When I think of Halloween, I remember the candy-laden pillowcases that I used to bring home late at night. My sister and I used to run through our front door peeling off our face masks and plastic costumes, and we would spend the better part of an hour comparing our piles of loot. I had a monster sweet tooth when I was a kid, but I'd rarely eat all of my candy. As I got older, I almost stopped eating the candy entirely, and only continued celebrating Halloween for the sake of dressing in costume and spending time with my friends. As an adult, my sweet tooth has evolved to be a little bit more refined, and I don't spend Halloween eating candy anymore.
Instead, I've come to think of all of the holidays between October and January as opportunities to spend time with my family and cook comfort food. I love to bake, but the summer months are often too warm for it. So, when the weather gets cold, the oven starts to work overtime.
They may not be the latest in high tech, but I'm glad that Halloween-inspired kitchen gadgets, like the ones pictured here, exist. Tools like the pumpkin-shaped baking tin by Wilton make it possible for me to celebrate the fall holiday season without having to gorge myself on candy corn and fun-size chocolate bars. I also love to give cakes and sweet breads as gifts, and I think the little pumpkin cakes are so darn cute.
I also like the idea of having a set of pancake molds that look like jack-o-lanterns and ghosts. I'll only use them once a year, but at least they will be an excuse to invite over a bunch of friends for brunch the morning after Halloween parties or haunted house visits. They probably also double as cookie cutters, so I can make batches of spooky cookies for my dining-room table or for friends and family.
The Wilton baking mold makes eight mini-pumpkins and is available on Sur La Table's Web site for $30.00, and the pancake molds are available at Williams Sonoma, along with the rest of their line of Halloween-inspired cooking gadgets.