Of Psychotic Jack o’lanterns and Brownie melt-downs

I don’t think I know, or even care, what Halloween is about anymore. It’s like something to do with something about some pagan ritual. Or is it something to do with saving our souls from pagan rituals. Or is it about warding off the second coming of the son of St Pumpkin.

Actually isn’t it a nod to the founding fathers staving off the attack of some indigenous peoples who were encroaching on a field of butternut squash? No, fool; Halloween is recognition of Jack Nicholson dealing with Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfiefer. At the same time. Period.

Whatever, Halloween is a good excuse to do stupid things to vegetables. It isn’t really a good excuse to make a mess with chocolate, but I propose introducing the latter as a new traditional activity.

So this Halloween we proceeded to make Chocolate Mallow Brownies. And also get busy on a couple of pumpkins. At the same time.


Forget American Horror Story, this is where the terror begins…

Now we musn’t forget the Chocolate Brownies. Here are the required ingredients (BBC derived):


  • 240g/8oz butter
  • 150g/5oz dark chocolate
  • 60g/2oz cocoa
  • 150g/5oz plain flour
  • 500g/1lb 2oz caster sugar
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 150g/5oz marshmallows, chopped

My advice – use a tin that is biggish – like 12 inches long. Also don’t put too many marshmallows in. If you, just for arguments sake, use a smaller tin and too many mallows, you end up with a molten mass of stuff that won’t set until you nuke it. Anyway, combine the dry ingredients.


11 year olds are well good at mixing dry ingredients

Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water…


How much butter?

Now combine the two and stir…


Add the egg, stir and then the mallows…


Pour into your dish, lined with baking paper…


Now bake for 20 mins. 20 mins? My arse 20 mins. After 40 mins the middle was a molten mess of chocolate and marshmallow. Sounds great, but not if you want to cut it into squares. So we stuck it in for another 20 mins and got busy with the pumpkins…


Ssshhh! Creative geniuses at work…


Frankenstein’s monster in the making…


I enquired what the hole was for. ‘Exit wound’, was the reply. ’nuff said…

Anyway how are the brownies doing?


Molten mallow lava plateau.

Back to the Jack o-lanterns. People passing by took a second look. Some even took pictures. I’m glad my kids have a warped creative streak…


Whatever it means to you, hope you had a fun Halloween.

26 thoughts on “Of Psychotic Jack o’lanterns and Brownie melt-downs

  1. Great designs! I had my first attempt at pumpkin carving for many years this year of course. I played it safe – ‘textbook’ even. I’ll be more creative next time. Spooky cupcakes were also made in our house (cupcakes with a fondant ghost on it if I’m honest…)

  2. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and I am glad you all have a great sense of humor – however dark. It looks like you had a good time. Next year we plan to hide in the back room with the lights out.

  3. I’m sitting here, eating from a big jar of jellies. We had only one child call to the door this year. The year before last, we were embarrassed by running out of sweets. I might keel over before I get through all this crap. Bloody kids!

  4. So it set in the microwave? Those pumpkins are pretty spooky. Think your boys will be quite able to fend for themselves if a Young Adult fiction style Armageddon ever eventuates. Not a fan of the ‘ween’. Totally get that it’s celebrated in countries where it has historical and cultural significance but don’t see the point here in Australia. Just another excuse for big companies to sell lollies.Oohhh, aren’t I a Halloween Grinch!? Although Jack Nicholson being able to ‘look after’ two such winsome lasses is as good a reason as any I guess?

    • That bloody brownie took so long to set in the middle the edges turned to rock! And yes if they are any good at fending off zombies as they are on the Xbox, I will be one step behind them when the end of the world arrives…

  5. Hmm, looking at those pumpkins, you might want to sleep with your bedroom door locked. Just sayin’. Those brownies …. mmm, got me thinking about the chocolate/marshmallow combination. This can only lead to the road of tighter clothes.

  6. Wow, they look fantastic. I live alone in an apartment so no one bothered me on Friday night. I just think it’s funny the local supermarkets import pumpkins from North America so Australians can carve them. We’re in Spring so in many ways it’s more fun for kids being out and about in warmer weather.

  7. Great pumpkins! I saw a Martha Stewart thing where she used an electric drill to do oh so perfect designs in her pumpkins but have to say yours are much more interesting. (I don’t think she had any exit wounds). So they do trick or treating over there? We were lucky with just 1 hay wagon of kids this year. I think the towns are doing more parties instead of roaming bands of kids all night.
    Nice brownies – I would have questioned the 20 minutes right at the start.

    • Yes we have the trick or treat. Although (fingers crossed) we haven’t been tricked. Mind you the average age of our visitors is about 5 so will give them a couple of years before we get egged windows and slashed tyres…

      • Yeah, give them a few years. I don’t ever remember getting tricked but then we make sure to pay up with plenty of treats. I don’t mind the little kids coming around but when you get the 17 year olds I feel like telling them to go get a job & buy their own candy…does that make me sound like an old grouch?

        • No that’s just worrying about the fact that the trick or treaters are about a foot taller than you are. And they have a look in their eyes that says ‘You don’t want to be saying trick lady’. Me myself, I’ve got a boy standing behind me at the door who is about the same size as me so I get a bit bolshy. Go on then, throw your eggs…

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