For my daughter’s Halloween potluck, I wanted to bring a treat that would be healthy, tasty, toddler friendly, and thematically appropriate. So I trolled the Internet looking for ideas. Almost everything I found was sugary and full of empty calories. Then I found an article by Kimberly Bilger MPH, RD, LD, Pediatric Dietitian at Marni Paul Specialty Care Center, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. Stick-y Spiders was an obvious recipe choice for me because it combines several ingredients my daughter loves: peanut butter, crackers, pretzel sticks, and raisins. Her recipe actually calls for the addition of Halloween sprinkles, but I am not a sprinkle fan, so I omitted them. Also, at the last minute, I found out that one of the children attending the party has a peanut allergy. I decided to substitute SunButter Natural for the peanut butter to ensure a more relaxing day for all.
Stick-y Spiders were really easy and fun to make. It took a little trial and error to get the sunbutter amount right, but it didn’t take long and I enjoyed both the process and the results. The first step is to apply SunButter to the top of one of the crackers. I chose Breton Original crackers because they seemed to be the right size for use with the pretzel sticks. Luckily, they were also baked in a peanut-free facility. You want the layer of sunbutter to be thick enough to hold the pretzel sticks in and the top cracker on, but not so think that it tries to leak out the sides. I experimented with applying the pretzel stick legs and then adding a bit more SunButter on top of them, but that resulted in SunButter leakage. Instead, I recommend applying the top cracker BEFORE you add the pretzel stick legs.
To add the legs, hold the cracker sandwich by the edges, being careful not to press the crackers together too firmly. Stick a pretzel into the SunButter layer between the two crackers. At this point, the top cracker will tilt down on the opposite edge and stick more firmly to the bottom cracker. The best way to combat this is to stick the second leg into the opposing side of the cracker. That will stabilize the top cracker and level things out without allowing the SunButter layer to leak out the sides. Continue adding legs until you have a complete arachnid. Next, hold the spider by its front and rear edges. Apply more SunButter to the top of the spider. Select two raisins of roughly equal size and stick them onto the top of the cracker sandwich to serve as eyes.
Stick-y Spiders are not small. Each one takes up quite a bit of room and they require a bit of ingenuity to transport safely. You can not stack them on top of each other because of the exposed coating of SunButter. In the photo above, you can see that 5 Stick-y Spiders will fit in one layer in a Tupperware Round Cake Taker. I used the Pie Stackable to give me room for a second layer in the cake taker. This still only allowed me to transport 10 Stick-y Spiders. I used a vintage Round Container to take along 6 more spiders for a total of 16. I used about 4/5 of the jar of sunbutter to make the 16 spiders. The box of Breton crackers provides enough bodies for 26 spiders.
SunButter is remarkably like peanut butter and I found it to be a good substitute. The texture is almost the same. It is a little bit thinner/runnier than peanut butter. The aftertaste is of course different, but it is actually easy to forget that you are eating a peanut butter substitute. I am sure I will buy it again for my family to enjoy. I’ll also definitely be making more Stick-y Spiders before Halloween night’s driveway bonfire.