tale. From the dark, decrepit scenery to the plot-moving dialogue, I sunk into the gloomy mystery that just kept getting creepier by the moment. I loved how the movie didn’t need a particularly scare-worthy soundtrack building up to each “gotcha” moment. Instead, I thought the characters and their dialogue were the driving force behind the spooks.

Although the vagueness of Mama’s desperate back story may have some viewers wishing for more, for me it was just the right dosage of withheld information to keep me wondering, “What went wrong here?” And sometimes not getting all the answers can be what makes a ghost story so good.Mama crawling

One more thing: If you are looking for a comfortable ending, look elsewhere. The closing of the movie was just as solidly sad as the beginning and had me yearning for some real comfort food after the final credits. I couldn’t think of anything better than peanut butter at that moment!

The Recipe: When I think of my own mama, I think of sitting together at the lunch table, dipping a folded peanut butter sandwich into a cup of cold chocolate milk. Since a peanut butter sandwich would make a very uninteresting recipe, I came up with a sweeter, more exciting version of the classic PB & J.

A Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich cookie! 

Being low on flour (astounding, I know, but it does occur from time to time) I wondered what would happen if I made a flourless peanut butter cookie. Great things, apparently! Aside from being simple to make, it has the added benefit of being something I can offer my gluten-free buddies. If you are a mama, make this with the kiddos. If you have a mama, invite her over for some. If you see Mama (and I highly recommend you do), be ready to indulge in few yourself afterward.

100_1553Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies

(Makes 12 cookie sandwiches, depending on how big you make the cookies)

Ingredients:

2 cups peanut butter + about 3 Tbsp more PB to spread inside (the kind with no added sugar)

Strawberry jam (Smuckers makes a gluten-free version)

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

Cookie sheets, parchment paper, fork

How to Make Em: Get the oven up to 325 degrees. Prep your cookie sheets with parchment paper for easy lifting. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 2 cups of PB, the eggs, and the vanilla. Using your hands or a heavy duty stirring spoon, mix them together until combined. Add the sugar and salt.

You don’t need a cookie scoop for these. Just pinch off some dough, roll it into a ball depending on how big you want your sammiches, and place them a couple inches apart on your prepped baking sheets. Don’t forget to use your fork to stamp those nifty little “this is homemade” crosshatch marks across the top of each cookie. Bake about 10-12 mins. Cool completely before assembling into the snacks.

Assembly is the yummy fun part. Spread PB over the flat bottom of one cookie and add a dollop of jam. Smoosh em together for the most ultimate comfort cookie sandwich ever! Don’t forget to lick the knife when you are done! Just…carefully.

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Until next time…stay spooky, my fiends, and support new horror!

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