Netflix is streaming "The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell," a witty hybrid DIY show and Henson puppet extravaganza. Watch and learn how Christine makes spooky treats, decorations, and elaborate cakes perfect for the Halloween season.
Christine McConnell rose to fame a few years ago when she decorated her parents' house for the holidays. It wasn't simple jack-o-lanterns and cobwebs for this uber-talented photographer and artist, though. She transformed the structure into a menacing monster complete with giant piercing eyes and sharp fangs that caught the attention of the international press.
Courtesy of Christine McConnell
This self-taught baker and home seamstress makes her own vintage-inspired clothing and lingerie in her spare time. Part Betty Crocker and part Andrews sister, her Instagram is a treasure trove of DIY ideas that the folks at Netflix found a way to develop into a series. Christine and a cast of hilarious Henson creatures go through the steps to make some of her signature recipes ranging from simple caramel brown recluse spiders to an unbelievably detailed gingerbread house worthy of any Halloween party.
My main issue with the show is the lack of concrete directions for all of the baked projects. For example, the demonstration of how to make peanut butter pretzel bones focuses on the sculpting techniques without divulging an actual recipe for the basic dough. The show also assumes that viewers have various sculpting tools, an edible paint airbrush setup, and power tools. Needless to say, several projects are far beyond beginner level. Some of the projects, however, would be relatively easy to replicate with a little practice. Watch this video on how to make carved homemade candles.
Courtesy of Netflix
As a home baker, I have assembled some easy recipes that would help if you want to give some of the creepy projects a try. This simple shortbread recipe would work for the shrunken head ornaments and the spirit board. Use the peanut butter portion of this buckeye recipe for the peanut butter pretzel bones in Episode 1. Christine uses white chocolate candy melts, but you could also use cheaper white chocolate morsels or melting bark. This gingerbread recipe would make an excellent base for the Ginger-Dead House.
Not everything needs to be homemade! Use refrigerated pie crust for the chicken pot pie en croute and instant candy apple mix for the poison apples. In lieu of sculpting tools, assemble a kit of toothpicks, thicker bamboo skewers, a paring knife, and a potato peeler. When she uses an airbrush with edible paint, use a small paintbrush and carefully dab on edible food coloring gel thinned out with vodka or gin.
Even if you don't have a DIY bone in your body, The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell is worth a look to get some Halloween inspiration. There is a subplot, and you'll find yourself quickly finishing the series to find out what happens next. If you don't have Netflix, check out Christine's Instagram or cookbook for additional ideas!
Thinking about trying one of these creepy projects this year? Let us know how it went in the comments below!