From Sugar Skulls to Mom’s Cookies, Kids Learn How to Make Sweet Halloween Treats


Kids make spooky treats in Halloween-themed cooking class at Phenicia Specialty Foods

Photo: Courtesy of Phenicia Specialty Foods

At Halloween and Día de los Muertos kids’ cooking classes this month, playing with your food is encouraged.

To make cobwebs from marshmallows in Central Market’s Halloween Treats class, cooking school principal Juan Gonzalez says students should butter their fingers or gloves for better ability to stretch the concoction. slimy.

Using both hands, they will learn to pull the flexible mesh to start across their workstation and slide the strands, “creating the illusion of spider webs coming from branches. », Explains Gonzalez.

It’s fun for all ages, he says. “It brings the kid out of everyone.”

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The spider web ornament covers the s’mores scones that participants bring home ready to bake, and the dish is also prepared by cooking instructors so that students can try the finished product on the spot.

Apple cider is also on the class menu, to which children add dry ice for a spooky and smoky effect.

Spooky Cooking Classes

Central Market, 3815 Westheimer

“Make & Take: Halloween Treats,” 11:00 am, October 30. From the age of 8. Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. $ 60 per participant. “Sugar Skulls”, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, October 31st. From 13 years old. Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. $ 50 per participant.

Phenicia Specialty Foods, 1001 Austin

“Spooky Gingerbread House”, 10:00 am, October 16-23. “Spooky Gingerbread Friends,” 2:00 pm, October 17; 2 p.m., October 24; 10 a.m., October 30; 2 p.m., October 31. $ 65 per child includes lunch. Register at [email protected]

Sur La Table, Sur La Table, River Oaks Shopping Center, 1996 W. Gray, and Citycentre, 816 Town and Country Blvd.

“Spooky Sweets” at 1:00 pm on October 30 at both locations; 10 a.m. on October 31 at both locations. From the age of 8. $ 69 per participant. Children 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult;

Students will use pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters to make hand-made pies, add filling to the pumpkin, then cut into them to reveal cute pumpkin faces.

The class is “very interactive, great fun, and focused on treats, not tips,” laughs Gonzalez.

Choosing from toppings such as Oreo crumbles and nuts, participants dip apple skewers in toppings to make caramel apples.

Kids take pride in showing off their finished products, he says, especially when they’re watching someone they like to taste.

“They’re really amazed and really amazed at how much they can do with food,” he says. “They develop their taste buds,” he says, adding that kids become competitive with each other when it comes to cooking skills.

In another Día de los Muertos-themed central market class, participants practice making a mixture of meringue powder and water and use molds to shape sugar skulls.

During the November celebration in honor of the deceased, sweets are traditionally left on the altars of houses, or ofrendas.

Since molds take a long time to set, students use already molded skulls to decorate. As they learn the basics of piping, they will add royal icing flowers and other artistic adornments.

Gonzalez says that with proper storage, skulls can be used as decor year after year.

“I wouldn’t suggest eating them,” he laughs, “but I’ve seen children lick them. “

Kids tend to taste each ingredient throughout class, which is encouraged, he says.

Small candies are available to add jewelry to skulls, such as candy corn necklaces.

“They sometimes amaze me with the creativity of certain children,” says Gonzalez.

At Sur La Table in River Oaks Mall and downtown, this month’s Spooky Sweets classes teach kids ages 8 and up recipes for chocolate spiderweb brownies, mummy cookies, and jack-o’-lantern cake pops.

And, in downtown Phenicia Fine Foods, Halloween decorating classes are led by the store’s head baker. Kids learn to assemble haunted gingerbread mansions and decorate giant gingerbread boys and girls, standing 20 inches tall.

New this year, white chocolate skulls and other Día de los Muertos decorations will be available to cover the houses.

There are no specific age settings, but classes generally attract students between the ages of 4 and 12 who are dropped off by their parents, says Haig Tcholakian of Phenicia.

Students are given precooked walls to form their haunted houses. Tcholakian says the trick to assembling is adding meringue to the homemade royal icing to make it even stickier.

Using candy and food-friendly paints in purple, orange and other Halloween hues, kids decorate the treats to take home.

However, some kids, especially younger ones, can’t help but bite into their finished creations before going out.

“It’s part of the fun,” he says.

Cooking classes teach kids to “love food and really think about how the food they eat every day is made,” he says.

Classes end with a child-friendly lunch at the hotel restaurant.

During Saturday classes, local musician Uncle Jumbo plays a set, working on Halloween tunes.

“He’s really great,” Tcholakian says. “He’s just energetic and fun. You can’t help but dance when you’re around him.

Allison Bagley is a Houston-based writer.

  • Allison bagley

    Allison Bagley is a freelance writer for the Houston Chronicle.

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