Avoid the plastic-wrapped mountain of sweets, cheap-tasting chocolate and nasty food colouring this Halloween, and get creative at home. Here are some simple recipe ideas, great for getting the kids involved and perfect alternatives for the trick or treaters at your door.
Trick or treat pick ‘n’ mix
Give your prankers a taste of their own medicine with this homemade bag of chocolate-coated tricks and treats. Gently melt your favourite chocolate with a dash of cooking oil (coconut oil will add nice flavour, but any mild-flavoured oil will do), then dip dried fruit, such as raisins, dates or cranberries, and nuts into the chocolate (don’t forget to coat the odd coffee bean and cardamom pod for a Halloween surprise). Place on a greaseproof-lined tray and pop in the fridge to set.
A fun way to get the older kids in the kitchen, popcorn necklaces can be a healthy treat (or trick!). Using needle and thread, simply weave on your popcorn, then tie the thread together into a necklace. You could alternate them with dried fruits and nuts, toss them through cinnamon sugar, a little maple syrup or even Marmite… for the haters out there.
What child doesn’t want a cookie infested with spiders? Get creative with quality chocolate and leave those artificial food colourings at the door. Make chocolate chip cookies and bake as suggested, taking them out halfway through the cooking time and dotting a few chocolate chips (or small squares of chocolate) into a each one – these will be the spider bodies. Meanwhile, make a piping bag by snipping the tiniest possible hole into the corner of a sandwich bag, then add melted chocolate. Once ready, remove the biscuits and pipe the chocolate legs onto each spider body, then leave to cool. Find the full recipe here.
Halloween falls bang on apple season, which means only one thing. Toffee apples! Get a variety from Brogdale Farm and coat in homemade caramel. Swap the plastic handles for some gnarly twigs, and follow the recipe for frighteningly easy Toffee Apples.
These bite-sized balls are easy to make, need no baking and can be made ahead and kept in the fridge until Halloween. Make the mixture for chocolate truffles using quality Fairtrade chocolate, then get the kids to roll them into balls and toss them through their favourite flavours. Desiccated coconut or crushed nuts work wonders, or try fiery chilli flakes for the daring trickers at your door. For a healthier twist, try these healthy coconut and chocolate bites, or blitz up pitted dates or other dried fruit with a mixture of nuts and a pinch of cinnamon. Roll the sticky mixture into balls and coat as you would with truffles.
Halloween decorating made simple
Use store cupboard staples to transform homemade biscuits, cakes and even chocolate-coated fruits into ghastly Halloween faces. Try flaked almonds for witch-like crooked teeth or fingernails, use sultanas, cloves or star-anise for goggly eyes, and walnut halves for brains. Nut butter works wonders as an edible glue. Get the little ones to experiment and see what you come up with.