Friday the 13th Part 4: Cereal Killers

Happy Friday the 13th! Regretfully, it is our final Friday the 13th of the year. So, it’s only fitting that we should travel back the path to Camp Crystal Lake circa 1984 for Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter.

Another summer another killing spree for my man, Jason Voorhees. He’s on his way home after being inexplicably resurrected in the hospital morgue. Lucky for him, a new group of oblivious youngsters have rented a cabin near Camp Crystal Lake straight across from the friendly Jarvis household. Too bad Jason isn’t quite as neighborly. He acquaints himself with his new neighbors rather savagely. Some might call it bad manners to plant a machete in another guy’s face before introducing yourself. I call it just another Friday the 13th!

Honey, I”m home!

My Screen rant: It’s no secret. Part 4 is my favorite installment in the series. It was released April 13th, 1984, topping the box office at #1 (of course) with an outstanding death toll of 14!! This was the first time in any of the many movies that I was divided on who I wanted to survive and who I absolutely needed to see bite it. I suppose today I could call it my Fantasy Camp Crystal Lake Survivors team…Team Live: The lovesick crooner, Doug, and his sweet, virginal Sarah; vengeful Rob out to do Jason some justice (haha, as if); the entire Jarvis Family (come on, they were cute), and yes-even that dork, Jimmy. I figured if he survived he could be on Dancing with the Stars: Camp Crystal Lake Survivors Edition. 

And he was such a good singer…

Team Dead: Pervert Axel and Nurse EasyPants; the B-rated Doublemint Twins, 2-timing Paulie, Ted and really…anyone else remaining outside of my Team Live picks.

He REALLY had it comin’

If you’d like to see the results of my choices, you’ll just have to pop in the movie. And while you’re up, you can make a killer treat to go with this bloody masterpiece.

The Recipe: Here in my neck of the woods, we’ve been reaching temps above 100 degrees. Nobody wants to turn on an oven. So, I’ve concocted a super simple no-bake snack; a new indulgent spin on an old classic cereal bar. Hey Hollywood isn’t the only one cranking out remakes! To tie in my favorite masked serial killer, I molded homemade fondant into his iconic hockey mask to make my own version of a Cereal Killer. Ki-ki-ki-ma-ma-ma-

Tip: For future reference, you can make the fondant and create the masks a few days in advance. Tightly smother your prepared fondant in plastic wrap and store your masks in closed-lid containers at room temp.

Cereal Killers

(Makes 12-24 killer treats depending on how you slash em)

Ingredients:

6 cups crisped rice cereal (I use the reliable Rice Krispies)

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

How to Make Em:

Obligatory reminder: Sticky alert! Prep your pan!! Spray a 9×13” baking pan with non-stick baking spray even though you aren’t baking.

1. In a large saucepan, heat and stir the peanut butter, sugar, and corn syrup until the sugar has dissolved completely.

2. Remove from the heat and add the cereal, one cup at a time, stirring until it is completely coated.

3. Spray your hands generously with baking spray and press the cereal mixture into the pan.

4. After washing your hands, microwave the butterscotch and chocolate chips for about a minute until just melted. Keep your eye on the process. You DO NOT want scorched chocolate. It’s terrible to deal with.

5. Stir the chips until smooth and spreadable. Spread the melted mixture atop the cereal mix and allow to set at room temperature for about 30 mins before cutting into.

6. Garnish with a tasty hockey mask and enjoy the mayhem of Friday the 13th Part 4!!

 

**Truth be told, I despise the taste of traditional boxed or bakery fondant. I use it strictly for decorating purposes only. However, I’ve got a recipe that takes the nasty edge off, and gives my decorations some yummy flavor while still being stable enough to mold into cool designs. 

