This week’s flashback brings you more Halloween goodness excerpted from our Make: Halloween Special Edition, a collaboration between the editors of MAKE and CRAFT that came out back in August 2007. In the Frightful Feast section, our own Managing Editor Shawn Connally offered up a fun and easy Graveyard Cake that’ll have you treat or treating super early this year. Who can resist chocolate trees? For tons more DIY Halloween projects, including costumes, makeup, decorations, food, and everything you need for the scariest haunted house ever, you can still pick up a back issue of Make: Halloween over in the Maker Shed.
Graveyard Cake The trick is in the chocolate trees. By Shawn Connally My friends and I found this recipe a few years ago, when our kids were just getting into Halloween. Now I make one every year for a big block party trick-or-treating bash. It’s fairly self explanatory: a graham cracker crypt’s held together with frosting; more graham crackers (chocolate or regular) are crumbled for the pathways and freshly dug graves (pile them high). Milano cookies decorated with piping gel or icing make great gravestones; M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, candy corn, and candy pumpkins make for various decorations. Ghost sugar cookies (look for a cookie cutter or find them pre-made) can pop out of the graves, or use lollipops wrapped in white fabric with eyes and gaping mouth drawn on. And chocolate trees, gnarled and spooky-looking, give a nice scary effect. The pièce de résistance — the chocolate trees — are a treat to make, allowing you to be artistic when making them, and then feel clever when you tell people how you made them. Here’s how: Step 1: Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and make space in your freezer for it. Step 2: Pour some chocolate chips into a small ziplock bag, but leave the bag open. Microwave the bag (on a low setting) until the chocolate chips are melted. Step 3: Seal the bag, then snip off a bottom corner. Step 4: Squeeze the melted chocolate out onto the foil-covered tray in the shape of a bare tree. Make the trunk fairly long, as some of it will be stuck down below the surface of the cake. Step 5: Put your trees into the freezer until they’re hardened, about 1 hour. When decorating the cake, slide the trees off the tray with a spatula, and then stand them up by pushing them into the cake. About the Author: Shawn Connally is managing editor of MAKE and CRAFT.