Sweet, tender dates are perfect imposters for creepy-crawly bugs. Unpitted dates are softer and easier to work with than their pitted counterparts. Simply slice off the tops and pick out the pits before plumping them up with butter icing.

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream (35%)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 12 soft caramel candies
  • 24 round fruit candies (such as Skittles)
  • 4 black or red licorice whips or twists


1. In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Alternately beat in icing sugar and cream, making 2 additions of sugar, until thick and smooth. Beat in vanilla.

2. Using piping bag fitted with 1/4-inch (5 mm) plain tip, pipe icing into holes of dates; reserve some icing for decorating.

3. Between sheets of waxed paper, roll out caramels to 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness.

4. Remove waxed paper; using knife, cut out 24 wing shapes.

5. Score several lines on 1 side of each wing.

6. Using leftover icing, attach 2 wings, scored sides out, to each date, 1 on either side, pressing gently to adhere;

7.attach 2 fruit candies to 1 end of each date for eyes.

8.Cut short lengths of licorice for legs and antennae; attach with icing. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.)


Per piece: about 77 cal, 0 g pro, 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 16 g carb (1 g dietary fibre, 14 g sugar), 4 mg chol,
19 mg sodium, 62 mg potassium.

% RDI: 1% calcium,1% iron, 1% vit A, 2% vit C, 1% folate.


Hands-on time: 30 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Makes:12 pieces



Sink your teeth into these buttery vanilla cookies, which are every bit as sweet as they are scary. For silky-smooth melted chocolate, start with a completely dry bowl and keep it from getting too hot—water and excessive heat will cause the chocolate to become rough and gritty.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 170 g white chocolate coating wafers (6 oz)
  • Red paste food colouring


1. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy.

2. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.

3. In separate bowl, whisk flour with baking powder; stir into butter mixture until combined.

4. Shape dough into disc; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for
up to 24 hours.)

5. Let dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out, about 15 minutes.

6. On lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to scant ½-inch (1 cm) thickness. Using knife, cut out about twenty-four 3- x 1-inch (8 x 2.5 cm) triangles.

7. Using fingers, gently bend edges to form fang-like shapes.

8.. Arrange, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on parchment paper-lined rimless baking sheet.

9. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

10. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until edges and bottoms are pale golden, about 10 minutes.

11. Let cool on sheet for 1 minute. Remove directly to rack; let cool completely.

12. Bring saucepan of water to simmer; remove from heat.

13. Add chocolate to heatproof bowl; place over top of saucepan, leaving space between bottom of bowl and surface of water.

14. Stir until chocolate is melted.

15. Dip 1 flat side of each cookie in chocolate; brush with pastry brush to remove excess and create tooth-like texture.

16. Arrange, chocolate side up, on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

17. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.

18. Brush pointed tips of cookies with food colouring to resemble blood. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.)


Per cookie: about 79 cal, 1 g pro, 5 g total fat, (3 g sat. fat), 8 g carb (0 g dietary fibre, 4 g sugar), 17 mg chol, 35 mg sodium, 18 mg potassium.

% RDI: 1% calcium, 2% iron, 4% vit A, 4% folate.  

Hands-on time: 35 minutes

Total time: 3 hours

Makes: 24 cookies



These sweet and salty bites taste like sticky caramel apples, but the addition of popcorn adds an addictive crunch. Caramel sauce hardens quickly, so drizzle it over the popcorn as soon as it’s done to form the “brains” immediately.

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 bag (70 g) apple chips (about 1 1/3 cups broken in 1/2-inch 1 cm pieces)
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 1/4cups packed brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tspbaking soda


1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add popcorn kernels.

2. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar for steam to escape.

3. Cook, shaking pot occasionally, until popping slows, about 5 minutes.

4. Transfer to large bowl, discarding any unpopped kernels. Toss with apple chips; set aside. 

5. In separate saucepan, cook butter, brown sugar and corn syrup over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.

6. Increase heat to medium; bring to boil.

7. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer reaches hard-ball stage of 255°F (124°C), or when 1/2 tsp hot syrup dropped into cold water forms rigid but slightly pliable ball, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

8. Standing back and averting face, stir vanilla and baking soda into caramel sauce. (Caramel will bubble, sputter and increase in volume.)

9. Quickly drizzle over popcorn mixture, stirring gently to coat.

10. Let cool for 30 seconds, until just cool enough to handle.

11. With lightly greased hands, form mixture into ½-cup balls.

12. Arrange on parchment paper–lined baking sheet; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 2 days.)


per piece: about 182 cal, 0 g pro, 8 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 29 g carb (1 g dietary fibre, 23 g sugar), 16 mg chol, 82 mg sodium, 64 mg potassium.

% RDI: 2% calcium, 2% iron, 5% vit A, 1% folate. 


Hands-on time: 30 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Makes: about 15 pieces


Courtesy of Canadian Living