Halloween Cupcakes & Cookies Recipe

Halloween Cupcakes & Cookies Recipe

Halloween Cupcakes & Bat Cookies

It’s that time of year again – Halloween is upon us and we are surrounded by all things spooky! Maybe you are throwing a fancy dress Halloween party or a vampire gathering or simply carving a tasteful pumpkin lantern or two to decorate your home. Whatever the occasion my very simple little black bat biscuits are quick and fun to make and will be enjoyed by everyone.

For a truly vampire experience why not bake the bleeding heart biscuits. If you have a little more time have a go at making my spooky vampire cupcakes – it seems a vampire has already got its’ fangs into them!

So get baking and Happy Halloween!

Black Bat Biscuits – Chocolate Shortbread

Makes 20 bats and 20 bleeding hearts

Bat Cookies

This recipe not only tastes delicious but is excellent for cutting, as it keeps its shape so well when baked. For flying bats, simply make a hole near the top of the head with a skewer before baking and if it has slightly closed when you remove them from the oven, do it again. Hang the bats on narrow pieces of thread or ribbon at different heights – a truly scary, but edible decoration!

Ingredients

For the Biscuits

  • 250g plain flour, plus more to dust
  • ½  tsp salt
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened and diced

To Decorate

  • 40 small silver dragees
  • 150g white sugar paste
  • Claret food colour paste
  • Icing sugar, to dust
  • Edible glue (optional)
  • Edible clear glitter

Special Equipment

  • 10cm bat cutter
  • 5.5cm heart cutter
  • 4.5cm heart cutter

To Bake

  1. Sift the flour, salt, cocoa and icing sugar into a bowl.
  2. Rub in the butter with your fingers until well combined.
  3. Knead just until smooth but do not over-mix, or you will toughen the dough.
  4. Wrap in cling film and chill for about 30 minutes.
  5. Lightly dust a clean board and rolling pin with flour, and roll out the dough to about 5mm thick.
  6. Cut out 20 bats and 20 hearts, using the larger heart cutter.
  7. Press two dragees into each bat for the eyes.
  8. Lay all the biscuits on a baking tray and chill for about 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 160°C/340°F/gas mark 3.
  10. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Leave on the trays until cool.

To Decorate

  1. For the hearts, mix the sugar paste with claret food colour (see above).
  2. Lightly dust a work top with icing sugar and roll out the sugar paste to about 2mm thick.
  3. Cut out 20 hearts with the smaller heart cutter.
  4. Sprinkle a little icing sugar over the heart biscuits and flick over a tiny amount of water – you don’t want soggy biscuits – to create a glue. (Or brush the biscuits, three or four at a time, with edible glue.)
  5. Press the sugar paste hearts on to the biscuits.
  6. To decorate the bats, simply rub a little glitter over each biscuit with your fingers.

Vampire Cupcakes – Devil’s Cardamom Chocolate Cake

Makes 12

Vampire Cupcakes

For the Cakes

  • 12 cupcake cases
  • 10 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 50g plain flour
  • ½  tsp baking powder
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 200g 70% cocoa solids chocolate, chopped
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 130g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the Frosting

  • 180g white caster sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt

For the Black & Red Roses

  • 160g white sugar paste
  • Claret food colour paste
  • Christmas red food colour paste
  • Black food colour paste

For the Vampire Bites

  • 1 tsp raspberry jam

To Bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 160°C/340°F/gas mark 3.
  2. Place the cupcake cases into a cupcake tin.
  3. Deseed the cardamom pods, if using: split with a knife, empty out the seeds and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cardamom and stir in the ground almonds.
  5. Set a large bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water) and melt the chocolate, butter and 1 tbsp water.
  6. Once melted, remove from the heat and beat in the sugar.
  7. Beat the egg yolks into the mixture, a couple at a time, then add the brandy. Fold in the flour mixture and mix lightly together.
  8. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form.
  9. Take a big spoonful and fold into the chocolate mixture to loosen, then fold in the rest.
  10. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until they spring back to the touch.
  11. Remove to cool on a wire rack.

To Decorate

  1. To make the frosting, place all the ingredients with 2 tbsp water in a heatproof bowl standing over a pan of very, very gently simmering water; it must not be boiling. Then, with an electric whisk (don’t even think about doing this with a hand whisk!) whisk for 7-10 minutes, or until the icing has increased in volume, is thick and shiny and forms soft peaks. Working quickly as it will start to set, spread over the cupcakes, swirling with a small palette or kitchen knife.
  2. To make the roses, colour 80g of sugar paste red, using claret and Christmas red food colours, and 80g black (see below). Mould four roses from each colour (see below) one black or red rose on to each of eight cupcakes.
  3. To make the fang marks, simply indent the icing of the four remaining cakes with a skewer, or the end of a teaspoon, and pour in a small amount of raspberry jam, allowing it to ooze over the frosting a little.

To Colour Sugarpaste

Place a piece of sugar paste on a work surface. Dip a cocktail stick into a pot of food colour and knead in. It is much better to add the colour little by little and mix different colours. If it is sticky, add a little icing sugar. Knead until the sugar paste is an even colour you like. Seal in a polythene bag and leave overnight, if possible, to firm up.

To Make Sugarpaste Roses

  1. To make one sugar paste rose take 50g of white sugar paste and colour to your choice using red or black food colour paste.
  2.  Split a polythene bag open and place on a work surface. Take about one-third of the paste, roll into a ball and then a cone. Flatten the base on the work surface and indent into a cone on top of a rough ball.
  3. Roll three balls and lay them on one side of the bag. Fold over the other side and flatten each ball until quite thin. Keep one side of each petal slightly thicker (to go around the cone centre). Peel back the bag gently. Take one petal at a time and, with the thinner part uppermost, mould it around the cone, completely covering the top. Take the second petal and place it centrally over the seam of the first (again thinner side uppermost) and mould it around the cone. Place the third petal directly opposite. Tweak the petals as you work, to look like a real rose. Make three more petals in the same way, each overlapping the last, and tweaking the petals as you work. Take half the paste, make a row of five petals and lastly – using up the remaining paste – a final row of five petals. With a knife, cut away the base at an angle.

Fiona’s “The Birthday Cake Book” is available from Amazon

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