Halloween beckons! Get the kids involved in some fun preparations to make this year the tastiest spook-tacular yet. We have put together a few fun and easy ideas to get you started on some spooky snacks.
Halloween Frozen Banana Ghosts
- 200g bar white chocolate (supermarket own brand Belgian is good), broken into chunks
- 4 medium-large, ripe bananas
- 85g desiccated coconut (you won’t use it all)
- handful dark chocolate drops
- In a small bowl, gently melt the chocolate either in the microwave – in short bursts on high or over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl isn’t touching the water). Set aside for a moment while you get the bananas ready.
- Peel the bananas, cut in half, and push a lolly stick into the middle of each piece. Spread the coconut out in a shallow bowl. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment, and make sure there is room for the tray in the freezer.
- Using a pastry brush, coat a banana half in chocolate, letting excess drip away. Sprinkle with plenty of the coconut until coated, then set it on the prepared sheet. Now add two chocolate eyes and a mouth, and if you like, cut a few little eyebrows from the chocolate drops too.
- Freeze the lollies for at least 4 hrs, and up to a week. A perfect way to get ahead of the game for Halloween.
- 150g butter, softened
- 50g caster sugar
- 100g light brown soft sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 250g plain flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 100g milk or dark chocolate chips
- 60g dark chocolate, melted
- 60g royal icing sugar, mixed with 2 tsp water
- 20 Maltesers
- 5 Oreos
- 10 caramel-filled chocolates
- Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugars together with a whisk until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat to combine. Stir in the flour and baking powder until you have a stiff dough, then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide the dough into 20 pieces and roll into balls. Arrange on the prepared baking sheets, well-spaced out so there’s space for them to spread (you may need to bake them in batches). Press the tops of the cookies down slightly using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass. Bake the cookies for 10-12 mins until golden around the edges, then leave to cool.
- To make the spider cookies: lay 10 of the cooled cookies out in front of you. Spoon the melted chocolate into a piping bag and the royal icing into another, then snip off the ends using scissors. Pipe a dot of royal icing onto the back of two Maltesers and arrange these onto one of the cookies to create the head and body of the spider. Repeat with the remaining nine cookies and the rest of the Maltesers. Pipe eight spider legs around the bodies of the spiders using the chocolate. Pipe two small dots of royal icing onto the heads to create eyes, then pipe very small dots of chocolate over the eyes to create pupils. If you like, decorate the bodies with the royal icing.
- To make the bat cookies: lay the remaining 10 Oreos out in front of you. Separate the cookies, and carefully scrape the cream filling off the chocolate cookie pieces. Cut the chocolate cookie pieces into semicircles using a small, serrated knife. Stick a caramel-filled chocolate onto the middle of each cooled cookie using the royal icing, then use a little more to stick a chocolate cookie semicircle on either side of the chocolates to make the bat wings. Pipe eyes onto the chocolates using the royal icing and melted chocolate.
Get creative with you Halloween treat and send us your favourite creations!
Halloween Meringue Ghosts
- 500g caster sugar
- 250g egg whites
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp pumpkin spice mix: ¼ tsp each ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground ginger (optional)
- edible black ink pen for the eyes
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the sugar in a small roasting tray lined with baking parchment. Shake to level out the sugar and heat in the oven for about 5 mins until hot but not melting. This helps stabilise the egg whites and give a smooth and glossy meringue.
- Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar using an electric mixer. Whisk slowly at first, gradually increasing the speed until the egg whites go into stiff peaks. It’s important not to over-whisk the egg whites. Remove the sugar from the oven as soon as the eggs whites are stiff.
- Reduce the oven to 110C/90C fan/gas ¼, leaving the door ajar to help it cool down quickly – the meringues need to be baked at a lower temperature.
- Turn the mixer up to full speed and start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. You want the egg whites to maintain their volume as you keep adding sugar – if you see it starting to collapse, stop adding sugar and allow the mixture to stiffen and rise before adding the rest, a spoonful at a time.
- Once all the sugar has been added, keep whisking until you have a stiff and glossy mixture. It’s ready to use when it holds its shape, usually about 2-5 mins after you add the last of the sugar. You should also be able to see peaks in the mixture when you remove and upturn the whisk.
- Add the pumpkin spice flavouring to your meringue if using, and gently fold it through the mixture. Do this by hand rather than in the mixer.
- Spoon your flavoured meringue into piping bags – one batch should fill two bags – shaking the mixture down to the bottom of the bag. Try to get rid of any big air bubbles you can see at this stage, but don’t be too rough with the mixture.
- Cut parchment to the size of your baking trays. Cut off the bottom inch of the piping bag (about a 50p sized hole) and squeeze small dollops on to the corner of your baking trays to stick the parchment down.
- Hold the piping bag with both hands, placing one hand at the top of the bag and your other hand halfway down the bag. Hold the bag steady, about 2cm above the tray, and squeeze the bag from the top to start forming the body of your ghost. Keep the bag completely still while squeezing, using your lower hand to keep the bag steady.
- Stop squeezing once the meringue hits the tray. Lift the piping bag a tiny amount, without creating a break between the meringue on the tray and the meringue left in the piping bag. Drop the bag back down again and squeeze gently to form the top part of the ghost’s body. Lift the piping bag straight up to leave a peak on the top of your ghosts’ heads. This will take a bit of practice so don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time, just keep going and get a feel for it! Repeat until you have piped all your mixture – be sure to work quickly as your mixture will loosen over time. Find our tips for piping perfection below.
- Bake for about 40-50 mins until crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Leave to cool completely on the baking trays. Once cooled, draw two big, droopy eyes and an open mouth. If you don’t have an edible pen, you can gently melt 50g dark chocolate in a microwave and use a small paint brush to paint on the faces.
Happy Halloween from all of us at Inspire. You can keep up with Inspire news and blogs here.