Keeping Up With Mrs. Smith

When a perfectionist moves into a fixer-upper…

Here Lies Dessert

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Every year around mid-September, I pull out my trusty stack of Country Living October issues and eagerly scavenge the pages for ideas.

Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, it’s been my goal every year to come up with the most elaborate game plan possible.  Unfortunately, elaborate game plans require downtime and maybe a small hired staff.  SIGH!  Somehow, there is just not enough time in a weekend to carve fifteen pumpkins and transform a house into a haunted mansion.  Plus, over these past two years, I’ve been so up in arms over sanding floors and replacing carpet that I haven’t even managed to carve one pumpkin!

Tired of missing out, I vowed to do something festive this year so I picked out a few small, low-commitment projects.

My first project was to bring a clever dessert to a pumpkin-carving party we had been invited to.  After a moment with my magazines, I found my muse:

This cake was clever yet simple, but since I prefer the easy clean-up and neat serving size of cupcakes I decided to make individual brownie graveyards.  After whipping up some brownie batter, however, I remembered that I didn’t have a 12-count muffin tin.

Thankfully, the baking spirits were with me that day because I quickly received the hairbrained idea to line an aluminum cake pan with aluminum cupcake liners:

To my surprise, it worked.  Abracadabra, ya’ll!  Impromptu muffin pan!

And even though my little graveyards spread a little in the baking process, I think it improved the effect:

While the cupcakes cooled, I melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips,

scooped the chocolate into my impromptu pastry bag,

and labeled the headstones, or rather, Milano cookies broken in half.

After a schmear of chocolate buttercream, a headstone and a worm, my work was complete:


Now, to tackle my next project: THE PUMPKIN.

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