I am now nearing 40, and as I have grown up I have taken to enjoying playing with my food, building waffle towers with my Eggos, making my mashed potatoes into a volcano, and moving my dino nuggies around my plate as if I am recreating a scene from “Jurassic Park.” Something about giving life or a personality to my food makes me giggle, and reminds me I will never lose the little piece of playfulness that lives inside me.
I am always on the lookout for the newest fun, brightly colored and shaped snacks. I am a marketer’s dream; they pray for consumers like me to buy their products, which I do, and I am OK with it. When I spotted the edible candy eyes on the bottom shelf in Stop & Shop, I knew I had to have them. What would I do with them? I was unsure, but they were coming home with me, no matter what the cost. If you’re wondering, they were $5.99.
They landed in my pantry, and I looked at them as the days went by, and wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to create with them. Something simple, sweet, and that would travel well, so I could share with my friends at work — and Halloween was right around the corner. I had noticed one of the girls I work with, Simone, has an eye necklace, eye ring, and even a purse with eyes on it. I am sure she doesn’t wear them because she likes “Monsters Inc.,” but more likely to ward off evil spirits, or something symbolic beyond my intellect. Either way, I was convinced she would love a sweet, spooky treat with edible eyes on it.
I came up with the idea to dip Oreos into that type of chocolate that hardens, and stick the eyes on. I collected the ingredients, Oreos — two different kinds for good measure — the dipping chocolate, parchment paper (I used air-fryer liners, which worked just as well), and the candy edible eyes. I arranged them on my counter, making sure to create a clear and organized work space.
I was a little stressed when I was warming the chocolate: You have to warm it for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, and continue to stir it in between the intervals, making sure it turns silky, but not too hot, or you will burn the chocolate. I have used this type of baking chocolate before to make chocolate-dipped strawberries for Valentine’s Day, so I was familiar with it, and remembered it hardened quickly, so I was going to have to dip and place the eyes on fast.
I dipped each Oreo one at a time, placing it on the air-fryer liner, and putting the eyes on each. I didn’t aim for perfection, I had a lot of Oreos to dip, and I was finding the imperfections charming, giving each its own personality. When I was done assembling, I put all the liners on the top of a leftover pizza box, and put them in the fridge. I have to admit, I found them so adorable I kept peeking into the fridge to look at them.
The next morning before work, I put four or five of the not-so-spooky Oreos in Ziploc baggies, one for each co-worker, and made name tags for each, adding a couple of extras to Simone’s bag; I was sure my eyeball-loving friend would enjoy them. The treat was more sweet than scary, they were definitely a hit, and it gave me yet another good excuse to be able to play with my food.