5 books to get your Halloween tricks and treats sorted


I’ve written about books for Halloween treats for the last five years and, to be fair, there aren’t many new books each year. So this time I’ve decided to choose my five favourite cookbooks from the last five years, which have treats galore.


The Spooky 3D Cookbook - an unusual cookbook gift for a food lover


The Spooky 3D Cookbook – from 2014’s choices, I had to include this one as I think it’s the only time I’ve featured a 3D cookbook on the blog. That’s surely an unusual gift of a cookbook for any food lover.


The Martini Diva's Halloween Martinis & Munchies Book


The Martini Diva’s Halloween Martinis and Munchies Book – purely for the title alone! And who says that Halloween is just for the kids?


Ghoulish Goodies - our favourite Halloween cookbook


Ghoulish Goodies – this has been in my house since 2009, and brought out every year by MGG. We’ve made lots of things from it, and I reckon there’ll be a few more recipes tried this year too.


Wormy Apple Croissants and Other Halloween RecipesWormy Apple Croissants and Other Halloween Recipes – I think this book title has the right kind of yuck element to it that will make the kids want to check it out. And if that gets them into the kitchen that’s got to be a good thing.


Halloween Treats by Annie Rigg - perfect cookbook gift for a food lover at Halloween


Halloween Treats – I love Annie Rigg’s books, and always liked the look of this one. Still best for a cute approach to Halloween, rather than a blood and guts version. Which is fine by me!

It’s an event for a bit of fun on the cooking and baking front. I’ll see more black and orange colouring in the kitchen that weekend than the rest of the year put together, but I love it.


Halloween treats for kids big and small


Halloween is almost upon us


Halloween seems to grow every year. I have written about it every year since 2009, which I think is the first year we seriously got involved, mainly because we live in a village, there are lots of kids and it’s a pretty safe environment for them to go trick or treating. That, and I have a great cookbook!

But if you don’t want to do it yourself, then these are some goodies, or should that be baddies, that I’ve picked out as treats without the tricks.

Fortnum & Mason Pick Your Poison Truffles for Halloween

I always think of Fortnum & Mason as being too posh to do Halloween (although they are the only retailer I know who lists it as Hallowe’en, which I am sure is technically correct). Last year there was a great hamper, and there’s a few more like that this year. But for a laugh I like the Pick Your Poison Truffles.


James Chocolates Spooky Chocolate Haunted House

I’ve done gingerbread houses at Christmas, but never seen a chocolate house before, and certainly not a chocolate haunted house. Love this one from James Chocolates, great centre piece if you’re having a party. Or are greedy.


Halloween Cookie Pops


For something a bit different, then how about these cookie pops? Yes, I know they’re biscuits on a stick but they are a bit of fun.


Those pesky kids! Scooby Doo tin from Biscuiteers


This is one from my childhood, and if you were lovers of those pesky kids, then this tin of Scooby Doo iced biscuits from Biscuiteers could be just the thing. I love the monsters in this tin, I can imagine some arguments over who gets what!


Halloween Treats jar of sweets


Depending on how many kids of all ages you’ve got home for Halloween, then this jar of Halloween treats might be just the thing. All sorts of ghostly sweets from rats to brains, fangs to skeletons, so perfect for the big night.


Halloween Chocolate Cube


And if you want some cute chocolate gifts, that are more treat than trick, then I love these Halloween gift cubes from Chocolate Trading Co. Slightly less ghoulish than some!

Have some fun with it, particularly as it falls on a Saturday night this year. But remember, please be about the treats and no tricks.


The Friday Five – making treats for Halloween


It’s that time of year, when the kitchen comes over a bit spooky and we make treats that look like tricks. It’s been going on for a few years now, and I should probably update my cookbook choice, but there’s still quite a few recipes for me to go at. But if I was looking for some new inspiration, maybe one of these would do the trick:


Halloween Treats by Annie Rigg - great gift of a cookbook for a food lover at Halloween


Halloween Treats – a great book from Annie Rigg. These are definitely more cute than creepy to me, perhaps more suitable if you’ve got little ones to entertain on Halloween (we appear to be entering more of a zombie stage here). Annie’s recipes and designs are always lovely, so I’d definitely think about this one.


Spooky 3D Cookbook - gift of a cookbook for a food lover at Halloween


The Spooky 3D Cookbook – I would say this was perfect if you’re going to actually be cooking with the kids, as sure the 3D glasses will be very popular! This is definitely less cute, with recipes like Blood & Guts Pasta, Eyeball Tarts and Bleeding Berries Crumble. I can imagine that this would appeal to my 7 year old nephew no end!


Halloween Tricks Treats - a gift of a cookbook for a food lover at Halloween


Halloween! Tricks, Treats, Fun and Sweets – that about sums up the focus of the book! This probably gives you more “proper” meal ideas, based on autumn eating not just Halloween. I really like the sound of Corn & Ham Muffins and Pumpkin Fritters, sounds like a good autumn meal ahead of heading out trick or treating.


