Price Points: Halloween Treats

Selection of Halloween treats | H is for Home

Do you celebrate Halloween? We’re a kid-free household so it’s not at the top of our agenda on 31st October. That’s not to say we don’t get the neighbourhood kids knocking on our door expecting Halloween treats!

No one wants to be known as the local Scrooge (mixing my festivities there!). So everyone should have a selection of sweets to hand over to eager witches, warlocks, mummies and pumpkins… and their patient custodians.

  1. Halloween Chupa Chups (pack of 14): £1.00
  2. Pumpkin marshmallows in a bag, 180g: £7.50, Fortnum & Mason
  3. Halloween treats selection jar: £19.79, A Quarter of…

Have a Hornsea Halloween

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Vintage Hornsea Halloween mug showing witch detail | H is for Home

What a perfect drinking vessel to toast the evening.

Vintage Hornsea Halloween mug | H is for Home

This fabulous vintage witches mug was designed by John Clappison for Hornsea Pottery in the 1970s and comes from their ‘Birthday’ range.

Hornsea Halloween mug showing cat details | H is for Home

We just love the old crones and cat flying on their broom.

Vintage Hornsea witches mug base with birthday greeting: 'If I but had THREE WISHES And only one came true, I'd ride with these THREE WITCHES Upon their broom to YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY'

Happy Halloween everyone!


Cakes & Bakes: Soul cakes

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Home-made soul cakes | H is for Home #recipe

These soul cakes are very fitting for this week’s Cakes & Bakes. They’re part of an ancient Christian tradition that took place in the UK – especially ‘up North’ – each All Hallow’s Eve. Or, as it’s better known in this day & age, Halloween.

sugar, butter and egg yolks

The cakes were baked on All Hallow’s Eve to honour the dead – hence the name ‘soul’ – and the cross made on them before baking. On All Saints’ Day (1st Nov) and All Souls’ Day (2nd Nov), they were then were given as alms to the poor (especially children). Perhaps it’s the origin of modern day trick or treating.

plain flour and ground spices

I searched through all my old-fashioned cookery books and finally found a recipe for them in the not so old A Calendar of Feasts: Cattern Cakes and Lace.

adding currants to soul cakes dough

The recipe isn’t the most detailed, but from the way they turned out, I’d say they were more a biscuit than a cake! If I made them thicker than I did, they’d probably resemble scones… but they wouldn’t have cooked completely through in the 15 minutes advised.

cutting soul cakes dough

I was all out of the mixed spice that the recipe called for; I did some detective work and found out that Schwartz mixed spice comprises nutmeg, cinnamon and ground coriander seed. I used half a teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon… I was all out of coriander seeds too!

uncooked soul cakes

I don’t think the mixed spice is mandatory if you don’t have any, soul cakes can be made with ground ginger, allspice, the aforementioned nutmeg and cinnamon… or any mixture of all the above!

soul cakes cooling on a wire rack

I wonder if I’ll get any funny looks from the neighbourhood kids if I hand these out when they come around trick or treating this weekend!

Soul cakes
Yields 20
Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 175g/6oz butter
  2. 175g/6oz caster sugar
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. 450g/1lb plain flour
  5. 1tsp ground mixed spice
  6. A little milk to mix (I used about 4 tbsps)soul cakes ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl and then beat in the egg yolks one at a time
  3. Sift the flour and the spice into another bowl then add to the butter mixture
  4. Stir in the currants and add milk if necessary to form a soft dough
  5. Form the dough into flat cakes and mark each with a cross
  6. Put on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown
Print
Adapted from A Calendar of Feasts: Cattern Cakes and Lace
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Gimme Five! Grown up Halloween treats

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selection of 5 grown up Halloween treats | H is for Home

We don’t have children and our young nieces & nephews don’t live nearby. That means that we’ve never really got into the swing of Halloween. But then we thought – what about a grown up Halloween? Surely adults are catered for!

Well, what do you know? We are! Along with the expected ghoulish and witchy fancy-dress costumes, we found a few fab things to make an over 18s Halloween soirée go swimmingly.

  1. Pumpkin tap kit – Halloween draft beer drink dispenser: $29.99, eBay
  2. Pack of six skeleton Halloween lanterns by hunkydory home: £8.75, Notonthehighstreet
  3. Le Creuset petite pumpkin casserole: £25, John Lewis
  4. Crystal head vodka: £60, Fortnum & Mason
  5. Blood bath shower gel: 3 for £20, IWOOT