Deadgirl Fondant

(You can get about 10-12 fiendish decos out of this recipe, but if you are thinking of covering a cake with this recipe, please double the batch)

Ingredients:

2 cups mini marshmallows

2 tsp vanilla

2 tablespoons water

3-4 cups powdered sugar

Shortening, non-stick spray, hand/stand mixer

How to Make It:

1. Prep a microwaveable bowl by giving it a good rub down with vegetable shortening. Heat the marshmallows, vanilla, and water in the bowl for about 40 seconds. I wait until I see the marshmallows fluffing and then I pull it out and give it a few good stirs to make the mixture smooth and pourable.

2. Give your hand/stand mixer’s beaters a good spray down with nonstick spray. Combine the marshmallow mix and the powdered sugar into a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer. Blend on low until you see a nice dough forming.

Tip: If the mixture appears to dry you can add teaspoons of water until you get the best consistency. If the dough does not solidify, keep adding powdered sugar by the ¼ cup.

3. Plop your dough on a well powdered sugar surface or your cool overpriced silicone mat. Knead it with your sugary dusted hands until you are ready to slash your masks! Remember to follow my fondant storage tip above for any leftovers!!

Fondant Hockey Masks

Supplies: Fondant, craft knife or overpriced fondant tools, edible markers in black and red

1. Assuming your fondant is made or purchased-roll it out thin enough to cut but thick enough to work with.

2. Using your fancy schmancy fondant cutting tool OR a handy craft knife you reserve for food crafting, cut as many masks as you want/can (almost a heart shape, but not quite; follow my visual or look one up online).

3. Give a tiny pinch where the nose of the mask will be.

4. Using edible markers, add nostril holes, eye holes, a mouth hole, and random other venting holes to your masks. The red marker makes great blood smears, especially right where Jason gets slammed by a machete!

5. Allow a few minutes to dry before adding to your treats.

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28 Days Later: Infected Brain Strawberry Cupcakes

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 like that. It could be supernatural phenomena, a mysterious comet flying over the earth, or your everyday rage virus. If you want my brain, leg, arm, etc. for a midday snack, and nothing but fire or a gunshot blast to the head will stop you then zombie I shall call you.

 (A disorientated Jim runs from a blazing rager)

My Screen Rant: 28 Days Later messed with me. Released in 2002 before The Walking Dead ever saw the public light of day, this film helped jumpstart another new wave of interest in modern day zombies. It definitely caught my attention! When Jim, the bike courier (played by the marvelous Cillian Murphy), awakens from a coma in a deserted hospital and stumbles out into empty London streets, he has no idea what he faces. As a viewer, I was pretty much aware that some kind of vengeful virus had infected everyone, but the level of anger and violence in the infected had me gritting my teeth with each of Jim’s encounters. As if battling raging flesh-eaters isn’t enough, Jim and his tiny group of mismatched survivors also must bear the brutality of the uninfected; those with the responsibility and means to save, protect, and endure. It had me squirming in my own naivety. It had me asking could this happen? What will I do when it happens? How equipped am I for a sudden rage outbreak, mysterious comet, or supernatural phenomena? I questioned how we will behave as surviving human beings of such a catastrophe. My answers are not comforting. Are you prepared?

                                                           (Jim wanders a deserted London)

The Recipe: A zombie bit my cupcake! Ever imagine what an infected brain looks like after a zombie takes a chomp? Probably not as gorily appetizing as the batch of bad brains I recently made for a horror-iffic senior class study group atRalstonHigh School. The kids voted on my ultimate favorite chocolate macabre flavor, but typically I would make these with a scary good strawberry cake (that I’ve been told looks like messy brain matter while unbaked-you decide if that’s bad or good!) Strawberry cake goes so well with the rich, darkened strawberry sauce oozing from the tainted frontal lobes.

Below you will find the recipes for the cake, the strawberry sauce, and the decorating! Have fun!!

Strawberry Brain Matter Cupcakes

(Makes an oozy batch of 18-24)

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter

4 eggs

2 ¾ C cake flour

1 ½ C sugar

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

12 ounces frozen sliced strawberries in their syrup (thaw them first, but do not rinse)

¼ tsp red food coloring (for a gory effect)

White baking cups

How to Make em:

Obligatory Reminder: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep the pan by adding the baking cups and spraying lightly with nonstick baking spray.

