Trick or Treat!

Halloween has a long, and frankly fascinating history. For example, did you know that “trick or treat” originated in Canada? The first recorded instance of the expression dates back to 1927 (according to Wikipedia).

Since the middle of the 20th century, Halloween has lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones and has evolved into mainly a youth- and family-focussed holiday. Yet, even without the grotesque ghouls and demons of Halloweens past, present day trick or treating can still make parents anxious: too much candy, tainted treats, crosswalks in the dark. As children get more independent and want to venture out on their own there is also a worry of who they will meet on the path.

When I grew up in rural Saskatchewan, we did not go house to house at Halloween. We would gather at the school gym where the boy scouts along with the community gathered for a costume parade, games and sharing of treats. Treats from the community were collected at the church or through the scouts. During the festivities of the evening, parents would fill paper bags with treats with apples, peanuts, candy kisses, and other goodies. Everyone went home with similar treats, and all having experienced a great evening of safe fun – in community.

Living at Prairie Spruce opens our family up to this type of experience again. Baked goods, fruit leather, or apples as Halloween treats – I’d never dream of doing that now, but it would make sense at Prairie Spruce. It will be a comfortable safe haven for future Halloween and other family holiday fun!


Halloween Pumpkins
Image Courtesy of Justin on Flickr

Prairie Spruce Halloween Treat – Crispy Witches Fingers

With Halloween only a few days away, I thought I’d share this yummy Halloween delicacy!

My friend Barb and I often get together before Halloween to make Crispy Witches’ Fingers. During our traditional visit, we take great delight in sharing stories of people’s extraordinary reactions when the Fingers have been served to family and friends.  Reactions have ranged from roars of laugher, to screams of horror! Give them a try, if you are brave enough!

Witches fingers
Image courtesy of Tatyana on Flickr

Prairie Spruce Commons – Crispy Witches Fingers

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup whole blanched almonds
  • 1 tube Red decorator gel (aka blood for fingers)

In one bowl beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla.  In a second bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Beat the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Roll the dough so it is similar in width and length of medium sized pointer fingers.  Place on greased baking sheets.  Pinch the dough slightly together ¼ and ¾ up the finger.  At the ½ way point of the finger, press lightly with a small three pronged fork, to form the middle knuckle.  At the top of the fingers, use one whole almond to press slight nail indentations into the dough. 

Bake cookies at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. 

Decorate the fingers after they have cooled.  Squeeze the red decorator gel about the size of a medium round garden pea at the end of the finger where you will be inserting the “nail”.  Before the decorator gel dries, lay one whole blanched almond onto the nail indentation and red gel, then gently press into the gel.  Allow time for the red gel to set, before moving the fingers or putting into a container to store.

Image Courtesy of Mary Crandell on Flickr

Enjoy & Happy Halloween!