Adding some pizzazz to your Halloween drinks

Adding some pizzazz to your Halloween drinks

With Halloween coming up on Monday (and with the weekend fast approaching) I have a couple of easy and festive drink recipes you can try at home. They can be scaled up or scaled down really easily so would be perfect for smaller gatherings or larger groups (just make sure these are kept out of reach of little ones!) These won’t require lots of complicated spirits and a lot of ingredients you might already have in. I think mulled cider is a wonderful drink around Halloween and Bonfire night, while the vodka and grenadine looks pretty spooky. Perfect for all you vampire lovers.

To make mulled cider you will need

2 cans cloudy apple cider

2 shots spiced rum

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon demerara sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Heat the ingredients on a low heat until the sugar has fully dissolved and the spices have started to release aroma. Strain with a sieve and serve (Initially I forgot this and let me say, it is not pleasant! I call it witches brew at this stage).

Scale up or down depending on how thirsty for cider you are.

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To make bloody vodka you will need

The vodka of your choice (we had vanilla)

Grenadine Syrup

Ice

The mixer of your choice – we had coke

The fun of this recipe is obviously that it looks a little bit like blood. However, unless you’re really trying to “get on it” you might want to add a mixer, otherwise you could end up falling asleep in a corner or something. Anyway all you need to do is mix 1 part grenadine syrup and 1 part vodka and serve over ice for the red effect. Then dilute a bit with something to make it more palatable.

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While these are no means the most complicated cocktail recipes and you will probably not win any mixology awards with these, they were pretty fun to make and drink. The simplicity of these makes these great for any budding party host!

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Rocky road – just in time for Hallowe’en

I meant to post a pumpkin based recipe for Hallowe’en, I really did. But being able to think up nothing particularly astounding and lacking time I decided to blog a nice little recipe that everyone can knock together in under half an hour. Plus, Hallowe’en is at the end of half term week or a lot of schools in my area and this is a good recipe to make with young children, or can be a way of entertaining older children with minimal supervision (although keep an eye out as they might get giddy after too much sugar, I am 26 and still get a bit over excited if I eat too many of these).

Anyway, to make the delicious rocky road you will need:

400g milk chocolate

120g bag chocolate raisins

3 crunchie bars

2 bags of malteasers

100g marshmallows

150g digestive biscuits

(these are approximate and everything can be substituted as you wish)

In a large bowl use a rolling pin to crush your biscuits and crunchie bars into small pieces. Cut or tear your marshmallows into small pieces and add to the bowl along with your malteasers and chocolate raisins and mix.

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Cover everything with melted chocolate and add to a lined baking tray and leave to cool until the chocolate is set.

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Use a sharp knife to cut into what you consider to be appropriate portion sizes (sometimes there’s just nothing better than biting into a big hunk of chocolate) and serve.

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After all what better way to enjoy Hallowe’en than to sit in your nice cosy house eating your way through a couple of these bad boys? Or if you’re short of time and want to impress, take them along to any parties you might be attending. These are always a great crowd pleaser!

Zombie gingerbread

Happy Hallowe’en everybody!

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This year I thought I’d share my recipe for gingerbread. Partly because they’re perfect to share at this time of year, or to give out to trick or treaters. Mostly because I have had zombie cookie cutters since I went to the cake and bake show back in March. These biscuits have an absolutely fantastic flavour. Almost makes you want to keep your lights off and pretend you aren’t home on Hallowe’en so you can eat these babies yourself!

To make gingerbread  men of any kind you will need:

350g plain flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g butter

175g soft light brown sugar

1 egg

4 tsp golden syrup

To decorate

Shop bought writing icing (you could make your own Royal icing; but this is easier midweek)

 

Sift your flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Cut your butter into chunks and rub into the dry ingredients in order to form breadcrumbs.

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Stir in your brown sugar.

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In a separate bowl whisk together your golden syrup and your egg until smooth.

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Add the golden syrup and egg mix to your sugar and flour breadcrumb mix. Use your hands to mix everything together into a smooth, soft dough. If your dough is too sticky add more flour; otherwise it will be a nightmare to roll out later.

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Wrap your dough in cling film and chill for about an hour before rolling out.

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Preheat your oven to 190°C. Line your baking tray with greaseproof paper. Flour a hard surface and roll out your dough until it’s around 4mm thick. Use the biscuit cutters of your choice to make gingerbread shapes. If you have no cutter you could always use a knife (not too sharp) to cut out your own shapes.

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Place the gingerbread shapes onto your baking tray with some space between them. When you have run out of dough ball it up and roll it out again until you run out of dough. If you need to, cook your gingerbread in batches. This recipe tends to make rather a lot of biscuits.

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Bake for around 12 minutes or until golden brown.

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When the gingerbread is cool decorate with the writing icing. My housemates A, S and I made a variety of zombie characters including skeletons, a Ninja Turtle and Hulk Hogan.

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I hope you all have a happy Hallowe’en, even if your idea of a good night is avoiding children by pretending not to be home!