Do you guys remember when Martha Stewart published the spin-off, Kids? It launched just as I became a mother, and was the magazine I would pick up during breastfeeding, and think “Some day Phoebe and I will fashion water bottles into adorable little piggy banks!” and “Someday I will have a ‘Backwards Party’ for Abby and serve a ‘Spaghetti and Meatballs’ Cake with ice cream that had been shredded through a food mill.” I still have the clipping of Mashed Potato Ghosts, which had been shaped into cones with a piping bag, then studded with black sesame seeds for eyeballs. I still hold out hope that we will get to all of this.
Kids has since closed, but the woman behind it, Jodi Levine — whose editor’s note I would pour over every month — is as active and creative as ever. She runs the blog Supermakeit and has just published Candy Aisle Crafts, which, in our house, was essentially greeted with the same enthusiasm as a Jonathan Franzen novel might’ve in others. Last week, before I went to pick up the girls at school, I planted a copy of the book in our backseat and did a countdown from three to see how long it would take my ten-year-old to demand we make something from it. (I got to two.) There are so many amazingly clever ideas in here — Monster S’Mores, Cookie Castle Cakes, Marshmall0w-Monogrammed Hot Chocolate (!) — and none of them require materials beyond what you’d find in the supermarket. (Get it? Supermarket? Supermakeit?) Jodi was nice enough to share one of the projects with DALS readers, these Boo Cake Toppers that will definitely be gracing something on the Halloween spread this year. Thanks Jodi!
BOO Cake Topper
From Candy Aisle Crafts: Create Fun Projects with Supermarket Sweets, by Jodi Levine
Forming candy sticks into letters takes a little practice. It’s a good idea to have a few extra candy sticks on hand in case one cracks.
- parchment paper
- 4 licorice-flavored candy sticks (plus a few more in case of breakage)
- 4 wooden skewers scissors
- 1 licorice starlight mint candy
- 8 one-inch-long pieces of black= shoestring licorice
1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. To make the Os, place two candy sticks on the prepared baking sheet. Heat them in the oven until they look glossy and will bend (stay near the oven!), but before they start to melt and sag, about 3 minutes. Let cool for 30 seconds and gently bend them both into O shapes (Left Photo).
3. Place skewers under the bottom of the Os and return them to the oven for about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press the candy onto the skewer to secure.
4. To make the B, cut off a straight piece of candy as long as the height of your Os, about 2 ¾”. Set this to the side of the baking sheet; this will be the straight back line of your letter B. Place the remaining scrap and an additional candy stick on the baking sheet. Heat for 3 to 4 minutes until they are glossy but before they start to sag. Remove and let them cool for 30 seconds. Bend each stick into small curved C-shaped pieces for the B, cutting with the scissors as needed so that they will fit against the straight B piece (Center Photo). Quickly press the two curved pieces to the straight back reserved piece and place back in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove. Press back together again if the pieces have shifted apart. Place a skewer underneath the B and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press the candy onto the skewer to secure. Let cool (Right Photo).
5. To make the spider, place a licorice starlight mint on the parchment-lined baking sheet and heat in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until the candy softens. Remove from the oven, cool for 30 seconds, and carefully place the shoestring licorice “leg” pieces and skewer underneath. Return to the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool for 30 seconds, and gently press the candy onto the skewer and licorice to secure.
How cute are these little ladies? (The most exotic thing you’ll need is a toothpick.)