Cake Decorating with the Kids:  Halloween - perfect cookbook gift for a food lover


Cake Decorating with the Kids – Halloween – if you don’t want to invest much in a book for such a one off occasion, then this eBook might be just the trick. Just 91p, this eBook is perfect for making a few simple projects with the kids. I mean, Scary Spider Cupcakes are surely a must do for Halloween?


Ghoulish Goodies - a perfect cookbook gift for a food lover


Ghoulish Goodies – sometimes, your first choice is a good one, and this is the one that is still in use in this house.  Zombie Eyeballs are still popular, although to be fair we make Funny Bones every year, having now perfected our technique. I love this book, even if just once a year!

So go on, go a bit mad in the kitchen this Halloween. What ever you turn out is going to be so much better than most pre-made stuff, and everyone can get involved in helping. Definitely makes for all treats in my book.


Maybe this is just the treat of a Fortnum’s hamper I need


I’ve always wanted a Fortnum’s hamper, just because really. It’s one of those stores that as a kid coming up from Bristol just blew my mind. Not as overwhelming as Harrods, but just an amazing store.

And with all the recent refits, it still does it for me.


Halloween Hamper from Fortnum & Mason - a great gift for a food lover at Halloween, all treats, no tricks


I think they’ve definitely got with the times, and I do love their Halloween collection each year (although being Fortnums it’s listed as Hallowe’en, and I do love good punctuation). This little Trick or Treat hamper is just so cute (possibly not the right word for Halloween) but who doesn’t want a Dracula gingerbread? Not to mention a whole stack of scary sweets.

And then that basket is perfect for collecting an awful lot of trick or treat goodies. But even more so it’ll carry a great picnic when the warm weather returns!


The Friday Five – bring on the treats for Halloween


I’m not mad on Halloween, other than it’s a great excuse for all kinds of over the top cooking and baking. We’ve been doing something different every year for about four years, ever since I bought a copy of Ghoulish Goodies, and MGG was keen to get really involved in trick or treating.

I’m not sure what this year will involve here but if you want some inspiration for getting involved this year, then try this five:


Halloween Spooktacular - a gift of a cookbook for a food lover at Halloween


Matthew Mead’s Halloween Spooktacular – sounds like Matthew Mead has quite a following, and certainly seems to love Halloween. This book covers decorations as well as nibbles and sweet stuff. Well, sweet tasting if not sweet looking.


Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook - a gift of a cookbook for a food lover at Halloween


Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook – ah, queen of the American box of cake mix does Halloween. This does more than just sweet things, so there are main courses and drinks, not to mention delicious bites. Every pun intended I would imagine!


Best of Halloween tricks & treats - a gift of a cookbook for a food lover at Halloween


Best of Halloween Tricks & Treats – well, I bet they must have thought long and hard about that title! But this looks like the real package, so everything from inventive ways to carve your pumpkin, through great costumes and mummy cupcakes. I’m not big on cupcakes, but I do like the look of these, as they don’t look too poncey!


Halloween The British Guide - a gift of a cookbook for a food lover at Halloween


Halloween: The Quintessential British Guide to Treats and Frights – this one is unusual, in that it’s not an American book, so must be worth a look. With sections called Frights, Lights and Delights on creating the right spooky atmosphere, through to Graveyard Grub for your Halloween feast, then this probably gives a slightly different on all aspects of the evening’s events.


The Martini Diva's Halloween Martinis & Munchies Book


The Martini Diva’s Halloween Martinis and Munchies Book – somehow don’t think this one is for your kid’s party! But got to be worth it so you’re ready to serve up a Black Cat Martini or a Vampire’s Kiss Martini. Some sound more gross than those, depends on your nerve. Canapes to match, surprise and spook, so definitely making for tricky treats!

As far as I can see, it’s a pretty naff kind of holiday so you may as well go all out and embrace it. I would imagine anything that you turn out is still going to be better than anything the stores will turn out!


Doing Halloween with at least a little taste


The littlest vampire - perfect gift for a food lover at Halloween

Tesco announced last week that Halloween is now more important to their sales than Valentine’s Day. What a romantic lot we are! In fact, it’s even bigger than Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, only leaving Christmas and Easter as bigger events.

And, lets face it, they’ll be putting in a whole load of rubbish that is probably more trick than treat, even though kids will probably love them. If you have big kids, or even little kids with taste, then these are some of the more tasty looking things I’ve spotted. If you’ve got anyone with a Halloween birthday, then these might make a tasty gift, even if the joke may well be wearing a little thin for them if it’s the 53rd year someone’s tried it.

* Even the posh shops are getting in on the act, with Fortnums having the cutest little marzipan vampire I’ve ever seen! Should you require something more ghoulish, then the chocolate skulls might do the trick. Or you could go full out and have the Trick or Treat hamper, possibly the classiest selection of treats around!

* If you require your treats in the form of chocolate, then try the selection at Chocolate Trading Co. They’ve got ghosts, witches, spiders, pumpkins…everything you could need to create your own little chocolate coven really!

