Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween Folks ~ Rocket and Roses Style

Happy Halloween All...I had so much fun making these seasonal treats!
I hope Halloween finds you all well..not too hungover from the celebrations this past weekend. I personally had a hangover this I wouldn't mind had I been drinking like a lush! lol. But no..I was at two parties on Saturday and at both I drank...water..yup..just plain old H2O. But yesterday when I woke up I felt like I had sunk a litre bottle of Jack Daniels. How is that fair? Doing the time without doing the crime is what I say...I may be able to apportion the blame at the damn Skittles we consumed throughout the evening party..well when a friend fills a huge bowl with them and mixes two different varieties then it would be rude to not join in the fun and try guessing the flavours. So maybe it was a sugar was had by all and I shall be back to my low sugar zone from today. lol Do we know how to party or what? ;o)

I'd had some bad news on Thursday and during the sleepless night I thought up wonderful ideas for a Halloween themed blog posting. Friday was lost in a kitchen blurr and I really do think it's better then any therapy for me. And the picture above shows some of the end results. I divided the yield in half and took one batch to the first nephews 5th birthday party in the afternoon and the remaining half to our friends 'Wehoo we've paid off our mortgage party'. All were gratefully received and were eaten heartily. So I was very happy...

To me Halloween brings up images of toffee apples, bobbing for apples and fancy dress costumes. It has always been a fun day where you get to dress up in something silly and play party games. I have friends who abstain from the fun for religious beliefs and I completely respect that...for me and my family it's just always been a good excuse to have some harmless fun in amongst the serious hard times in life. I more than anyone needed to have some fun this week...and thankfully...I did! 

So with toffee apples in my head and the thoughts of beautiful carved pumpkins I set about making my spin on these traditional Halloween themes. I came up with Mini Spiced Apple Muffins dipped in Chocolate Lollies..instead of Toffee Apples. And Gingersnap Carved Pumpkin Face Cookies. Now I could claim I created these...and partially that would be true apart from two facts...the apple muffin recipe I adapted from a recipe My Love found online at and the gingersnap recipe is Isa & Terry's from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar....the rest was me. lol.

Mini Spiced Apple Muffins Dipped in Chocolate Lollies
Mini Spiced Apple Muffins Dipped in Chocolate Lollies Makes 12
(Muffin recipe adapted from wingitvegan.blogspot. Assembly & inspiration Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

3/4 cup wholemeal plain flour
2 tbsp ground fflax seeds 
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/4 salt
1/2 cup soya milk
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup light brown soft sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely diced

For the topping:
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon 

1 small bar of Dark Vegan Chocolate 

Preheat the oven to 375'F/190'C/Gas Mark 5. Have a mini muffin pan ready...if using a metal tray, grease the individual moulds...if using silicone just have it to one side ready. (I used a silicone one from a £1 shop and it worked fantastically ~R~) 

Mix the spice and sugar topping together in a small bowl and set to one side. Break the dipping chocolate into small pieces in a glass bowl that will fit on to the top of a small saucepan and set to one side. 

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, flax seeds, cinnamon, tumeric and salt. 

In a small bowl mix together the oil, milk, almond extract and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until it forms a loose batter. Then add the chopped apple and fold into the batter. 

Using a dessertspoon measure add a heaped dsp into each of the muffin cups. Topping up with leftover batter. Then using the spice topping sprinkle a good coating over each muffin. 

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 3 minutes. Then gently lift out of the pan and leave on a wire cooling rack until cold. 

Naked Mini Spiced Apple Muffins...damn it skeleton leave them alone! lol
When the muffins are completely cold gently push in small wooden lollie sticks into the centre of each muffin tops. Be careful to not push them completely through! 

Boil a kettle and then part fill a saucepan and bring to a rolling simmer and place the chocolate bowl over the water and gently melt the chocolate. Line a tray or baking sheet with parchment paper. When the chocolate has fully melted..gently roll the bottoms of the muffins in the chocolate and then stand them on the lined tray or sheet until the chocolate is cold and set. They should lift easily of off the parchment. I used Oasis to display the lollies the right way up. 

Enjoy! I got great feedback for thses so I hope if you try them enjoy them too! ~R~ 

Gingersnap Carved Pumpkin Cookies
Gingersnap Carved Pumpkin Cookies Makes 32 cookies
(Gingersnap recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar/Moskowitz & Terry.  
Inspiration and assembly from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)   

1/3 cup canola or sunflower oil
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup of plain soya milk
2 cups of whole wheat plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Spice Blend: 
1/2 tsp each ground nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon 
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger        

In a large bowl whisk together the oil and the sugar for three minutes. Add the molasses and the milk and whisk to combine. 

Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until it forms a dough like consistency. Then form into a ball and cover with cling film and place in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350'F/180'C/Gas Mark 4 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness. Then using a pumpkin cookie cutter (or cookie shape of your choice) cut out the shapes and using a spatula gently place on the prepared sheets. Repeat until all the dough is used up. Then place in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave them to cool on the sheets for 2 minutes then transfer to wire cooling racks until cold. 

Naked Gingersnap Pumpkin Cookies...that skeleton gets everywhere! lol
To ice the cookies we used icing sugar, water and a drop of red and yellow food coloring to get the lovely orange colour and mixed the icing to a fairly thick consistency so it wasn't runny. And using a small palate knife I covered the cookies (not all..just over half of them~R~)  Then using up some of the leftover black vegan icing from my nephews birthday cake we cut out small triangles and used them as the facial features. And voila...Pumpkin Face Cookies..and again they were a huge hit. 

A tray of Pumpkin Cookies...more cute than menacing I think? lol
So for those participating in the festivities...I wish you all fun and giggles. And for those not participating..hang in the morning it will all be over. Whatever you are doing..have fun. 

And thanks to and Isa & Terry for the recipes that inspired me to make both these treats.