Yep, the holidays have arrived. And I don't mean Christmas. That's months away, people. I'm talking Halloween.
Because, let me tell you, I don't get sick of Halloween. Ever.
Around this time of year, when the kids are changing their minds daily about what costumes they want for Halloween (and I'm therefore unable to start costume shopping at the Thrift Store), I start buying candy.
Not huge bags of snickers and other yummy chocolate (well, actually I do buy that stuff, but I eat all of it long before neighbor kids arrive on our doorstep).
No, I buy candy to decorate these cupcakes...
(click the picture to see it in Flickr with the specific candies labeled)
It takes me awhile to stock up on it, mainly because no one store actually carries everything I want. Basically, I just keep my eyes peeled for anything that would work. A candy store is much more fun when you're buying candy to make these guys. I get really creative and excited. If you've got a good one around, the kind of candy store that sells in bulk is a great place to shop. You really don't need that many of any one type of candy, and at those places, you can really just buy a few of each kind.
This froggy has a tongue made of Laffy Taffy (rounded off at the end) and eyes made with cut marshmallows and m & m's. When you cut the marshmallows or gumdrops in half, the cut surface is nice and sticky, so you can stick other candy right to them.
This last one's my favorite (my sister did it- actually she did a lot of these) mainly because it reminds me of Kang and Kodos on the Simpsons. The tentacles are Laffy Taffy and the eyeball is a cut gumdrop with a mini chocolate chip shoved point-side into it. If you poke a hole in the gumdrop with a wooden skewer first, the chocolate chip slides in fairly easily.
We got the idea for these from a Martha Stewart Kids (Oh Martha, why won't you bring back the Kids magazine?) They are so much fun. It's great to see what the kids come up with. If you can spare them, cuticle scissors work best for cutting the tiny strips of taffy and licorice. Bigger scissors work well for the marshmallows and cutting longer strips of taffy.
And the best part about buying candy for these is that I don't like most of it, so, unlike the rest of the candy I'll buy in the next 30 days, this will still be around come Halloween.