There are a few weeks yet until halloween but we’ve been getting some practice in early as it’s a favourite time of year for my son. He loves the whole ritual of getting dressed up to go trick or treating, and for the past three years we’ve always had a little party at home before trick or treating down the road. It’s something I’ve grown to love more as well as everyone seems so jolly on halloween night when they have little ones.
Last year we made these mummy lanterns for our party using jam jars and bandages. Such an easy and pretty foolproof thing to make and they look pretty classy too. This year we’re having a go at some halloween baking and as well as trying out our new pumpkin sprinkles we’ve done some new recipes too.
I actually found these recipes for monster (well I prefer witches’) finger biscuits and cobweb cakes in a magazine I picked up in McColl’s newsagents. There are loads more good ideas in there, one of my faves is making broomsticks from breadsticks and twiglets. These green fingers have worked really well and I love how the almonds really do look like pointy witches’ fingernails! They taste good too, despite the gross colour.
100g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
Few drops green food colouring
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
Cream the butter and sugar together then stir in the egg, vanilla and green food colouring.
Fold in the flour, a little at a time, until you have a soft dough.
Tear off a piece of dough and roll it into a cylinder finger shape. Put it on a lightly greased baking tray and press the almond on the top for a fingernail. Trim around the ‘nail’ with a knife to neaten, then score a few little lines on the finger for knuckles.
Space them apart a little on on the tray as they will spread when baked.
Place them in the fridge for 30 minutes then bake for 10-12 minutes until just firm.
The cobweb cakes are basically chocolate chip muffins with a chocolate icing top.
250g plain flour
100g caster sugar
3tsp baking powder
125g dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp salt
75ml vegetable oil
100g white chocolate
100g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips and salt and mix well.
In another bowl, mix the oil, egg and milk. Add them together and stir well until it makes a lumpy batter.
Fill a muffin tin with 12 paper cases – I used a combination of paper and silicone to see which worked best. Answer – they both worked just as well so it’s up to you.
Fill the cases 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until you can insert a skewer into the middle of the muffins and it comes out clean.
Allow them to cool before decorating. Melt the white and dark chocolate in two separate bowls. Spread the white chocolate onto the muffins with a knife.
Now for the tricky bit. The recipe says to add the melted dark chocolate to a piping bag or plastic food bag with a tiny corner cut off. I found that it was so runny it just poured out of the bottom, that was why my cobwebs turned out so messy! An easier idea would be to use some of that chocolate flavoured icing you can buy in a tiny tube at most supermarkets, for writing with. I have some in the cupboard and it would have been much easier in hindsight to use that, though perhaps not as tasty.
Anyway, with the dark chocolate try to make two or three concentric circles on the white and draw lines from the centre to the edge using a knife, creating a cobweb effect.
Eat and enjoy!
PS Thanks to McColl’s for the recipes!