PB Spider Cookies, Dye-Free Green Witches Fingers and Apple Face Monsters
Want something fun for Halloween, with the perfect amount of creepy and cute? These Spider Cookies, Witches Fingers, and Monster Faces are some of my all-time favorite Halloween Treats. With some super simple tweaks, you can make any of your favorite traditions have better nutrition. Yes, it is a cookie, but having more antioxidants, vitamins, protein, and less sugar are always helpful to make everyone healthy, and feeling better. Especially during the time of sugar-overload.
First, I found this recipe, and after a couple tweaks, I fell in love!! Need a treat that is Halloweeny, but not too creepy, yummy, and actually cute?? Peanut Butter Spider Cookies are your answer. Wow. How do I say this? I think these are my favorite cookies of all time. They have Peanut Butter, they have Milk Chocolate, they have Reeses, they are super cute, but most importantly, they are so FUN to make. I told my husband just last night, I think these spider cookies are our newest Halloween tradition.
BONUS: Yes, don't you love when you're TREATS have a bonus?? These little treasures are actually a good source of protein. Protein = satisfaction = happiness = not feeling like you have to eat ALL the cookies. Win. Win.
How do they have protein?? Simple, it's all in the Protein Plus Peanut Flour. That my friend, is my secret for high protein, super delicious, super filling desserts...everyday. Yes, I eat dessert everyday with this peanut flour. It is a staple in my diet. We will talk about this more in a later post. Believe me, it will be good.
Peanut Butter Spider Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup Protein Plus Peanut Flour*
- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 30 Reese's peanut butter cups, unwrapped and frozen
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
- 1/4 tsp coconut oil or shortening, for thinning the chocolate
- 1 (0.88oz/25g) pkg Candy Eyes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cream the butter with the brown and white sugar with a mixer. Add the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix well and scrape the bowl.
- In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients: the white flour, peanut flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just incorporated.
- Scoop dough into about 1 inch balls and place onto silicone lined baking sheets about 2-inches apart -- up to 12 cookies per baking sheet (recipe makes 30 cookies in total).
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until just set. Remove from baking sheet and lightly press down while still warm.
- Allow cookies to completely cool (you can set in the fridge or freezer to make this part quicker).
- before adding spider legs Allow cookies to cool slightly on the tray for 2 minutes.
- Lightly press one mini peanut butter cup in the center of each cookie while still warm. Allow to melt slightly. As soon as the peanut butter cups are soft enough, place two eyeballs on the side of each peanut butter cup. Repeat for all cookies on the tray then move the tray to the freezer to allow the chocolate to set.
- Melt the milk chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave in short 10-20 second until just melted (should look slightly lumpy, but smoothes out once stirred).
- Place melted chocolate inside a zip-top sandwich bag and cut of small corner piece (start small). Next pipe 8 legs onto each cookies, then add a dot for on the top of the Reese’s and stick it upside down unto the spider cookies. Next pipe a thin line directly on the Reese’s in order to make the googly eyes stick.
- Allow Spider to refrigerate for about 10 min to completely set.
- If covered with plastic wrap or is placed in a airtight container, they can last up to 5 days.
NOTE: If you don’t have Peanut Flour, you can use regular white flour. 1 cup Protein Plus Peanut Flour adds a whopping 64 grams of protein to this recipe (add it’s delicious!!)
If you were curious, this is how Protein Plus compares to other Peanut Flours.
