Toni Waterfall: Halloween Baking Tricks for Treats

Toni Waterfall: Halloween Baking Tricks for Treats

  1. List Of Ingredients
  2. ½ tsp baking powder
  3. 90g plain flour
  4. ¼ tsp salt
  5. ½ tsp bicarb of soda
  6. 100g unsalted butter
  7. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  8. 110g soft brown sugar
  9. 25g caster sugar
  10. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  11. 60g white chocolate chips
  12. 80g rolled oats
  13. 75g dried cranberries

Witches’ Finger Biscuits

I’ve had some of the best cakes, biscuits and meringues I’ve ever eaten from the Ottolenghi deli in Belgravia, so when I need to make something sweet, Ottolenghi: The Cookbook is usually my first port of call. I’m not sure Yotam would approve of what I do to his white chocolate and cranberry biscuits, but they taste divine and look very much like witches’ fingers by the time I’ve finished with them! I cut the dough into rectangles before I round off the ends, score them with “knuckle” lines, brush a little water on the end and press an almond (the “nail”) into each fingertip. To serve, place them in a tin, jar or bowl with the gnarled, knobbly fingers poking out.


Although the ingredients list is fairly long, the method is relatively simple. Just sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt, then beat the butter, sugars and vanilla before slowly adding the egg. Blend in the oats, flour, cranberries and chocolate, make into shapes and bake for 10 minutes at 170 degrees.


  1. List Of Ingredients
  2. 150g caster sugar
  3. 60g unsalted butter
  4. 20g cocoa
  5. 1 egg
  6. ½ tsp vanilla extract
  7. 40ml red food colouring
  8. 150g plain flour
  9. 120ml buttermilk
  10. 1.5 tsp white vinegar
  11. ½ tsp bicarb of soda

Ghost Cupcakes

These cute cupcakes are perfect for younger kids – you don’t want anything too gruesome! I use the Hummingbird Bakery’s red velvet cupcake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, as I find it dense and decadent – but I skip the cream cheese frosting and make this marshmallowy version to resemble a ghost, using sugar, golden syrup and egg whites. Be prepared to whip as if your life depends on it! Pipe mounds of the fluffy icing on top of the cupcakes and use chocolate strands or chocolate buttons cut in half as the eyes.


Beat the butter and sugar and then gradually incorporate the egg. Separately, combine the vanilla, colouring and cocoa to make a dark, thick paste. Add this to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour in half of the buttermilk, then add half of the flour and repeat the process. When the mixture is smooth, add the vinegar and bicarb of soda – and keep mixing until your arm aches (or use an electric mixer!). Spoon into 12 paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.


  1. List Of Ingredients
  2. 100g icing sugar
  3. 100g cornflour
  4. 200g plain flour
  5. 200g unsalted butter
  6. Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

Spider Web Shortbread

For these, I turn to a tried-and-tested Nigella Lawson vanilla shortbread recipe, as featured in her book Nigella Summer. Rather than cutting them into fingers, though, use a 5cm-round cookie-cutter (I use a wine glass, naturally) to form circles. To make the web, all you need is icing sugar and lemon juice to make a thick paste. Using the corner of a freezer bag, pipe a six-pronged star and then join each prong together with a slight dip in the middle of each line. Repeat this process a little further into the centre of the star. You should end up with something that resembles a spider’s web!


Blitz the flours and icing sugar to save you from sieving them, then add the vanilla seeds and butter. Mix until it begins to form a ball. Press into a tin to form an even layer and then cut into shapes. Prick each biscuit with a fork and bake for around 20-25 minutes.


  1. List Of Ingredients
  2. 2 tbsp golden syrup
  3. 75g light brown soft sugar
  4. 1 tbsp water
  5. 1 tbsp black treacle
  6. 1 tsp ground ginger
  7. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  8. Grated zest of ½ orange
  9. Pinch of cloves
  10. 95g butter
  11. ½ tsp bicarb of soda
  12. 22g plain flour

Scary Gingerbread Men

When I need to make gingerbread men (or women, or any other shaped cutter that takes my fancy), I opt for a Delia Smith recipe I once came across in her book Delia’s Cakes. She describes the gingerbread dough as being “very well-behaved” and so it can “put up with quite a bit of punishment” – so I let Evie mess around with it as if it’s Play-Doh, which she loves. Rather than writing names or making faces with the icing, though, draw skeletons, or join the legs together into a wispy tail and completely cover in white icing with black eyes and an open mouth to look like a ghost.


Place the treacle, syrup, sugar, water and spices into a large saucepan and bring to the boil (don’t forget to stir continuously!). Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and bicarb of soda. Slowly combine the flour until you have a manageable dough, then leave the dough for half an hour to become firm. Roll into a 3mm-thick layer and cut out your gingerbread shapes. Bake at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes.


So, there you have it: my favourite homemade Halloween treats. Do you have any scarily good recipes you’ll be making this year that you’d like to share?

Toni Waterfall

Toni Waterfall – Cookery, Food & Drink A mum with a food-loving family and a part-time pescatarian lifestyle, I’m always searching for delicious and practical ideas to try in the kitchen. My all-time favourite chef is Gordon Ramsay, but I’ve never made a bad meal using a Jamie Oliver recipe. Spaghetti bolognaise is the go-to meal in my household, but I also enjoy cooking curries from scratch – especially seafood ones. I always say that balance and seasoning are crucial elements of getting a dish right. I’m constantly thinking ahead to the next meal and am an impulsive, daily supermarket shopper, as opposed to a weekly bulk buyer.

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