How to get into the Halloween mood?

Hello everybody!

Are you too old for trick and treating or you don’t do stuff like that in your country? Well, when you are in the mood for Halloween anyway, I have some ideas for you how to make your 31st of October more interesting and pleasant.

But before…

Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, but Halloween today is less about the fear of ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. The Celts, who used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, also believed that the change of seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead. Over the centuries, Halloween transitioned from a pagan ritual to a day of parties, costumes, jack-o-lanterns and sweet treats for kids and adults.

 


 

1. Drink pumpkin spice latte

How to make one?

  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • about 1/4 cup of espresso, or 1/2 cup of strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream, whipped into firm peaks

  1. Heat the pumpkin and spices. Heat the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and a generous helping of black pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it’s hot and smells cooked, about 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the sugar. Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly, thick syrup.
  3. Warm the milk. Whisk in the milk and vanilla and warm gently, watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil over.
  4. Blend the milk. Carefully process the mixture with a hand blender or in a traditional blender (hold the lid down tightly with a thick wad of towels!) until frothy and blended.
  5. Mix the drinks. Make the espresso or coffee and divide between 2 mugs. Add the frothed milk and pumpkin mixture. Top with the whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg if desired.

recipe from: thekitchn.com

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2. Visit an actual haunted site

Because why not?

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3. Get a pumpkin

It’s up on you what you will do with it – carve it, make a lantern or out of the pulp and seeds make something to eat?

Roasted pumpkin seeds

  • 1 1/2 cups of raw whole pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of butter, melted
  • 1 pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees °C.
  2. Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.
  3. Tip: Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

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Creamy pumpkin soup

 

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus extra to serve
  •  1 onion, roughly chopped
  •  2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  •  600g of pumpkin, peeled, chopped
  •  1 potato, chopped
  •  2 carrots, chopped
  •  1 leek (white part only), chopped
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  3 cups (750ml) of concentrated chicken liquid stock
  •  1/2 cup (125ml) of pure (thin) cream
  •  1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
  •  dried cranberries, to serve
  •  finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve

 

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add garlic, vegetables and nutmeg, then toss to coat. Add stock and 2 cups (500ml) water, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Cool slightly.
  2. In batches, transfer to a blender and whiz until smooth. Return soup to the saucepan and place over low heat. Stir in cream, then season. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with seeds, cranberries and parsley, then drizzle with extra oil.

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4. Visit some kind of a corn field

And try to find your way through that maze. Quite funny, but lovely activity.

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5. Jump around in leaves

Forever young, huh.

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6. Experiment with spooky cocktails

Blood and Sand

  • 1 ounce (30ml) of scotch
  • ¾ ounce of Cherry Heering
  • ¾ ounce of sweet vermouth
  • ¾ ounce of fresh orange juice
  • 1 maraschino cherry, for garnish

Add the scotch, Cherry Heering, vermouth, and orange juice to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a cherry.

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Chartreuse Smash

  • 8 mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 ounce of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 2 ounces of green Chartreuse

Muddle the mint, lemon juice, and brown sugar at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add chartreuse and top with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint.

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Caramel Apple Punch

  • 1 quart (950ml) of apple cider, chilled
  • 1 1/4 cup of spiced rum
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 red apple, thinly sliced

In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine the apple cider, rum, and lemon juice; chill for up to 12 hours. Serve over ice and garnish with the apple.

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Chocolate Malted Martini

  • 3 tablespoons of vodka
  • 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of chocolate malt powder
  • 1 tablespoon of half and half (that sweet milk you get with your coffee)
  • 2 dashes of chocolate bitters

In a martini shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, chocolate syrup, malt powder, half and half, and bitters. Shake vigorously, then strain into a glass.

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Pumpkin Martini

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tablespoons of vodka
  • 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • 1 tablespoon of canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Combine the sugar and ⅛ teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice on a small plate. Dip the rim of a chilled martini glass in water, then dip in the sugar to coat.

In a martini shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, half and half, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice. Shake vigorously, then strain into the prepared glass.

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Vampire Punch

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Campari
  • 1/2 cup of gin
  • 1/2 cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 3 cups of club soda, chilled
  • 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced

Combine the sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar has completely dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Let it cool.

In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine the Campari, gin, orange juice, and sugar syrup; chill for up to 12 hours. Just before serving, add the club soda, pomegranate seeds, and orange. Serve over ice.

