In need of a “treat” for the neighbor’s cute but pesky kids? Exact revenge during the village Halloween party with some gross (but good) refreshments. Boo!
Ingredients: 1 c unsalted butter, softened; 1 c icing sugar (sift through a sieve after measuring to remove lumps); 1 large egg (room temp); 1 tsp almond extract; 1 tsp vanilla; 2 1⁄4 c all-purpose flour; 1 tsp baking powder; 1 tsp salt; 3⁄4 c whole blanched almonds (about 60); and red decorating gel, as needed
1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter sugar, egg and extracts together.
2. In another mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Beat dry ingredients into butter mixture, then cover bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 325ºF; have cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper, ready.
5. Remove only 1/4 of the dough from refrigerator; measure out heaping teaspoonfuls and shape into fingers.
6. Press an almond firmly into the end of each “finger” to make the fingernail.
7. Below the almond and at the opposite end of the finger, press in dough to create knuckle halfway down; using the back of a table knife, make indents into the knuckle.
8. If you want really big ugly fingers with two gnarled knuckles, use about a tablespoon of dough per cookie.
9. Place on paper-lined cookie sheets and bake in preheated oven until a pale golden color—about 20 to 25 minutes.
10. After first sheet goes into the oven, remove more dough from the fridge to make more fingers.
11. When cookies are done, remove from oven and let cool for three minutes.
12. Carefully lift up almond from each finger and squeeze some red decorating gel onto nail bed, then press almond back into place; the red gel will creepily ooze out.
13. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
Dracula’s Blood Punch
Dracula’s Blood Punch
Ingredients: 2 l cherry juice; peel from 3 oranges, pared with a vegetable peeler; 1 thumb-sized red chili, pierced a few times but left whole; 3 cinnamon sticks; 10 cloves; 6 slices ginger; and Dracula’s fangs sweets, to serve, optional
1. Tip the cherry juice, orange peel, chili, cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger into a large saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Leave to cool, then chill for at least 4 hours, or up to two days— the longer you leave it the more intense the flavors. If serving to young children, take the chili out after a few hours.
2. When you’re ready to serve, pour the juice into a jug. Serve in glass bottles or glasses and pop a straw in each. Dangle a fangs sweet from each glass. (Recipes and photos from www.food. com; www.bbcgoodfood.com)