I am currently in a stage of life I like to call “Holiday Limbo”. For a child, holidays are magical times with lots of food, music, decorations, and family gatherings. The magic fades a bit until you have a family; you get to live the excitement of the holidays all over again through the eyes of your children.
As a working adult without kids who lives far from her hometown, I am still trying to figure out how to make the most of the holidays without family. We’ve started the tradition of Friendsgiving, a holiday get-together of friends who stay in town instead of traveling home for the big feast.
Halloween has a similar arrangement – friends get together to celebrate on the Saturday before or after October 31st. For the annual ghoulish gala, I tend to spend more time thinking about my next kitchen creation than I do on my costume (which usually gets thrown together at the last minute… or I go dressed as a dirty-aproned baker).
This year I’ve freed up some costume-making time by picking a recipe that is wickedly quick and simple to make. These Scarecrow Treats have the sweet and salty flavors everyone loves, take less than an hour to prepare, and are easily made ahead of time.
Start by heating your oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine cake mix and butter and beat on low speed until it is well-mixed. Add the egg and continue beating until it is completely incorporated.
Press the dough into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
To make this step easier, break the dough into small pieces and scatter around the pan. When you press down, the individual pieces come together. If the dough is sticking to your fingertips, try pressing down with your palm instead.
Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and center is just set – remove pan from oven. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows over hot, partially baked crust.
Return your pan to the oven and continue baking for 1-2 minutes. Your marshmallows will puff up Return to oven; continue baking 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows puff.
Combine corn syrup, sugar and brown sugar in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring 2-4 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Stir in cereal, peanuts and candy corn. Immediately spoon over marshmallows; spread to cover.
Cool completely. Cut into bars and enjoy!