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Deviled Margarita

  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt (table salt is also good)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice, plus squeezed lime half
  • 3 tablespoons of tequila
  • 1 tablespoon of agave nectar

Combine the cayenne and 1 tablespoon salt on a small plate. Rub the rim of a glass with the cut lime, then dip in the cayenne salt to coat.

In a martini shaker filled with ice, combine the lime juice, tequila, and agave. Shake vigorously, then strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with the lime half.

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Dark and Spooky

  • 1/2 cup of ginger beer
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice, plus 1 lime wedge
  • 3 tablespoons of dark rum
  • 1 gummy candy bat

Fill a glass with ice and pour in the ginger beer and lime juice. To float the rum onto the ginger beer, turn a metal spoon upside down, hold just above the ginger beer, and slowly pour the rum over the back of the spoon. Garnish with the lime wedge and the gummy bat on a swizzle stick or wooden skewer.

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Bloody Maria

  • 3/4 cup of tomato juice
  • 3 tablespoons of tequila
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, plus 1 lime wedge
  • 1 teaspoon of chipotle hot sauce or regular hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • pinch of celery salt (optional)
  • 1 pimento-stuffed olive
  • 1 cornichon

In a liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, combine the tomato juice, tequila, lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and celery salt if using; stir well.

Serve over ice. Thread the lime wedge, olives, and cornichon through a toothpick and use as garnish.

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El Diablo

  • 1½ ounces of tequila
  • ½ ounce of crème de cassis
  • ½ ounce of lime juice
  • ginger beer
  • 2 lime wedges, for garnish

Add tequila, crème de cassis, and lime juice to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a squeeze of lime and a lime wedge.

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recipes from: realsimple.com

 

 

7. Pig out on Halloween candy

Either buy some or do them yourself.

Candy Corn

  • 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup of powdered milk
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup of corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup of salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • red and yellow food coloring
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and powdered milk and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for five minutes, stirring occasionally–the mixture will reduce and thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and stir to blend well. Transfer the dough to a bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and let it cool until it’s cool enough the handle.
  3. Divide the dough into thirds, placing each third in its own bowl. Kneading food coloring into the dough with your hands, color one third yellow, another third orange, and leave the last third white.
  4. Form each third of dough into a long thin rope, about 1cm in diameter. Lay the ropes side by side, touching each other: white, orange and yellow. To ensure they stick together, place a piece of waxed or parchment paper on top and roll gently with a rolling pin just to get the ropes to adhere, not to flatten them too much. Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, snip the dough into triangles. Keep a damp cloth nearby so you can wipe the knife or scissors clean of candy residue every so often. Let the finished kernels set in the open air in a single layer until they are dry to the touch, about an hour or two. Store in a single layer in a cool, dry place.

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Caramel Apple Pops

  • one bag of sour apple hard candies
  • one bag of caramels
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • candy sticks
  1. Place the apple candies on your silpat (only place 4 clusters on a sheet so there is enough space to place the stick in when they come out). Cook them for 4 1/2 minutes at 180°C. Watch them carefully because between 4 and 5 minutes they will be completely melted and flatten out. Depending on your oven they make take longer so it’s a good idea to test one alone on a sheet before you do a bunch.
  2. The candies will start to bubble up on the edges when they flatten out. As soon as this happens pull your baking sheet out of the oven and place your candy stick at the bottom of the candy. I twisted my stick so it coated it and was more secure to the candy. You have to do this immediately though. Leave the baking sheet on the counter. The sucker should harden in about 5 minutes, then remove and place on another silpat lined tray.
  3. Combine one bag of the individual caramels with one teaspoon of water and microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until caramel is completely melted. Let cool for 60 seconds then dip your suckers into the caramel. TIP: You need to do this fast and put the caramel dipped suckers back onto the silpat immediately or else the warmth of the caramel will melt the sucker and make it bend in half.
  4. Let everything cool in the fridge for one hour and you’re good to go!

