Hell yes, they’re back. As you’ll remember from last year’s review, Halloween Pop-Tarts are amazing, incredible and other words that mean the same thing. I cannot summarize the Halloween season with food in any way better than this.
After spotting them, my excitement morphed into disappointment. They seemed to be the exact same Halloween Pop-Tarts we got last year. That’s fine for you, but not for the guy who really shouldn’t blog about the same Pop-Tarts twice. A closer inspection worked in my favor:
1) Last year’s version was called Choc-O-Lantern. This year, they’re Spookylicious.
2) Last year’s Tart-topping candy sprinkles included bats and ghosts. This year, it’s ghosts, spiders and little yellow moons.
Yes! This ain’t no repeat.
Course, a name swap and extra sprinkles doesn’t change much, so I draw the line at reexamining what they smell and taste like. What I’m really here to gush about is the cute recipe on the back of the box…
On last year’s box, we were encouraged to make an edible graveyard out of Pop-Tarts. This time, we’re given the recipe for Pop-Tarts Spooky Snacks. Nothing brings out the 4th grade baker in me faster than a goofy Halloween recipe. There was no way I wasn’t gonna make these.
…and I did. Last night, at like three in the morning. Whenever my chemical imbalances manifest in such a way that I can look at myself from the perspective of an unattached outsider, I feel pretty bad for me.
It took all of five seconds for me to see that these were going to be good. Aside from the Pop-Tarts, the ingredients consist of butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar and that’s it. The only way they’d come out bad was if an owl crashed through my kitchen window, spat a pellet into my mixing bowl and flew off without apologizing.
As usual, I took the spirit of the recipe but added my own twists, mainly because my twists made everything move faster.
I was supposed to use an electric mixer. I wasn’t sure if we had that, and I wasn’t keen on searching the pot-and-pan cabinets for one. I have never entered those cabinets without making more noise than Godzilla, and this was, after all, three in the freakin’ morning. For my version, a regular spoon would have to do.
Also, I was supposed to use powdered sugar. I think that’s the superfine kind that people toss on frozen grapes? We didn’t have that. We didn’t even have much regular sugar, so I was forced to make do with some packets leftover from our recent stay at the Marriot. (We took them home because the hand towels were gross. You don’t leave a hotel without stealing something.)
When you’re through mixing the various butters and sugar, you’re then instructed to roll tablespoons of the goo into mounds of crushed Spookylicious Pop-Tarts. It’s a disgusting process, and only the heavenly odor of sugary peanut butter reinforced that I was not actually changing the diaper of a child with psychotic diarrhea.
Basically, it’s like making meatballs.
When finished, you’re supposed to let them chill in the fridge for several hours. I’d normally skip that step, but since this was all happening at dawn, I figured, what the hey? Sleep was starting to sound even better than Spooky Snacks.
This morning, I got up earlier than I should have, overcome with the kind of excitement that could only stem from knowing you have Pop-Tarts Spooky Snacks waiting in the fridge. It was like Christmas, but retarded.
Before I could yank ’em out, I had another matter to attend to. The real reason I was so interested in this recipe was the cutout toothpick toppers on the back of the box. As if the treats weren’t going to look Halloweeny enough, now they’d get to have bat and spider pins stuck into them.
I was frenzied with joy, and could only compare the feeling to the one I get whenever they’re up to the church song scene in Big Momma’s House.
They’re amazing. Incredible. And other words like that.
I think I made them bigger than I was supposed to. The box said that the recipe was good for 24 Spooky Snacks, but I only ended up with seven. My defense is that peanut butter balls smothered in sugar, butter and chocolate fudge Pop-Tarts really can’t be too big.
As for the taste? They’re insanely good. It would be hard for them not to be, as each treat is roughly two pounds of fat and sugar condensed into an inch.
Some of you are probably wondering if Kellogg’s brought back Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, too. They did, and I bought them. I won’t write about them now, for reasons that will be made clear in November. I’m sure you’re counting the minutes. Let’s hope no owls crash through your windows and start shouting random numbers just to throw you off.
Owls so rarely have good intentions.