weather icon Clear

DIVAS ON A DIME: This Halloween cookie is so easy it’s scary

Oh, the crisp night air, the warm apple cider, the pumpkins. Don’t you just love this time of year? For most families Halloween means the first big festivity of the holiday season. While all the kiddies love the creepy, spooky side of this holiday, I’m all about the food. You, too?

Here’s a ghoulishly delightful recipe that couldn’t be easier. Well, I suppose you could buy cookies at the store. That is easier, but barely! If you want some homespun fun, either with your favorite people or enjoying creative time yourself, this cookie will make you happy. But you must use the magic words, or the recipe won’t work. Here are the magic words – one bowl and no bake.

These sweet and salty crunchy cookies made with chow mein noodles and melted chocolate have been around forever. They go by many different names, such as chocolate clusters, Chinese clusters, haystacks, and ting-a-lings, to name a few. They’re made with all the various chocolate and non-chocolate chips, and with assorted added ingredients, like peanuts, peanut butter, coconut, marshmallows, all the nuts, dried fruits, and candies. Some sadistic people even add candy corn.

I’m calling my version of this Halloween recipe “Creepy Peeper Creatures” (say that three times fast!) because we’re adding candy eyeballs for spook-tacular “looking” results. “See” what I did there? You’re still trying to say Creepy Peeper Creatures three times, aren’t you? We have fun. I love my peeps! Okay, I’ll stop.

This recipe uses green candy melts, usually found with the cake decorating supplies, along with candy eyeballs.

If you can’t find green melts, you can use white chocolate, candy melts or almond bark and add green food coloring to get the desired shade of ghoulish green or leave them white. Or they can be purple or orange, use any color that floats your ghost. If you can’t find eyeballs, use candy coated chocolate pieces and dot with melted chocolate to make pupils. Or change the name to haunted haystacks.

This is a perfect holiday activity to do with the little kiddies. There’s no hot oven, and no sharps. But there is forgiving measuring, exuberant stirring and lots of messy fingers, and we know that’s the best part.


What You’ll Need:

One package (12 ounce) candy melts or chocolate chips

2 ½ cups (about 5 ounces) chow mein noodles

½ cup mini marshmallows

12 – 18 regular sized marshmallows – optional

Candy eyeballs

Here’s How:

Assemble all your ingredients so you can work quickly once you start. Place wax paper or parchment on a cookie sheet or on a workspace. Reserve about 1 tablespoon’s worth of chips to use as glue to attach the eyes later. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the chips in 30 second increments, stirring until smooth and melted. Stir the noodles and mini marshmallows into the chocolate until everything is coated in chocolate. Drop the mixture, by heaping tablespoons onto the waiting parchment. Optionally, you can form portions of the mixture around a full-sized marshmallow to make larger cookies. Let the cookies harden for about 30 minutes.

Now, this is the fun part! Using the microwave, melt the remaining chips in a small bowl. Use a toothpick to dab a small amount of chocolate on the back of each eyeball and position eyes in pleasing places on the cookies. Put them wherever the eyeballs make you smile. We had great success adhering them to the randomly placed mini marshmallows. You’ll see the cookies take on little personalities when you give them eyes.

Candy eyeballs usually go on clearance after Halloween, especially the bloody ones. They keep practically forever so it’s inexpensive to collect all the sizes. If you’re buying them just for this purpose, get the medium-sized ones, and remember you have them when you make snowman cookies for Christmas.

Speaking of things that keep practically forever, I learned something new while making these. Unlike other noodles, because they’re fried, chow mein noodles can go rather rancid, even when sealed in the original packaging. If you’ve had some lingering in the pantry check the “best by” date and give them a sniff and a nibble before you dip them in chocolate.

One last thought, since we usually share goodies with others around Halloween, please be mindful of food allergies, especially if you add peanuts. Have fun with this budget-friendly party food your little monsters will love.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Make Mother a sandwich that she will never forget

Meet smörgåstårta, your new favorite party recipe. Smörgåstårta (pronounced SMORE-gas-TOR-ta) is simply a beautifully decorated savory sandwich cake. It’s popular when celebrating special occasions in Sweden. To celebrate Mother’s Day and honor the influential women in your life, may I suggest serving a smörgåstårta?

DIVAS ON A DIME: Easy pork carnitas are perfect for Cinco de Mayo

Melt-in-your-mouth, flavorful and juicy with irresistible caramelized crunchy bits, this pork carnitas is brimming with classic flavors like Mexican oregano, cumin, chili powder and a surprising bright note of citrus. I’m so excited to share this divine recipe, just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, March 20 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $31 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Secret tips for hiding vegetables from picky eaters

Even the most enthusiastic vegetable lovers can have a hard time getting that five a day. But when you have kids who act like you’re trying to poison them with peas, it’s even harder. That said, I’m not above suggesting you sneak veggies into your children’s food. Welcome to this episode of Crouching Mother, Hidden Veggies.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, March 13 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $29 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: One-pot meal is easy, comforting and delicious

Arroz con pollo literally means “Rice with Chicken” in Spanish. Nearly every culture has a rendition of this dish because it’s inexpensive, feeds a crowd, it’s easy to throw together and everyone loves it.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Feb. 20 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $23 million.

Celebrate fortune, happiness, health in Chinese New Year

Over a billion people in China and millions around the world are now celebrating the Lunar New Year. In the U.S., though, it’s most associated with what’s often called Chinese New Year, the American version of China’s 15-day-long festivities.