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Peeps

  • about 1 cup of brine from 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon of xanthan gum
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream – optional (place unopened can upright in freezer for an hour or in refrigerator overnight to allow the fat to properly rise to the top of the can)
  • pinch of salt
  • fine sugar for dusting
  • edible pens for the eyes

 

  1. Place the chickpea brine into a mixer. Using the whisk attachment, start on the low setting for a minute or two, then slowly increase to the highest setting for 7-10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and frothy, and forms stiff peaks.
  2. Drizzle the sugar into the aquafaba. Wait one minute, then add in 1 tsp of the xanthan gum. Process one minute more, then add in another teaspoon of xanthan gum, whisking for 1-2 minutes more.
  3. If using the coconut cream, break up the coconut cream into small pieces and drop into the aquafaba very slowly (it will collapse if you add it in too quickly), then add the salt and process 1 minute more. The mixture should be airy and thick. Taste and add extra sugar or salt as needed.
  4. Use a ziploc bag to fill up the marshmallow cream. Cut a small slit into the corner. Pipe immediately.
  5. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar to keep from sticking to the bottom.
  6. Start with a body base. Moving clockwise, shape your ghosts from the bottom up by squeezing the bag full of marshmallow cream.
  7. Finish with a dusting of sugar if you like and dot with an edible marker for eyes.
  8. Allow to set for 20-30 minutes.

peeps

well, mine didn’t look like that

 

Candy Corn Peppermint Patties

  • 5 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of pure peppermint extract / if you prefer more minty flavor, use more extract/
  • 3 tablespoons of shortening
  • 20 ounces (about 570grams) of dipping chocolate wafers
  • gel food coloring: yellow and orange
  1. Beat 4 1/2 cups of sugar with corn syrup, water, peppermint extract, shortening, and a pinch of salt using an electric mixer (with paddle attachment if using a stand mixer) at medium speed until just combined. Knead on a work surface dusted with remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until smooth.
  2. Divide dough into 3 equally big sections. Color them yellow, orange and leave one section white.
  3. Roll each dough individually between two pieces of parchment paper. Dust the parchment paper with additional powdered sugar if needed.
  4. You need to make sure that layers of each dough are similar in size. I found that it helps to roll each dough into a “snake” shape of certain length and then just roll into a rectangle shape.
  5.  You don’t have to roll them too thin, just into a similar size.
  6. Layer white, orange and yellow or yellow orange and white layers on top of each other.
  7. Very gently using a rolling pin, roll out layered colored layers, so the dough is evenly thick throughout.
  8. Chill the dough covered for 30 minutes.
  9. Using a small round cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can. Making sure you cut them really closely you don’t have a lot of scraps.
  10. Gently gather scraps, don’t knead it. Roll the dough out again and cut out marbled patties.
  11. Chill cut out patties until hard.
  12. Layer a tray with wax paper.
  13. Have dipping fork ready (or a medium size meat fork).
  14. Melt the dipping chocolate wafers and dip each chilled peppermint patty in the chocolate and then nest it on the tray lines with wax paper. Once you are done dipping return tray with chocolate coated patties into the fridge. Returning tray into the fridge help the chocolate to set shiny.
  15. Store in the cool, dry place, in the airtight container, layered between pieces of wax paper.

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Apple Cider Caramels

  • 2 cups of apple cider
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, divided
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1/3 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup of butter, cubed
  1. In a saucepan, boil apple cider for 20-30 minutes or until it is reduced down to 1/3 cup. Set it aside to cool.
  2. Line a 20x20cm square pan with parchment paper. Coat with a bit of cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup whipping cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and reduced apple cider. Set aside.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 cup whipping cream, water, and corn syrup. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves (about 5-10 minutes). Insert a candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 110°C
  5. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the cider and cream mixture. Add the butter and combine until fully incorporated. Return the pan to heat and re-insert candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 120°C. Once temperature reaches 120°C, cook for 2 minutes longer.
  6. Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  7. Once cooled, cut the caramels into squares or rectangles and wrap each caramel in wax paper. Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator.

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Boo-Berry Bats

  • 2 1/2 cups of frozen wild blueberries, thawed
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup of black cocoa powder
  • 3 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 packages of liquid pectin
  • about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, to coat
  1. Place both wild blueberries and applesauce in your blender or food processor, and thoroughly puree. Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then, until the mixture is completely smooth. Add in the cocoa powder and blend briefly to combine.
  2. Transfer the puree into a medium pot with high sides, along with sugar, lime juice, and cinnamon. Though it may seem like a lot of sugar, don’t forget that this is candy we’re talking about, and the pectin requires a certain amount of sugar to set properly. Whatever you do, do not attempt to reduce the amount or swap it for a different sweetener!
  3. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. While that comes up to temperature, line a 22x22cm square baking pan and lightly grease it in preparation for the finished candy.
  4. Once boiling, add in the pectin, mix thoroughly to incorporate, and stir while the mixture boils for a full 10 minutes. Continue scraping the bottom and sides of the pot with your spatula to make sure that nothing is sticking and burning. Remove from the heat and pour the liquid candy into your prepared pan. Allow that to come to room temperature before moving the pan into the fridge. Let chill until set, at least 2–3 hours, before cutting into bat shapes using a small cookie cutter.
  5. Toss the bats in granulated sugar and store in an airtight container. Kept away from moisture and in a cool place, the bats should last for 1 – 2 weeks, if they aren’t devoured before then.

this is how should it look like. I didn’t get to this point, unfortunately.