1. Start by pureeing the strawberries and their syrup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.

2. Beat the butter and sugar into creamy submission on low with your stand/hand mixer.

3. Add about a cup and a half of the strawberry puree to your creamed mixture along with your eggs, one at time. Mix well.

4. In a small bowl, add flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture.

5. Finish with the food coloring and add the batter 2/3 cup to each muffin cavity.

6. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  (Always check cupcakes with a tester pokey thing for clingy batter).

Oozing Strawberry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 C strawberry jam

2 Tbsp sugar

½ tsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp or more of cornstarch

Red and black food coloring

How to Make It:

1. Mix the jam, sugar, and lemon juice in a small bowl.

2. Add a few small drops of red food coloring. Add a toothpick dip of black food coloring. Beware: black food coloring can alter the taste of your sauce so please use sparingly!! You want gory good not gory gross. If you don’t’ have black food coloring, don’t sweat it. Red will do, but the black adds effect.

3. Add cornstarch tablespoon at a time until you get pasty jam still thin enough to drip/spread. (Too thick? Add a drip of water).

**Set aside until ready to decorate. This mixture may be refrigerated, but I suggest using it pretty quick.

Infected Brain Cupcake Decorating

Ingredients/Things You Need:

White frosting (Your own 3-4 cups of buttercream or canned icing. You will need at least two cans of white).

Red and black food coloring

2 decorating bags

#10 and #12 round decorating tips (#10 for decorating and #12 for the strawberry sauce)

How to Make Em:

1. Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled or you will have melting brains instead.

2. Prepare your frosting. Using a toothpick, add the food coloring a little at a time until you get a suitable “brainy” hue.

3. Fit your pastry bag with the #10 decorating tip. Add frosting to the bag.

4. Start by piping a vertical line sort of off center. Zigzag side to side your way back down the surface of the cupcake, but do not drag the tip along the cake top. Repeat on the other side of the brain. Continue braining all your cupcakes.

5. Fit another pastry bag with the #12 round tip. Fill with the strawberry sauce. I added the sauce to all areas of the brain that remained exposed-those unsightly brain gaps…

**A spoon to drizzle the sauce around and over the brains would also be quite effective if you prefer.

 (Brains! Brains!)           (Oozing infection)

Dexter: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Scream Cheese Frosting

