Witches' Finger biscuits, Jellified Teeth, Green Spaghetti & a Smokey Negroni that's strong enough to make your eyes water... cook up some unappetisingly home-made Halloween treats.
It is okay to be spooked by Halloween, to be horrified as tubs of trick or treat sweets start to pile up in the aisles, to be scared at the thought of all of those costumes going into landfill as the days shorten and children no longer want to roam the streets dressed as Squid Game contestants. But for one night only the hysteria is upon us all, and better to embrace the wildness and the anarchy than to worry yourself into an early grave.
Whether you face down your fears and have your own party, spend the evening on a park bench in ghoulish wonder, or dust off your scythe and head for the nearest graveyard, the quickest route to pleasure is to make the whole grim affair your own. Don’t be tempted by quick-fix supermarket solutions; that is where the dark side lingers. When those acrylic demons come a knocking, offer them something unappetisingly home-made instead. Here are a few foul suggestions (and if you don’t have time, head straight for options 4 and 5).
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1) Serve some Witches’ Finger biscuits. You will find plenty of recipes for these on the internet, and they are all ghastly. It is a simple biscuit dough, with added blanched almonds and jam for the bloody fingernails. Beat 100g butter and 100g caster sugar in a food processor (or by hand if you want to suffer). Beat in 1 egg and a teaspoon of vanilla essence, then sift in 225g plain flour and ½ teaspoon baking powder. Mix to form a soft dough and chill for 30 minutes. Shape into fingers, use a knife to score the knuckles and press an almond at the tip for the nail. Bake for 20 minutes at 165, allow to cool, then decorate the nail base with strawberry jam. Revolting.
2) Hand round the Jellified Teeth. Make up a batch of green jelly and pour into paper cupcake cases. Allow to set for approx. 30 minutes, then add your choice of sugary nasties: jelly dentures are my go-to. Hateful.
3) Green spaghetti. We could give you a recipe for home-made pesto, but that sounds far too appetising. This will amuse your little horrors after school, and when cold it also makes a great base for a revolting and not very lucky dip. Or the beginnings of a food fight. Cook 500 grams of spaghetti in salted boiling water. Toss with olive oil or butter, and add a copious amount of green food colouring. Stir, wretch, and serve.
4) Smokey Negroni. Strong enough to make your eyes water, and made with delicious smoked gin, this cocktail will certainly take the edges off when the doorbell won’t stop ringing. Mix equal parts Vermouth, Campari, and Fishers Smoked Gin. Pour over ice and garnish with a slice of blood orange.
5) Turn the lights off and pretend you are not in.