*For something a bit more on the sugar overload side of things, then I like the Halloween Box of Horribly Tasty Treats from A Quarter Of. There are 11 different sugary treats, including Dracula Fangs and Scary Jelly Skeletons, not to mention Squirting Skulls, which sound quite revolting. I would say perfect for teenagers, who will think they’re too cool for school, but will devour this in no time.

* Bring out the squeamish side of your party guests, with the Zombie Brain Jelly Mould. Set that down on the table, and I don’t think it’ll just be the jelly that’s quivering! Or if you want jelly with something else extra, then try their Red Hot Chilli Jellies.

As you’ll have the weekend, then you may want to knock up your own goodies. MGG and I had a great time last year making treats from Ghoulish Goodies, which I highly recommend as a book that kids will love choosing stuff from. I also wrote about other great books for the occasion. Okay, I know it’s one day a year, but so’s Christmas and I bet we’ve all got a few Christmas cookbooks tucked away. Go on, beat Tesco at their own game, make your own!


The Saturday Session – all treats, no tricks


It’s been a busy morning here at FGH HQ, with a whole load of cooking going on ready for trick or treating tonight. I decided to eschew the easy option of the bags of multi coloured goo and sugar from the supermarket, and go for homemade versions.

This has involved MGG poring over the pages of Ghoulish Goodies, one of the books I featured in the Friday Five about cookbooks dedicated to Halloween. I really love it, and there are great ideas for everything from chocolate treats to cookies and full on cakes. Sadly, the whistling past the graveyard cake will have to wait for another day!

First up, Zombie Eyeballs (they’re monsters in the book, but we took a little creative licence). Perfect to make with kids as no cooking involved, although I would probably melt the butter and possibly warm the peanut butter next time, as these were a little crumbly to put together. But MGG was not to be defeated:


Rolling zombie eyeballs


These need an hour or so in the fridge before the final step: a roll in chocolate, leaving enough space for a cornea and a mini Smartie for an iris!

Next up, Funny Bones. These were fun and games, as we are obviously not as fond of pretzel sticks as they are in the US. I thought I might be in luck and they’d be in the Christmas snack section, but sadly not. We had to make do with a box of Mikado biscuits, but of course this meant the chocolate has taken on a slighly marbled effect. I did think about nibbling all the milk chocolate off first, but thought that probably contravened several health and safety regs!


Bones awaiting their dipping


Once dipped, these just need a few hours in the fridge to firm up. What are the joints? Well, there are uses for mini marshmallows other than for sprinkling on hot chocolate!

Next up, eye of lizard. To be fair, these started out as monster toes, but they spread a lot during cooking, and also the M&Ms split their casings. This gives them a slighly surreal eye look, so we have renamed them into that classic cauldron ingredient!


Eye of lizard heading for the fire


So next up we just need some paper cones, a Halloween menu and we’re ready to go. This is what they have in store:

Zombie eyeballs


Zombie eyeballs anyone?


Eye of lizard


Eye of Lizard


Funny bones


Dem Bones


Happy Halloween, may all your treats be tasty!


The Friday Five – All treats, no tricks, for Halloween


I think it’s probably clear I don’t need much encouragement to buy a new cook book! But even I think and pause when it’s around lesser holidays. I mean, I have a couple of titles devoted to Christmas which is, lets face it, just one day. So why nothing for other one day events? Well, with one heading our way, and great enthusiasm for it in this household from MGG, here are five options for inspiration around Halloween.


Halloween Fun & Food - gift of a cookbook for a food lover at Halloween


1. Halloween Fun & Food – this does the lot! Not just spooky recipes but games and decorations for the home. Work through this lot and it’ll be a Halloween to remember! I like the sound of Spider Web Pizzas, sure the kids would love both making and eating these! Plenty of punch recipes, for big kids and small!

2. Halloween by Martha Stewart – I’ve got a bit of a thing for Martha Stewart, and before I had MGG then me and Martha were on good terms in the run up to Christmas. Funnily enough though, I ran out of time for all those twiddly things when MGG was little. Now she’s 7 I think I could start again, and maybe Halloween is a good place to do so. Knowing Martha, there will be the most amazing recipes for good and unusual stuff, as well as wonderfully artistic and tasteful decorations.

3. Ghoulish Goodies – the kids will love this one just for the cupcake on the front! Bet you get requests for that one! In addition to creature feature cupcakes, it promises monster eyeballs, bat wings and witches knuckles. I would love to do these instead of ready packaged stuff from the supermarket and I’m sure kids would love an unusual cookie, rather than another gummy blob. Definitely a good one for the bakers amongst you.

4. Madam Witch’s Halloween Witchery – I love this one just for the title really. Again, it’s a combination of recipes and crafting, but this looks the opposite of Martha. Not very slick looking, but fun and definitely home made!

5. Wormy Apple Croissants and Other Halloween Recipes – again, another great title for getting the kids involved. And if you start with Halloween, you may just get them really into food and cooking all year round. One day wormy apple croissants, the next it’ll be beef wellington!

As Halloween falls on a Saturday then it’s the perfect day to prepare your own treats, rather than the prepackaged stuff. It’ll give the kids something great to do all day, and then something fab to eat all night.