If you're making Halloween treats, finding a local store with great decorating supplies makes things easier, as you can find chocolate candy coating in different colors, food colorings, frostings, fondant, fillings and flavorings.
But you also can make everything from scratch.
If you'll make these treats in advance, choose a shortening-based frosting because it will hold up well.
You could opt to leave the decorating to the children. Let them drop cookies into a bowl of melted candy coating, then pull out the cookies and decorate them while the chocolate still is wet. (Yes, it's that easy.)
Prepare frosting, spoon it into piping bags, attach couplers (a device that allows you to change decorating tips on the same bag) and have a variety of tips handy. Set out sprinkles and candy, then let the children make their own designs.
HALLOWEEN LOLLIPOPS WITH OREOS AND RICE KRISPIES TREATS
With this recipe, you can make as many treats as you like. The special equipment you will need:
* Waxed paper
* Halloween-themed cookie cutters, such as tombstone and pumpkin shapes
* Lollipop sticks (see notes)
For the lollipops:
* Rice Krispies treats (see notes)
* Oreo cookies
For the decorations:
* Candy coating
* Sprinkles, such as ghost-shapes
* Sugar decorations, such as pumpkins, witches and eyes
* Chocolate pen
To make lollipops with Rice Krispies treats: Lay a large piece of wax paper on your workspace.
Use cookie cutters to cut shapes from Rice Krispies Treats. Place the treats in a row on top of the waxed paper. Poke a hole in the bottom of the shapes with the lollipop sticks. Remove the sticks.
Melt the candy coating on top of a double boiler or in the microwave. (The hotter the chocolate, the thinner it will be.)
Working quickly, dip one end of a lollipop stick in the melted chocolate, then insert the chocolate-covered end of the stick into a hole you created in a Rice Krispies Treat. Repeat with remaining treats.
Re-heat the chocolate if necessary. Dip a lollipop into the chocolate and gently shake off any excess. Place the lollipop onto the waxed paper. If desired, use a spoon to make designs in the hot chocolate. Place sprinkles and sugar decorations onto the lollipop while the chocolate is still hot.
Set aside. Repeat with remaining Rice Krispies Treats. Once they are cooled, use the chocolate pen to draw additional decorations, if desired.
To make lollipops with Oreo cookies: Repeat the same process as above, using Oreo cookies instead of Rice Krispies Treats.
To insert lollipop sticks into an Oreo cookie: Pull an Oreo cookie apart, keeping the filling on one side. Set aside the cookie halves with no filling.
On the other cookie halves, remove a bit of filling where you will place your lollipop stick. Arrange these in a row on waxed paper, and have the other halves at the ready.
Dip a lollipop stick into melted chocolate, then press the chocolate-covered end into the spot where you removed the filling. Immediately place the other cookie half on top, so the chocolate fuses cookie the back together.
Dip and decorate as described above.
* Regular Oreos will need thinner lollipop sticks, while Oreo Double Stuf cookies will need thicker ones.
* Premade Rice Krispies treats or homemade ones work well in this recipe.
The Wichita Eagle 10/05/11