By David Lady
If you’re as skilled in food preparation as I am (and I’m generally about as useful in the kitchen as a set of golf clubs is to a tree frog), you’re probably always happy to learn about a Halloween party treat that’s so simple to make that even you can do it. Working against the obvious kitchen-related disadvantage of being Male, I’m pleased to report that I came up with a spooky treat that even my fellow husbands out there will be able to make without using utensils that cause bleeding or setting fire to the stove. Because I’m pretty hopeless when it comes to food preparation, I call these ghastly goodies, “Hopeless Eyeballs.”
The chief ingredient is – prepare to emit a sigh of relief – already pre-made and readily available in any grocery market! (In case you don’t know where the nearest market is, guys, don’t worry; most gas station convenience stores sell them, too). Just go out and buy up a bunch of Hostess Sno-Balls™. These come in two-packs and are dome-shaped, cupcake-sized chocolate cakes wrapped in a layer of marshmallow and covered with coconut. They’re very popular and really quite good. . . as a matter of fact, they’re delicious. . . Geez, those things are tasty. . . Say, wait here while I run down to the gas station and pick up a pack, will you? Be right back.
OK, I’m back. Thanks for waiting. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, turning Hostess Sno-Balls into big scary monster eyeballs for your Halloween party. All you need, besides however many of the Sno-Balls you think you’ll need and can resist eating, is a large bag of M & M’s™ candies (and don’t send a teenager out to buy them or he’ll just as likely misunderstand and come back with a CD by Eminem) and two tubes of frosting gel. Frosting gel is a cake-decorating item that comes in small squeeze-tubes that look like undersized toothpaste tubes. You can find it in the cake-decorating aisle of your local market or you can ask your wife to pick some up for you. Frosting gel (a.k.a. icing gel) comes in assorted bright colors and has a nice shiny look. Buy a tube of red and a tube of blue.
Halloween Recipe: Fake Eyeballs are Always a Fun Treat
To make eyeballs, first use the blue gel to squeeze out a blue circle on the top, right in the middle, of each Sno-Ball. The circles I did were about 1″ or 1 1/4″ across. Fill in the circle so you have a solid blue iris on top of the cake. Then take one of the darkest brown M&M’s and carefully place it in the middle of the blue icing circle to look like a pupil. (As for the other colors of M&M’s, you can go ahead and eat them.) Then for the final touch, use the red gel to draw several zigzag lines starting at the base of each cake and coming up toward (but not touching) the blue. I made about seven or eight lines on each cake, drawing them in somewhat random and uneven patterns and making some of them fork out into uneven squiggly ‘Y’ shapes for a more natural look. The red lines make the “eyes” appear bloodshot, which goes a long way toward making them look like eyeballs on first. . . uh, sight.
One more thing: Occasionally Hostess tints their Sno-Balls with food coloring for seasonal sales. I’ve seen green ones for St. Patrick’s Day, pink ones for Valentine’s Day, etc. If all you can find are colorized ones, you can still use them for scary eyeball cakes. Just call them “Martian Eyes” or “Demon Eyes” instead.
And there you have it, pupils! Yummy, “good-looking” eyeball cakes fit for a king. (Well, the king of some weird alien planet, anyway.) So next time you’re having a spooky party, go haunt the market and scare up the few simple ingredients it takes to make a batch of Hopeless Eyeballs, the snack that looks back!