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Try these fright night treats
7:00am Saturday 27th October 2012 in Lifestyle
If you're throwing a Halloween bash this year, make it devillishly delicious with some spooky treats from Annabel Karmel. The best-selling children's author also shares some tips on how to make fright night go with a swing.
By Diana Pilkington
With vampires, werewolves and zombies still all the rage on our screens, Halloween is the perfect time to show off your creative side.
Even if your costume-crafting skills don't stretch beyond cutting eyes out of a sheet, you can keep the kids happy by following the lead of Annabel Karmel.
The best-selling children's cookery author shares her tips for making Halloween the spookiest night of the year...
:: When trick-or-treating, telephone any friends nearby and warn them in advance that you will be popping over so they are prepared and children are not disappointed. Also, visit houses with pumpkins or Halloween decorations as this suggests they are happy to receive trick-or-treaters.
:: If you have a large pumpkin, hollow it out and put a glass or plastic bowl inside and use it as a children's punch bowl.
:: Don't forget to buy treats to hand out to children who visit your house trick-or-treating. As well as bite-sized chocolates and sweets, stock up on non-edible treats such as stickers or bouncy balls.
:: A nice idea for party decorations is to hollow out oranges and cut out little faces in the side so they look like mini-pumpkins.
:: Remember to have a few tricks ready when you go out trick-or-treating. You could encourage children to make up spooky jokes or take a small black plastic bag filled with cooked spaghetti to feel like worms.
:: A fun activity to do with children before a party is to collect some twigs from the park, put them in a basket or vase and use pieces of ribbon to hang pictures the children have drawn of bats, spiders and skeletons.
:: Play witches' cauldron, a game that will send shivers down children's spines. Fill a bowl with items that represent different body parts: peeled grapes for eyeballs, linked sausages for intestines, cauliflower for brains, a balloon filled with water for a heart, liquorice laces for veins or jelly for liver. Get the children to sit blindfolded in a circle and take it in turns to pull out an item and guess what it is.
And try these recipes from Karmel to make fright night the tastiest yet...
225g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
125g butter softened
125g caster sugar
Quarter tsp salt
200 ml milk
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g pumpkin, peeled and grated
1 tub vanilla frosting
Green food colouring
White fondant icing
Black fondant icing (or colour white fondant icing black with black food colouring)
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan). Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
Measure all the ingredients into a free-standing electric mixer. Whisk until blended. Spoon into the cases.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until well risen and lightly golden on top.
Place the muffins on a wire rack to cool. Colour about half the frosting green using some of the food colouring. When the muffins are completely cool, swirl the green icing on top of the muffins using a piping bag with a plain nozzle.
Make small balls of white fondant icing and flatten them to make the whites of the eyes. Make smaller balls of black fondant icing and flatten them to make the pupils of the eyes. Roll out some black icing and use to make eyebrows and moustaches.
400g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
4 tbsp golden syrup
Fairly thick twigs
Wash the apples. Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a twig, wooden chopstick or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment and place the apples on it. Put 100ml of water in a pan and add the sugar. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and golden syrup. If you have one, place a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil rapidly without stirring until the temperature reaches 140C. If you don't have a thermometer you can test the toffee by pouring a little into the bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and when removed be brittle and easy to break. If the toffee is still slightly soft then continue to boil it.
Dip the apples carefully into the hot toffee mixture, swirling them around, and allow the excess to drip away, then place on the baking parchment to harden. You may have to reheat the toffee mixture if it starts to feel too thick.
Leave the toffee to cool before eating. These toffee apples can be made up to two days in advance.
(Makes around 20 small chips)
2 wheat tortilla wraps (1 wrap makes about 12 small shapes)
Olive oil for brushing
Salt and pepper
Additional flavours to sprinkle on the wrap: crushed garlic/mixed dried herbs/dried chilli flakes
Put the wrap on a board, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (and any other flavours you might choose). Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes of bats and ghosts. Place on an oven tray and bake at 170C for 12 minutes, watching them closely as they go brown very quickly.
(Makes 12 bones)
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
100g caster sugar
In a small bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Place mixture in a piping bag with plain nozzle or heavy-duty resealable plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner.
On parchment-lined baking sheets, pipe meringue into a 3-inch log. Pipe two 1-inch balls on opposite sides of each end of the log. Repeat with remaining meringue. Bake at 110C for one-and-a-half hours or until firm. Remove to wire racks. Store in an airtight container.
(Makes 12 cupcakes)
110g unsalted butter at room temperature
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs
150g self-raising flour, sifted
125g plain flour, sifted
Half tsp baking powder
150ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp grated lemon zest
A tub of vanilla frosting
Red fondant (or white fondant coloured red using food colouring)
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C). Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake cases.
To make the cupcakes, measure all the cake ingredients into a bowl. Whisk together until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases until two thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until they are raised and lightly golden. To check they are cooked you can insert a skewer or toothpick into the centre of one of the cakes and it should come out clean. Remove from the oven, allow to cool down a little and then arrange the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
Pipe the frosting on top of each cup cake using a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle.
To make the witches' hats, separate the Oreo Cookies that are sandwiched together and scrape out the filling. Using a little of the frosting, attach a Hershey's Kiss to the split cookie to form the hat.
To make the witches' shoes, form a small ball of red fondant, taper one end to a point, curl the thin end to make the toe of the shoe, then fold the fat end up to make the heel. Press the shoe firmly but carefully onto a Matchmaker chocolate for the leg. Press the legs into the cupcake so that they stick up from the frosting.
:: Annabel Karmel Fuss Pots range of meals for children is available in Sainsbury's. See www.annabelkarmel.com