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recipes from: delish.com

 

 

8. Turn your home into a haunted house

Pick a theme, sign up your squad, set a path and light it up at the end!

for example

halloween-decorations-spider-web-throughout-gratifying-incredible-outdoor-halloween-decoration-idea-with-scary-home-for-voguish-halloween-decorations-spider-web-936x483

 

9. Play around with dark makeup

By this I don’t mean any masks or parts of costumes – just simple dark makeup.

 

10. Watch scary movies all night

Top 100 horror movies according to Rotten Tomatoes.

 

11. Tell ghost stories around the fire

Why not to try this kind of “movie experience”, huh?

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12. Make a Pumpkin Pie

  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can of  pure canned pumpkun
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked 22,5cm (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • whipped cream (optional)
  1. Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  2. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Bake in preheated 220°C oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180°C; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

 

13. Take a night hike with your brave friends

Well, this is certainly not on my list according to the fact that I saw a wolf on the driveway from my window last night.

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14. Roast your marshmallows!

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15. Make a spooky Halloween playlist

Some ideas for you:

  • “This Is Halloween” – Marilyn Manson
  • “Spirit In the Sky” – Norman Greenbaum”
  • “Dead Man’s Party” – Oingo Boingo
  • “Living Dead Girl” – Rob Zombie
  • “Black Magic Woman” – Santana
  • “Hells Bells” – AC/DC
  • “Runnin’ With the Devil” – Van Halen​
  • “Zombie” – The Cranberries
  • “Bad Moon Rising” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • “Sympathy for the Devil” – The Rolling Stones
  • “Highway to Hell” – AC/DC
  • “A Nightmare on My Street” – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  • “Dragula” – Rob Zombie
  • “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – The Charlie Daniels Band
  • “Time Warp – The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • “Halloween (Theme)” – John Carpenter
  • “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” – Blue Oyster Cult
  • “Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon
  • “Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell
  • “This Is Halloween” – Danny Elfman
  • “The Monster” – Eminem ft. Rihanna
  • “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.
  • “Monster Mash” – Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers
  • “Demons” – Imagine Dragons
  • “Thriller” – Michael Jackson

 

16. Take a spooky graveyard tour

A must-do!

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17. Bake Halloween-shaped cookies

  • 250g of unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g of powdered sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 500g of plain flour
  • red and black food colouring
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Halloween-themed cookie cutters
  • red, white and black writing icing
  • 200g of ready-to-roll fondant icing
  • 1 tablespoon of apricot jam, warmed with 1 teaspoon of water
  1. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, preferably using an electric mixer, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. (If the mixture looks a little curdled, add a spoonful of the flour.) If you’re using food colouring, add a few drops to the mixture.
  2. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Stir the flour into the butter mixture and work into a dough using floured hands. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead into a ball (the dough will be quite wet). Divide the dough into two portions, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  4. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm thickness on lightly floured work surface. (It’s best to roll out one portion of the dough at a time, leaving the remainder in the fridge.) Cut shapes out with the Halloween cutters. Take a few limbs and heads off the gingerbread man for added gore.
  5. Place the cookies onto the baking tray, leaving a gap between them in case they spread a little.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. Once cool, let your imagination run wild. Use the red writing icing along the edges of the missing limbs and heads as blood. For the skeletons and mummies, roll the fondant icing out to a 0.5cm thickness on a work surface dusted with icing sugar and cut out shapes using the same cutters as the cookies. Brush the cookies with the warmed apricot jam and stick the icing onto the cookies. Decorate with the white and black writing icing.

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18. Read a thriller

Jo Nesbø for me!

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19. Visit a pumpkin patch

If there are any in your town.

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20. Host a junk-food potluck

With all the treats and recipes mentioned above ❤

 

Happy Halloween, friends!

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