The Halloween that we celebrate in the UK every October 31st is usually considered a bit of an American invasion, but did you know that the origins of the holiday began a lot closer to home? It’s thought to have begun as the Celtic celebration ‘Samhain’ to mark the end of harvest and the beginning of winter, and in turn the new darker season bridging us closer to the world of the dead. Rather than literal ghosts and ghouls, modern Halloween is all about fun costumes and sweet treats and is celebrated at the perfect time to bring some merriment to the increasingly colder and darker climate.
If you have got children, you’ll know that youngsters love this celebration, first and fore mostly because of all the delicious treats they are allowed to devour – yes of course it’s all about the kids, I’m sure you will agree…
Since we like a homemade touch here at the Emporium, we thought we would demonstrate how to use some of our special Halloween baking items to make cakes and cookies with a distinct ‘spooky’ theme. If you are having a party and want to impress your guests or if you’d like to spend some quality time baking with your little ones AND have some rather unique treats to hand out to any trick-or-treaters that come by, then take a look at some of these impressive bakes - all lovingly made at home by one of our own.
Our baker tried and tested 3 items; 2 cookie cutter sets and a cake pan, giving us some feedback on how easy they were to use and to get good results. She brought in all of the bakes for us to ‘sample’ and we were all very impressed with the results! Take a look at what she did;
Gingerdead Men Cookies – using cookie cutter set by FRED
Our baker followed the recipe in the box. Despite the recipe providing a slightly sticky dough, it still worked as long as you keep the dough and cutter well dusted with flour. This recipe made some really tasty soft and mildly spiced jumbo cookies. Included in the set is a stamp that imprints the skeleton onto the cookie, giving you a guideline when decorating. She cooked them at Gas mark 3/160C and used a no.2 icing nozzle and royal icing to decorate. Found to be a little more ‘faffy’ than the other set but gave fantastic results and was the favourite amongst us judges.
- 3 ¼ cups plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup butter
- ¾ cup soft brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup golden syrup
Pumpkin Cake – using pan by Eddingtons
Baked a 6oz sponge mix on Gas mark 4/180C for 35-40 mins providing a soft and moist result. The cake cooked well and found to release from the pan easily, leaving an imprint in the sponge to follow when decorating. It was decorated with 500g of Renshaw orange fondant icing and 50g of Renshaw black fondant icing.
- 6oz self-raising flour
- 3 eggs
- 6oz caster sugar
- 6oz margarine
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
Halloween Cookies – using Dexam Cookie Cutters Set
These little sugar biscuits were made using our baker’s own recipe and decorated with a no.1 icing nozzle and royal icing coloured with black and orange. The set includes 4 shaped cutters of a witch, a bat, a pumpkin and an owl. They were low maintenance and easy to use, however there are no guidelines for decorating but that does mean you can go as simple or as jazzy as you like!
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Heat oven at Gas mark 3/160C
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Beat in eggs and vanilla extract
- Slowly add mixed dry ingredients until dough is formed, knead lightly and chill for 30mins
- Roll out ¼” thick and cut out shapes using the cookie cutters.
- Bake for 10-15 mins until golden and leave to cool completely.
You can find each of these baking items in our online store, along with a vast range of other baking accessories such as mixing bowls, baking trays, utensils and decorating sets – everything you could need to make your own delicious treats. Get in touch and keep up to date with all of our products via our social media sites, just click on the links at the bottom of the page and don’t forget to like or follow us.