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Scary Eyeballs (Vegan/Gluten-free/Lactose-Free)


Scary Eyeballs Halloween Treat

Scary Eyeballs Halloween Treat

This Halloween recipe for "Scary Eyeballs" is fun to make and delicious to eat. And unlike most treats, this Halloween recipe is also exceptionally healthy (they're even gluten-free)! Black sesame seed is the key ingredient, which is valued for its vitamins and minerals. You can either buy the black sesame seed or purchase some black sesame paste ready-made (both are available at Asian/Chinese food stores). Your kids will love the sensation of holding these eyeballs, which feel terrifyingly realistic. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • SERVES 6+ as a dessert or treat
  • 4 Tbsp. black sesame seeds (OR 1 package store-bought prepared black sesame paste - look for it in Asian stores)
  • 1/2 cup brown or white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup of glutinous rice flour (also called 'sticky rice flour') - available at Asian stores
  • 1/2 can coconut milk


For a visual guide of how to these balls, see: Sticky Rice Balls with Black Sesame Seed Filling.

If you have ready-made black sesame paste, start at step 4.

  1. Place black sesame seeds in a coffee grinder. (To remove residual coffee bean dust, simply wipe with a dry rag). Grind for about 30 seconds, until sesame seeds break down into a thick and glossy powder.
  2. Place ground seeds in a sauce-pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add 2 Tbsp. water, 1/2 tsp. salt, plus 1/3 cup sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar melts and a thick, black sauce forms - like melted chocolate in consistency - about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and do a taste-test for sugar, adding up to 1/4 cup more sugar if not sweet enough (white sugar is sweeter than brown). When you're happy with the sweetness of the paste, place it in the refrigerator to cool. Tips: The paste needs to be quite sweet in order to balance out the savory glutinous rice dough that will surround it. Also, don't worry if the paste is a little granular - this is desirable.
  4. Measure 1 cup glutinous rice flour plus 1/2 tsp. salt into a mixing bowl, stirring to mix.
  5. Add up to 1/2 can coconut milk and stir to form a stiff dough. You may need to add slightly more coconut milk, or more flour depending on how thin or thick your coconut milk is. The dough should be pliable - similar to play dough. It shouldn't stick to your hands too much (if it does, it requires more flour). If the dough doesn't stick together, it's too dry - add a little more coconut milk or water.
  6. Take a little of the dough in your hands and roll it between your palms to make a ball (like you would do with play dough). Continue until all the dough is used, placing the balls on a clean, dry surface.
  7. Remove the black sesame paste from the refrigerator - it should have thickened (almost like taffy in consistency). Taking the first ball in your hand, use your index finger to indent a hole. Spoon some of the paste into the indentation (about 1/2 tsp).
  8. Use your thumb and fingers to flatten out the sides, then close the dough over the paste. Now reshape the dough back into a ball, rolling it between your palms as you did before. Place the finished balls on a clean, dry plate. (If you find the balls are sticking, you can lightly oil the plate.)
  9. Drop the sticky rice balls into a pot of boiling water. At first they will drop to the bottom of the pot. Allow them to boil for 6-8 minutes, or until they begin to float in the water. Drain and set the sticky rice balls on a clean surface.
  10. Using a spoon or your finger, take a little more of the black sesame and press it onto each ball to make pupils.
  11. Plate up and serve your Scary Eyeballs!

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