Spider Cookies Modified from Mommymusings
NEXT: Let’s talk about the sugar cookie GREEN Witches Fingers?? These are actually DYE-FREE? What’s even neater is that not only do these cookies NOT use dye to get that ghoulish green color, BUT the green color comes from a soruce that is blasting with antioxidants...Drum Roll...Liquid Chlorophyll! Which is basically the substance that makes plants green. Chlorophyll is associated with decreases inflammation and inflammation related diseases because of its high antioxidant properties (1). Another neat way to make this creepy Halloween treat dye free is to simply use a red jelly (strawberry or raspberry) if you want the bloody nails. This recipe usually calls for red decoration color gel. No thanks. Personally, I don’t think the red stuff is needed, its a little too creepy for my personal opinion. I made these cookies last year and none of my nehews would even try it because the fake blood really freaked them out (which could be a good thing, depending on your crowd and intentions). :D
Dye-Free Green Witches Fingers
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (-2 ½ tsps)*
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (-2 ½ tsps)*
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp Almond extract
- 1 1/2 tsps Vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt (1/2 tsp salt if using salted butter)
- 3/4 cup almond slivers
- Liquid Chlorophyll (or green food coloring)
- OPTIONAL: 4 tbsp red jelly (raspberry or strawberry)
* This is a Reduced Sugar Version, this recipe calls for a 10% reduction in sugar by simply cutting out 5 tsps of sugar for every full cup.
- In a bowl, combine butter, sugars, egg, almond and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well, then slowly add to the wet ingredient bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Take a tbsp and scoop out dough balls, and roll into a finger shape for each cookie.
- Pinch in between the knuckles for a more “wicked witch” looking finger.
- Press a whole almond sliver into one end of each finger, as a nail.
- Use a butter knife to slash wrinkles in the knuckles.
- Place on silicone mats on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 min (cookies should look firm, but not browned).
- Let cool for about 3-5 minutes. Optional: lift up almond and dab on red jelly onto the nail bed and then press almond sliver back into place. Gel should slightly ooze out from underneath. Let cool. Yields about 28 large cookies.
Witches Fingers Modified from SimplySoGood
Last, but definitely NOT least are these natural little monster faces. These are a FANTASTIC Halloween Treat. They are full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and even have some protein from the Peanut Butter. Best of all, they are totally kid-friendly, and can actually help your kids eat their fruits, protein, and healthy fats. As a mom, I love this treat. Also, I definitely had a couple of these for breakfast today. It was super filling. All the ingredients in this recipe (besides the eyeballs, but I don’t eat those anyways) are completely natural.
Apples + Strawberries + Natural PB + Sunflower Seeds = :D
Apple Monster Face Recipe:
- 2 green apples, quartered (granny smith)
- 2 red apples, quartered (gala, or fuji)
- Natural Peanut Butter (I like Adams)
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
- 6 strawberries, sliced
- 1-2 googly eyes per apple bite
- ¼ cup lemon juice (optional)
- 2 cups water (optional)
- First, wash and remove stickers from apples.
- Next, cut into quarters, then cut out the middle of each quarter of each section in order to create a monster mouth. I would cut a bigger section for the mouth to make adding the PB, strawberry slice, and sunflower seeds more doable. Also, it doesn't need to be perfect! These are little monsters, they were meant to look a little frightening. :D
- Pour the cut up apples into a bowl, add water and lemon juice, and let it sit for about 2 min (this keeps it from yellowing, if you are going to eat these monster mouths immediately, disregard this step).
- Fill the inside gap with peanut butter, stick in a strawberry slice for the tongue, then add the sunflower seeds for the teeth.
- Next, use the peanut butter as glue and place 1 - 2 googly eyes on each little monster face.
- Serve and enjoy!!
Monster Faces Modified from: ParentingChaos
I hope you enjoy these treats as much as I did. It can be so simple to make your Halloween Treat fun and have some nutrient benefits.
Talk to you soon,
Ariel Warren, RD, CD
(1) Chlorophyll revisited: anti-inflammatory activities of chlorophyll a and inhibition of expression of TNF-α gene by the same. Appian Subramoniam, Velikkakathu V. Asha, Sadasivan Ajikumaran Nair, Sreejith P. Sasidharan, Parameswaran K. Sureshkumar, Krishnan Nair Rajendran, Devarajan Karunagaran, Krishnan Ramalingam