October 25, 2011

Charlotte's Other Side

White Chocolate Spider Web

I still feel bad about jumping the gun and bypassing Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and anything else that is celebrated before New Year's Eve. Well, I did start early with some pumpkin pie, so that should count I guess.

Actually, I am a bit under the weather right now (allergies or something more) and although the soup I threw together in a stuffed up, fog tonight was delicious and hit the spot, I didn't have it in me to photograph or write about. I am deciding, instead, to post a "recipe" from my Tuesday afternoon "cooking" group.

I'm an occupational therapist currently working in the school system at the elementary level, and every week a group of my students gets together to make a snacky, no-bake recipe with me, as part of their occupational therapy. These recipes and tasks incorporate functional life skills, problem-solving, math skills, coordination and ultimately fine and gross motor skills, through the various steps involved in completing each recipe. Each student also takes on a role in the group setting, practices initiation, engagement and completion of a task, and participates in social engagement.

This was the last "dish" we made. It was a great activity for children from 4-7 years of age. For a variety of reasons I decided on store-bought white icing that could be squeezed from a tube, instead of slowly heating white chocolate over a stove or in a microwave (the picture above, though, is from a batch of spider webs I made with melted white chocolate which hardens after a few minutes for friends this past weekend). I also modified the recipe to include a big, plain cookie as the base, so the entire web could stay put on the cookie base. The web really wasn't structurally sound, nor would it stay together for very long, but once all the students were finished with their cookie webs, who was even waiting a few minutes to dig in? No one!

Raisins were also used as the body of the spider instead of a chocolate piece or M&M. I did this because last week's group, and even the week before that, made the sweetest treats. I just couldn't do it to them this week, too. Raisins would just have to do.

Happy Halloween!

White Chocolate Spider Webs
(adapted from sweettreatsmore.com)

*pretzel sticks
*white chocolate chips or wafers
*raisins or M&Ms
*parchment or wax paper

Lay out a sheet of wax paper and arrange 6 pretzel sticks in starburst formations (see picture). Lay out as many as needed.

Melt white chocolate in a double boiler, or in a glass bowl set over a pot with boiling water. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, spoon the chocolate into a plastic bag. Snip one of the corners. This will be your pastry bag (or actually use a pastry bag if you have one).

Begin squeezing and piping the chocolate beginning in the center of the pretzel arrangement, and then outward, until you have a web. Place an M&M or raisin (or candy of you choice) in the center of the web. You can also melt down dark or milk chocolate to create a real spider body and legs if you desire.

Let the webs cool for a few minutes or place in the refrigerator. You will easily be able to lift them from the parchment or wax paper once chilled.


tink said...

yum!!! i made some monster cakes recently, would love to know what you think :)

Pattie T. said...

Sorry you're under the weather. I do like this pretzel spider web thing though. Chocolate and pretzels is a good combination and a tasty one too!