Halloween

batcookiesChocolate sandwich cookies were my favorites as a kid. Though I haven't had them in years, I still crave them. To settle my sweet tooth this Halloween, I decided to create my own grown-up version with a peanut butter filling. They are far better than the ones I remember eating as a kid. And I'm sure if you give kids a choice between these and the store-bought kind, they will choose these. Don't be fooled though, these cookies may look whimsical with their fun cut-out shapes but they are just as much made for the adults as the kids.

This quick dough can be put together in minutes and made even a couple of days ahead of time. Rolling them may get a little sticky, so be sure to flour the board and then simply dust off the excess before baking. At the slightest sight of stickiness, just slip the dough back into the refrigerator or better yet the freezer. The best part comes when filling them. I like the cookies with just a bit of filling, but feel free to spread as much as you like. They go great with milk and if you're so inclined twist one apart and lick the filling. Sometimes it's great to feel like a kid again.

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dragqueen.jpgI live in West Hollywood, where Halloween is like a national holiday – arrangements for street closures have been made well in advance and people from all over will come watch the flagrant and the flamboyant, the political and the theatrical,  the absurd and the sublime march along Santa Monica Boulevard, from La Cienega to Doheny. Candy is not an integral part of this spectacle and frankly that's the only thing that rankles me about it.

One year, the Wicked Witch of the West wheeled along the Boulevard with an enormous crystal ball that housed terrorized miniatures – Dorothy, Toto, and the other Oz pilgrims were all cowering on the yellow brick road within her bubble. Another year, there were several Menendez brothers, wearing blood covered v-neck sweaters and conservative haircuts. Then another year, there were groups of huddled Titanic musicians playing desperately as their ship was sinking (or, I should say, as the parade was passing them by).

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Image Boo!

I told you I loved Halloween!

And what would a Halloween celebration be without Blood Red Punch? It would be boring, that's what.

Seriously, a Halloween party needs a scary drink. However, if you are a Halloween nut like me, you don't need a party to make a wicked drink.

My kids love this punch anytime but love the ice cube spiders more. I always make a couple trays of these cubes in October and pop them into whatever they are drinking. They love it...and so do I.

This punch is kid-friendly (alcohol-free) but can be easily transformed into an adult beverage.

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halloween-party1.jpgEach holiday comes with it’s own brand of unpleasantness and disappointment.  New Year’s Eve offers forced joviality along with the prospect of being French kissed by a blowzy stranger with Cold Duck on her breath.  Christmas means spending lots of thought and money on presents for people who already have way too much stuff and enduring long hours with folks you’d never spend five minutes with if you didn’t share a smidge of DNA.     

However, most holidays also have an upside.  Thanksgiving often brings out the charitable side of people who donate to food drives and volunteer too serve dinner to those in need.  Easter signals the final days of winter and sometimes the final round of the Masters.

Then, there’s Halloween, the holiday, with no redeeming features. For starters, it’s not even a proper “holiday” because nobody gets to miss school or work. 

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