Thursday, October 31, 2013

Step Into My Web Said the Spider to the Fly

Boo!  Happy Halloween!  Are you dressing up?  Going to a party?  Taking children trick-or-treating?  Handing out candy?  

I remember Halloween was magical when we were kids (when candy was a lot scarcer than it is now!)  It was heaven if the night was warm but even if you had to put your costume under or over your winter coat, you weren't going to miss out.  I remember one year it was raining, I was getting tired, and I was dragging my paper bag of candy along the ground and it...broke.  What a tragedy!

I also remember staying up half the night to finish a costume for one of my girls.  And trudging along behind them with an umbrella in bad weather.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.

I also remember the year my husband and I were invited to a party.  I dressed up as Jack Sparrow and he was Austin Powers.  Believe it or not, our host and hostess did not recognize us!  Another year we were Indiana Jones and Cruella de Ville.

Spider Web Florentines

1/2 cup pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 light brown sugar
2 tsps. honey
1 TBL flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pulse together the pecans and oatmeal in a food processor until finely ground.  Melt butter and add sugars and honey.  Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugars are melted and mixture is simmering.  Remove from heat and stir in pecan mixture, flour, salt and cinnamon.  Transfer to a bowl and chill for 30 minutes.

Mounds 2 teaspoons of dough, one on top of the other and place 2 to 3 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Flatten stacked mounds to 1 3/4 inches in diameter.  Bake until cookies spread and are golden throughout, about 10 minutes.  Coll completely.

Place chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  Stir until melted.  Transfer to a resealable plastic bag.  Snip one corner to make a pastry bag.  Pipe chocolate onto each cookie in a spiral, working out from the center.  Pipe lines from the outside in and back again all the way around.  Let set a room temperature or refrigerate.   

The "dough" after refrigeration, was rather like wet sand...not particularly easy to work with but I managed.  The cookies spread much more than I anticipated so beware!  I also snipped too large a corner off my baggie and it was hard to make my chocolate lines as thin as I wanted.  Hey, I'm a writer, not an artist!  No matter--they are delicious! I managed to keep hubby away from them long enough to get a couple of pictures.

Melt butter

Mix white and brown sugar

Grind oats and toasted pecans

Place on cookie sheet

Bake until golden and spread

If desired, decorate with chocolate to look like spider webs

Moi as Cruella de Ville

Hubby as Indiana Jones (he already owned the hat and jacket!)

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Peg Cochran

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Out Now from Berkley Prime Crime


  1. You look great in your costume Peg! And the cookies look terrific. Though not sure I could eat a cookie with a big spider on the plate:)

  2. Thanks, Roberta and I hear you about the spiders on the plate...a good dieting trick, no? Perhaps one that Gigi Fitzgerald from my Gourmet De-Lite series would approve of! Of course it didn't stop my husband from eating them!

  3. What great costumes; sometimes we have enough in our own closets to make a great costume, don't we? Will try the cookies soon. Any cookie with brown sugar is delicious. Have two of your books on my birthday list of books that I gave my husband, so should be getting them in early December. Always great reading with your books, Peg. Happy Halloween everyone.

  4. Wow, Cruella...I mean, Peg...those cookies look crunchy-delicious, and the spider and web add just the right amount of spooky. Thanks for this snappy recipe. Happy Halloween to you, and to all visitors to our kitchen.

    ~ Cleo

  5. Delicously creepy recipe, Peg. I love you as Cruella!

  6. These are adorable, I mean terrifying, Peg/Cruella. Love the costumes too.

    Happy Halloween!


  7. Love your dieting trick! Florentines are one of my favorite cookies, though, so I don't think a spider would keep me away! I love the pictures of Cruella and Indiana! You know, that's such a clever costume for a man. I bet most men would be willing to be Indie!


  8. I love people who get a kick out of dressing up. Fun, fun! Love the cigarette holder. Krista, I think you're right. Most men would be cool with dressing as Indie. LOL And I'd be a fool not to go out with one dressed as Indie.

    Love the cookies, too. Yum!

    Daryl / Avery

  9. My husband was more than willing to be Indie but he actually went as Austin Powers one year...I sewed ruffles onto a regular dress shirt and we got a wig and (bad) fake teeth. It was a lot of fun.