Tag Archives: gummy worms

Princeton Book Festival

This Saturday (September 8), Denis, Jamie and I will be at the 7th Annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival.  Denis will read Hush Little Monster at 11:20 am and we’ll both be signing books.  There will be a lot of amazing authors and illustrators there, so if you are in the area, please check it out!

I made this little guy out of faux green fur and felt.  His eyes are a little big because I didn’t have smaller ones in my craft stash.  I had to make him wee because I only had a little piece of red cotton for his shirt!

This will give you an idea of his size:

I’ll be handing out gummy worms to continue my Monster Cookie theme.

I also updated the activity section of my website to include a downloadable coloring sheet for kids!

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Monster Cookies

Our book was released by Simon and Schuster yesterday!

back of postcard info

It’s written by my husband, Denis, and inspired by our son, Jamie.

Jamie and Denis recreating the cover of the book

We got a starred review in Publishers Weekly. 🙂

To celebrate, Jamie helped me make Monster Cookies, inspired by the Mommy Monster’s snacks in the book.

Copyright Melissa Iwai 2012

Another example of life imitating art…

I definitely wanted “worms” in them so I decided on gummy worms which I cut in half and pressed into the cookies right after they came out of the oven (obviously I wasn’t going to bake them, as they would have turned into a puddle of goo).

Instead of sticks, we used broken up pretzels. We also threw in some chips for the saltiness and crazy monster factor.

For sweet add-ins we used chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, and dried coconut.

half-way full

This recipe was based on Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies found in The Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando. It’s pretty straightforward and easy to make with kids. Coming up with the salty and sweet add-ins is part of the fun.  I reduced the amounts by 1/3 because I didn’t want to make a huge amount of cookies.  This version makes a cool one dozen large cookies.

Sweet and savory additions in the mixing bowl

I was surprised at how much they spread and got so huge! But they are monster cookies, after all… so the size is appropriate.

They taste really great. You can’t perceive the potato chips, but the saltiness surely adds to the overall flavor.  The pretzels give it good crunch.

The gummy worm addition actually works with the flavors! But I think next time we make these, we’ll add old fashioned oats for more texture.

If you get a chance, please check out Hush Little Monster! It is a perfect book for a monster loving child– or a little monster of your own. 🙂

Monster Cookies

adapted from Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies from The Cookiepedia

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1/2 egg white (I used 3/4 tablespoon liquid whites)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used a combination of white and whole wheat)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup mixture of peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and dried coconut

1 cup potato chips and pretzels broken into pieces

6 gummy worms cut in half

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Cream butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs. Mix to incorporate, scraping down sides of bowl.

3.  Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl.

Slowly add to butter and sugar mixture while mixer is running.

4.  Add sweet and salty mixtures to batter and stir together.

5.  Spoon twelve round dough mounds  2-inches apart onto two baking sheets covered with parchment paper or Silpat mats.

6.  Bake for about 16-18 minutes, rotating pans halfway.

7.  When cookies are golden, remove from oven and press 2 halves of gummy worms onto each cookie.  Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.

Makes 1 dozen very large cookies.

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Gingerbread Magna-Tiles


As Halloween fast approaches, the thought of doing another haunted gingerbread house crossed my mind.  But a couple of weeks ago Jamie had a play date with his friend, Lucas, and they built an amazing Azkaban Prison (from Harry Potter) out of Magna-Tiles, which inspired me to do something different.

Some basic shapes in a Magna-Tiles set.


Magna-tiles are great building tiles with magnets on their edges making the pieces stick together when placed side by side.  They come in two sizes of squares and several triangular shapes.  I decided to create gingerbread Magna-tiles for them to build their own haunted houses with during a cooking project/play date at our house.  Instead of magnets, of course, Royal Icing dyed grey would be used.  The recipe for the gingerbread is the same one I used last year.  It is so delicious and is perfect for building.

In preparation for the project, I made templates of the Magna-Tiles shapes out of card stock.  Downloadable PDF files of these are here.  Then I cut them out and placed them on top of the gingerbread dough and scored the dough around the shapes with a sharp knife.  I kept the rough edges intact so that the cut edges would stay sharp and crisp.

Roll out the dough on parchment paper to about a 1/8-inch thickness about the size of your baking sheet

I baked it for about  10 minutes (the recipe says to do so for 15 minutes, but I found this to be a bit too long).  Then I cut out the shapes while the dough was still soft. After it cools a bit on the baking sheet, you can remove the side pieces and cool cookies on racks.

Since there were three boys involved (Lucas’ brother Caleb also joined in the fun)I made a double batch of dough.  I ended up with three large squares for each boy to be used as a base and twelve squares and a bunch of triangles.  In retrospect, I should have made more squares!

Before they arrived, I made a work station for the builders.  Each had a baking sheet covered in foil to make their house on, a bag of grey cement (icing), a bunch of different goodies to decorate with, some white, black and red fondant for sculpting objects and monsters, and some food coloring pens (love these!)

Then they got to building (as will be evident, all three boys are really into Harry Potter right now)…

Lucas made Bellatrix Lestrange’s  Cave:

Dementor in front

I think this is a dragon egg encircled by Nagini (Voldemort's snake)

Jamie made the Shrieking Shack:

Close up of interior

Caleb made Hogwarts Castle:

It was a very creative and sugar filled play date. 🙂

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