I just have to look at these Halloween Creepy Spiders to make me smile……..and they are fun to make and decorate especially for little fingers. They would be a fun project for the half term holidays.
I always loved (and still do) Halloween and Bonfire night and I can still feel the excitement that I did as a child!
We followed the Scottish tradition of ‘guising’ rather than the more American ‘trick or treating’ – you had to put some effort in before you got a reward! So it was either a song or a dance or you read a poem as this was regarded rather odd in Yorkshire we got away with mumbling a few words that were vaguely poetic before we held out our hands but we did go to town with the handmade costumes! Bonfire night was next on the children’s calender of very exciting things. I know nowadays it is considered risky to have your own bonfire and much ‘safer’ (probably) to go to an organised event but this misses the point. Where is the building excitement of scavenging for wood etc to burn on the fire and then building the fire (I think we had help with this part!), not to mention the anxiety that someone may maliciously set fire to it before the night. Even more important to me was the lovely food that was associated with bonfire night, toffee apples, parkin, cinder toffee, sausages and homemade soup. Given the opportunity to go and see a spectacular firework display I’d rather stay home have a tiny fire, a packet of sparklers and the nice food any day!
Somewhere in between was the, much, more serious-Mischief night. I think this was a Yorkshire custom or at least Northern as I haven’t heard anyone else doing it other than in these areas. Opinions vary as to whether it was the night before Halloween or the night before Bonfire night. When I talk about it nowadays it always gives rise to a fair amount of consternation and tut tutting and a lot of taking the moral high ground. Hm..mm, it was, however, fairly tame and ‘just’ mischief such as taking gates off hinges (putting jam under the bars of your gate usually protected yours if you were lucky), ringing doorbells and drawing smiley faces (only with lipstick) on the round orbs on some neighbour’s gate posts………………..nothing to get too worked up about unless you were that way inclined
Just to get things going I would start with these lovely chocolate spiders….
HALLOWEEN CREEPY SPIDERS
2 tbsp. sifted cocoa powder
3 tbsp. boiling water
175g soft margarine
175 g unrefined caster sugar
175g self-raising flour, sifted with
1 tsp. baking powder
3 large eggs
½ bag of milk chocolate nibs
1 packet red ‘laces’
3 tbsp. chocolate spread e.g. Nutella at room temp
Set out paper cases in a bun tin. I used medium sized ones, smaller than a muffin case and larger than a fairy cake. Preheat oven to medium hot 160C, Gas mark 3.
- Put the sifted cocoa in a small bowl and gradually add the boiling water. Stir will until lump free and leave to cool. This is an ‘all in one’ recipe so, using an electric mixer, put the soft margarine, sugar, self-raising flour + baking powder, eggs and the cocoa mix in the bowl and beat, with a K beater, until just combined. Don’t overbeat.
- Gently fold in the chocolate nibs.
- Fill the cases to about halfway up the sides. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes –when cooked they should feel firm and bouncy if you, carefully, touch the top of the bun.
- Leave to cool completely on a wire tray.
- To decorate: Separate the laces and cut into dangly ‘legs’ using scissors, 4 each side. Use a knife to make holes in the middle of each bun and then push the legs in gently. I made 2 parallel small slits and pushed 4 into each.
- Put a small teasp of the chocolate spread in the centre of each bun. Use the back of a teaspoon, that has been dipped into boiling water (shake off the excess) to make a roundy body for the spider & cover up the edges of the legs. Use the cylindrical liquorice Allsorts that is filled with white fondant, & cut rounds to make the eyes. Make a mouth with a small piece of the bootlaces.
- Keep for up to 2 days in a tin.