From sweet treats to autumnal soups, here are our favourite recipes to make with (or for!) grandchildren over Halloween. Add some spooky decorations and they're sure to be the hit of any party.
And if your favourite is missing, make sure you add it to our recipes index.
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A chocolate cupcake is always a crowd pleaser. Halloween-themed decorations can be as simple as coloured frosting and a few colour-coordinated sprinkles or scary cake decorations found at most grocery stores during Halloween season.
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
2. Add wet ingredients.
3. Add 1 cup hot water.
4. Beat well.
5. Pour into lined and greased tins/paper cases.
6. Put the oven on Gas mark 5/200C.
7. For cakes, cook for 40-45 mins, for cupcakes 25 mins.
1. Whip up your favourite white frosting mix, divide into three sepearte bowls and add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl. Green, orange and purple are good choices. Be sure to leave some white icing if you want to make a few ghost cupcakes.
2. Frost cakes and decorate with sprinkles, candy eyes, or small Halloween sweets.
As well as having a distinctly autumnal taste, think of gingerbread as your artist's canvas - pumpkins? Witches' hats? An entire haunted house? Master this basic recipe, invest in some squeezy icing, and you and the grandkids (or just you) can set your creativity free decorating biscuits.
1. Heat margarine or butter with syrup and sugar in a small saucepan until mixed and melted but not boiling.
2. Sift spices and flour into a large bowl.
3. Mix the baking powder with a little cold water and add this to the warmed syrup mixture.
4. Add this, now frothing, mixture to the flour and mix to a dough. Let this cool for about an hour and then use as needed. If it gets too dry add a little water. If it's too wet add a little flour.
5. Cook on baking parchment at 170c in a fan oven. Small shapes only need about 10 minutes, large ones will need a little more. They crisp up as they cool. Will keep a good week in an air tight tin.
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This Halloween and Bonfire Night classic is a great one for the grandkids. Easy to make, and, while they look devilishly sweet they also provide one of your five-a-day (right?)
1. Peel your apples thoroughly, and ensure all of the stalks have been taken off. Push your kebab sticks into the 'stalk-end' of the apples. Lay these on some baking parchment.
2. Tip the sugar into a pan along with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup. You need to boil the mixture to the 'hard crack' stage (around 140c). If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, you can test it by pouring some into a bowl of cold water - it will harden instantly. You should not be able to 'squidge' it at all.
3. Dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, then place on the baking parchment to harden. For variety, you can roll a few apples in crushed nuts or sprinkles. Do it quickly, before the toffee hardens. Theses can be made up to 2 days in advance, stored in a dry place.
Is there anything more autumnal than the sweet and rich flavour of a pumpkin soup? Try this slightly spiced version as a starter or serve with a crusty loaf of bread for a light meal. It's a great way to use those festive pumpkins that seem to accumulate over Halloween.
1. Peel the pumpkin. Discard seeds and fibres and dice flesh into small cubes. You can also roast the seeds for a tasty snack.
2. Melt butter in a large saucepan, add onion and cook over low heat until onion is soft (about 10 minutes).
3. Raise heat to medium and stir in curry powder and flour and cook for another minute.
4. Stir in stock a little at a time, add tomato puree and pumpkin.
5. Bring to boil stirring continuously, lower heat to simmer, stirring occasionally until pulp is soft (30-40 minutes)
6. Use a stick blender to liquidize the mixture or push through a sieve and return to the saucepan.
7. Add milk, season and re-heat gently. Add more milk to taste and garnish with parsley.
And if you've had quite enough of the mighty pumpkin, why not try this fragrant carrot and parsnip soup with a kick of ginger.
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