“Oogily-boogily biffily-bats. Here come the witches with broomsticks and hats.” It’s the first line of one of our favorite Halloween books, The Witch’s Ball by David Steinberg. Witches are a Halloween staple and hold one of the top spots as the most popular Halloween costume of all time, along with devils, vampires, cats, and ghosts. Yet there are so many kinds of witches to choose from. The magic candy corn witch, the sassy pumpkin witch, the emerald witch, or the fairy witch. Then there are the array of scandalous adult versions.
As a kid, my mom always made our Halloween costumes. My brother and I were pilgrims one year, a devil and an angel the next, and I specifically remember a tweety bird costume. As we got older, we became more involved with our costume creations. One year I attached black and orange strips of crepe paper to a black plastic garbage bag and went as a pom-pom.
When we were younger we would trick or treat as a family with our plastic orange pumpkins, just big enough to carry home our sweet treats. Then my brother and I would watch the spectacle on our own front porch. With spooky music playing, my dad would dress up in a costume, sit completely still in a chair carefully placed next to the front door, and then scare the bejeebers out of the kids who were bold enough to walk up the front steps and knock on the door. My brother and I laughed every time. Even to this day, I still love seeing people get scared.
As we got older, we would trick-or-treat with our friends and carry pillow cases, which I can remember on a few occasions became to heavy to haul the copious amounts of sugary delights. We would stay out as long as possible to see who ended up with the most loot, which we would always dump out onto the rug, organize, and then trade. I loved mini Snickers bars and my brother loved Bottlecaps.
This year we will be trick-or-treating with a butterfly and Scooby Doo. We were explaining to our butterfly the other day why we say “trick or treat.” When our butterfly asked about what kind of tricks we played on people as kids, we decided it best to divert the conversation instead to what kind of candy we should hand out on Halloween.
After we outlined our game plan for the big day, our discussed turned to what kind of biscotti we should make to celebrate Halloween. We dug out all the Halloween sprinkles, sugars, and toppings we could find and spread them out on the table. Apparently all we could agree on was that we wanted to put as much sugary goodness into these biscotti as possible. Why wait for Halloween and the sugar rush that will inevitably ensue after you trudge home with bags filled with every conceivable kind of sweet treat and are unrelentingly asked again and again for “just one more.”
We found a bag of black and orange chocolate chips in the Biscotti Bin and the kids decided to use only the orange ones, which they carefully separated while they popped just as many into their mouths when they thought I wasn’t looking. We used both orange and black sugar, but rather than peppering the dough with bright Halloween colors, it turned the dough the deep green hue of a witches brew, dotted with bright blue, orange, black, and green confetti sugar sprinkles. A feast for the eyes and all the witches in your house.
Oogily Boogily Biscotti
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons confetti sugar sprinkles, a combination of orange, black, blue, and green
2 tablespoons orange sugar sprinkles
2 tablespoons black sugar sprinkles
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup orange chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and confetti sugar sprinkles.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Add the chocolate chips and knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends #42: Cover the biscotti ends with flowing white fabric and hang in front of your neighbor’s door for a Halloween trick rather than treat.