Jacqueline remembers Halloween celebrations from her childhood and shares a recipe for some scary chocolate and candy filled Halloween bark.
As a wee girl growing up in Scotland, Halloween was magical.
There was always a party and at that party we would ‘dook’ for apples and play treacle scones.
You’ve probably heard of dooking for apples, where you have to dive into a basin of water and catch an apple with your teeth, but you may not have heard of treacle scones. Originally it was a game where treacle scones where hung from a washing line and children had to try to catch them and eat them without using their hands, but by the time I played the game it had morphed into pancakes dripping with treacle or golden syrup. A very messy game indeed!
In the evening we would go guising. Our mothers would have spent days and sometimes weeks preparing our costumes, so we could dress up and go door to door around the neighbourhood. You may think this sounds like the American style trick or treating that kids do today, but no, there was a lot more work involved than that. We didn’t just arrive at doors and shout trick or treat, we had to prepare in advance. We would be expected to put on a show for our neighbours. We would dance, sing a song or recite a poem. We had to work for our treats!
It’s still a great time of year for children, but I can’t help thinking that some of the joy has been lost. It seems to be more about buying costumes and expecting treats. That said, I still like to prepare for the neighbourhood children. This year I shall be filling clear plastic gloves with popcorn and turning them into witches hands, with a sweetie for the nail and a plastic spider ring adorning one finger. I’ll be offering a healthy treat too by turning satsumas into mini pumpkins with the aid of a marker pen and lastly I shall be making some Halloween bark.
300g white chocolate
300g dark chocolate
6 small boxes of mini smarties (from selection pack)
2 packets of jelly tots
2 packets of white buttons
mini fudge pieces
For the eyes
Black sugar paste, black pen with edible ink or liquorice cut into small pieces
Line a baking tray or two baking trays if they aren’t very big with baking parchment
Melt the chocolate. I melted each type of chocolate in a bain marie (in a bowl over gently simmering water), but you can melt in the microwave.
Make eyes by rolling balls of fondant and adding a pupil with black sugar paste, edible ink or liquorice.
Scatter eyes and sweeties across the baking paper.
Pour one batch of melted chocolate across the sweeties, then the other melted chocolate. Use a spatula to spread evenly across the tray, while swirling the colours together.
Top with the rest of the sweeties and eyes, then pop in the fridge until set.
Once set, carefully remove from the baking sheet and break into chunks.
Hand out to the overexcited children who visit you and think about how different it all was when you were young.
Feel old and eat any remaining bark to cheer yourself up!
Notes: You can add any sweeties you like to the bark. You could also add mini marshmallows, popcorn or broken Oreo biscuits.
Inspired? For more Halloween recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.
It was always popular in Scotland and such fun, although it really is Americanised now. Speaking of popcorn, I had better get started making those witches hands soon.
30 October 2013
I'm reading this with my daughter who is loving your Halloween Bark. Sounds like I should have lived in Scotland because very few people celebtrated it when I was a kid and I think they were mainly American. I also love your popcorn hands idea, I bet your house is popular at Halloween:-)
29 October 2013
Whether you want to fix up a quick batch of scones for tea or create an impressive soufflé dessert, this baker's collection is a good reference of some fantastic examples of British baking.
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