The Halloween spirit is alive and well as usual in my neighborhood! Everyone is busy getting their costumes ready for the big night. There will of course be plenty of children trick or treating, but there is also a fabulous soiree for us older kids too. I’m amazed by the intricate costumes people dream up, and admit that I am usually flustered over what I might do? Costumes and stage make-up are not an area I excel in creatively, but I may have stumbled onto a costume this year….

Halloween spirits are alive and well in my neighborhood

Halloween spirits are alive and well in my neighborhood

I found several long lost suitcases full of designer clothes in the attic. A veritable treasure trove of memories – among them the infamous chocolate box dress Antony Price designed for me when I was 9 months pregnant. Now read carefully, and do not get those tongues wagging about my mysterious pregnancy, please!

Jerry Hall's 30th birthday party and the chocolate box dress

Jerry Hall’s 30th birthday party and the chocolate box dress

It was Jerry Hall’s 30th birthday celebration, and I was mortified by the thought of going out in public the size of a beached whale, but couldn’t very well say “no” after she’d just thrown a magnificent baby shower for me only weeks before. So, I went to my favorite Fairy God Designer, Antony Price, and pleaded with him to hide my bump.

I'd forgotten how fabulous this dress was!

I’d forgotten how fabulous this dress was!

Alas, there was no hiding the bulging belly of a nine month pregnant woman, so Antony suggested we wrap it up like a box of chocolates and tie a big bow on top. That was how the chocolate box dress was born. Quite fabulous really – so much so that when I showed my daughter a photo of it, she made me promise not to give it away. I’m excited, that was the very first hint that one day I may actually become a grandmother. Although, don’t hold your breath, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Tatjana is busy building her film editing career first – I’m just happy it appears to be in her future plans.

Oh oh, I think I'm having... a pillow!

Oh oh, I think I’m having… a pillow!

Hmmm, I thought, it would be a shame to have only worn such a beautiful dress only once – what if I were a pregnant lady for Halloween? Then it hit me, I could go as the Duchess of Cambridge, that’s who I will be. If someone expects a trick I can always give birth to a pillow (instead of a prince).

The unwanted Halloween houseguest

The unwanted Halloween houseguest

Apparently, an uninvited and thirsty Halloween houseguest must have hitched a ride in on those cases. LOOK what I found in Daisy’s water bowl shortly after!  I nearly had heart failure when I got close enough to see the red dot on it’s back, and jumped to the conclusion it was a black widow. Luckily, I was wrong, but I’m still convinced the red dot is natures way of saying “be ware!” I’m glad I found the culprit before my curious pup.

Halloween spiders

Halloween spiders

Once I calmed down, it made me think about the spider brownies I used to do for Tatjana and her friends on Halloween. Please excuse the quality of the photo, but you’ll get the gist – cut your brownies in rounds. Then stick some black licorice for the legs in the sides, and two red hot candies for the eyes.

Baker's Chocolate Brownies

 Baker’s Chocolate Brownies

I’ve never found an easier, or more delicious chewy-ier, fudge-ier, brownie recipe than the one right on the Baker’s Chocolate box! One bowl, 6-7 ingredients I almost always have on hand. Plus it’s about 5 minutes to mix the ingredients, and then you just bake them off, ready in less than an hour start to finish!

Servings: 12 large brownies


4 (1 oz. each) sq. Baker’s unsweetened chocolate
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla (or espresso or coffee extract)
1 c. flour
1 c. chopped nuts, optional
1). Heat oven to 350°F.
2). Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwave bowl on high for 2 minutes or until butter (and most of the chocolate) is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
3). Stir in sugar.
4). Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
5). Stir in flour and nuts (if using – I like mine without).6). Spread in greased 13 x 9-inch pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Cool in pan; cut into squares or cut out with muffin round into rounds. Makes 12 large fudgy brownies.

Serving Instructions: Sprinkle powdered sugar or ice if desired. I usually eat mine straight up, but I also brought some pearl dust back from Fortnum and Mason’s last year to try.

Note: I usually substitute 1 teaspoon of espresso or coffee extract for the vanilla, because I think it compliments and boosts the flavor of the chocolate.

PS. Special thanks to Cami from Naples for sending the photos of me in the chocolate box dress at Jerry Hall’s birthday party all those years ago! Fun memories.

This post was first published October 28, 2014

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  • October 29, 2014
    2:42 pm

    This is one of my weaknesses and something I almost always bake when the boys are coming over. Both boys being in their 30’s so I guess they really don’t qualify as “boys” anymore, but to refer to them as gentlemen is just too funny if you knew the antics they are famous for instigating. I’ll have to add this recipe to my list to bake for the holidays and see if they like it better than my usual recipe that uses sweetened condensed milk. Thank you Jewels! You’re a life saver with this recipe, it’s much less work than the one I have been using. I just came across your mum’s biscotti recipe and think I’ll be giving this one a try this year too. I love biscotti and I’m sure the folks who visit won’t be disappointed with yet another type of treat on the platter.