Tonight’s the night. It’s going to happen again and again. Has to happen. Nice night. Miami is a great town. I love the Cuban food and pork sandwiches, my favorite. But I’m hungry for something different, now.” –Dexter Morgan
            Another season of Dexter has come and gone. I wish I could say the same for my crush on Dexter Morgan. I blame the author, Jeff Lindsay, for introducing me to the character and initiating this whole darn one-sided love affair. It began with Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the first novel in the series.
          True crime. I’ve read plenty, pouring over every detail of senseless acts committed by sociopaths and real scary bad guys, but I’d never picked up a fictional crime drama novel until Dexter. Admittedly, the title is what got me. I’m a sucker for alliteration. After only three pages, I was hooked. It usually takes an entire chapter. An amazing read; it’s more memoir than fiction.
           The fact that blood splatter expert, Dexter Morgan, is a vigilante-style serial killer is incidental. I mean, aside from his habit of killing only evil people, he has a fairly solid sense of morality. And even that demands some consideration. A killer that only strikes down other killers because he thinks innocent people deserve to live? Sounds fair to me. Besides, Dexter’s bottomless introspection and his mild-mannered living masking that sinister secret hobby intrigued me more. He’s smart, unassumingly charming, doesn’t have it in him to get all caught up in the complexities of love/relationships, has a terrific work ethic, and is-in my mind-a great catch! Then, place a stunning visual like Michael C. Hall to bring the character to life, and you’ve created the total Dexter package. If only I was a single fictional gal living in Miami
          The Recipe: “No blood. No sticky, hot, messy, awful blood; no blood at all. Why hadn’t I thought of that? No blood. What a beautiful idea!” –Dexter Morgan. No, Dex.  No mess and no blood; just luscious cocoa and a bit of red food coloring baked up yummy then injected with a Deadgirl’s ultra satisfying, hand-forged Screamcheese frosting.
          Red velvet cake is a Valentine’s Day staple. The traditional hues of red cake and white cream cheese icing symbolize the color of purity and love or naughty decadence (depending on who you are). This Deadgirl thinks a bit on the darker side and turns it into fluffy-gory cupcakes.
            “Needless to say I have some unusual habits, yet all these socially acceptable people can’t wait to pick up hammers and smash their food to bits. Normal people are so hostile.” -DM
Dexter Morgan Red Velvet Cupcakes
(2 dozen bloody good yummies)
Ingredients:
½ cup butter (softened for the slaughter)
½ c vegetable shortening
2 c sugar
3 eggs (room temp, please)
3 Tbsp baking cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
2 c cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
2 recipes Screamcheese frosting (make 21/2 recipes if you want to fill or ahem…inject your cupcakes)
Make:
*Obligatory reminder: Spray your cupcake liners with non-stick spray. I always do, and my cupcakes come out stunning! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. All your ingredients should be at room temperature before mixing.
1. Cream the butter, sugar, and shortening into complete submission w/your hand mixer set to med-low.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and food coloring to make a gory paste.
4. Add the gory paste to the creamed butter mix.
5. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
6. While yet, in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the vinegar.
7. Alternately add the flour mix and the buttermilk-vinegar combo to the creamed butter mix. Start with the flour mix and end with the flour mix. Mix into creamy submission, but do not overbeat. You don’t want to ruin the aeration process here. This is a science, people!
8. Fill your liners 2/3 full using an ice cream scoop or a spoon.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cupcake tops will spring back when lightly pressed.
10. Cool completely before injecting or smothering with Screamcheese frosting and adorning with a cute little syringe. (See photo below) I paper crafted one in honor of my second favorite television show. (Come on, you all know Game of Thrones dethroned Dexter last spring…)
To Fill your cupcakes: For thinner fillings like frosting or Bavarian cream, I use Wilton’s bismark tip #230. For thicker fillings like pudding or fruit, I stamp the center of each cupcake with an apple corer (don’t go too deep. You don’t want seepage), pull out the “core” of the cupcake, add my filling, and add a swirl of frosting over the hole. Simple stuff.
Deadgirl’s “Scream”cheese Frosting
(Frosts 1 dozen cupcakes)’
Ingredients:
½ c butter (room temp, please)
8 oz block of cream cheese (room temp)
1 pd bag of powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
1. Beat the butter and cream cheese into creamy submission with a hand/stand mixer.
2. Add the salt. Mix well.
3. Gradually add the powdered sugar. I go by cups and typically end up using about 4-5 cups. Add sugar until your desired consistency and sweetness is achieved. If you are doing piping work with a decorator’s tip, a medium consistency is best.
Dexter Syringe Cupcake Toppers
Dexter prefers to sneak up on his victims, putting them to sleep with a quick jab from his needle. I could definitely see how that might make binding and gagging someone go much smoother.
1. Locate a suitable syringe image online. Print in color or black and white.
2. Printing black and white? Color the contents of your syringe red with non-bleeding ink.
3. Cut around the image.
4. Adhere to white cardstock with a good-quality adhesive. Cut around the image again.
5. Spread a thin layer of adhesive on the back of the image and apply a toothpick.
*If you want a larger image and a larger cupcake topper-enlarge the image and use lollipop sticks as toppers (found in most cake deco/craft stores-even Walmart carries em).
6. Add the syringe toppers to your cupcakes, positioning each topper as if it is piercing into your yummy frosting. Add a couple drops of red food coloring for a blood drip effect. You can go a little bolder and do a blood splatter on your serving platter with red food coloring and corn syrup. I’m a bit more simplistic.
                                           Happy Valentine’s Day!