Halloween gravestone biscuits
Skill level: Bit of effort
Costs: Cheap as chips
Our mummy blogger Anneliese says: 'No Halloween would be complete without a creepy graveyard, especially if it tastes good! Very young children can be a little overwhelmed by zombies and gruesome mummies, so this fun graveyard scene is perfect and shouldn't lead to any nightmares! There are so many flavours and textures in this recipe, so it will appeal to all the family.'
IngredientsFor the biscuits:
- 175g plain flour
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 100g butter, cold
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
For the Rice Krispie squares:
- 20g butter
- 145g mini marshmallows
- 90g Rice Krispies
For the buttercream:
- 25g butter, softened
- 60g icing sugar
For the decoration:
- 12tsp Nutella/chocolate spread
- 50g desiccated coconut
- Green food colouring
- Green writing icing
- Black food colouring
- Orange fondant
- Black writing icing
If you want to save time you could use shop-bought Rice Krispie Squares instead of making your own.
To make the biscuits:
- Ask your child to grease a baking tray lightly with butter. Put to one side for later.
- Weigh the flour and ginger into a mixing bowl. If your child is able to handle a table knife, then they can carefully slice the cold butter into chunks. Add the chunks of butter to the flour and ginger in the mixing bowl.
- Your little helper can now use their fingertips to rub the butter into the flour.
- Once the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs it's time to stop and add in the sugar, then pour in the small amount of milk.
- Bring the mixture together. My little boy enjoyed doing this with his hands but you can use a spoon to start off with. Once the dough has come together to form a smooth ball, you can wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- While the biscuit dough firms up in the fridge, you have plenty of time to make the Rice Krispie squares!
To make the Rice Krispie squares:
- Find a 9 inch square cake tin and line with a piece of cling film. Make sure that the cling film overhangs the sides of the tin. This stops the very sticky marshmallowy mixture from sticking to the tin and will also make it easy to remove it later.
- Place the butter into a medium sized microwaveable bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave on high, for around 20 to 30 seconds. Next you can add the marshmallows to the melted butter, sampling a few as you go; it's only sensible to test the quality!
- Pop the bowl back into the microwave and continue to heat until the marshmallows have melted. You will need to keep stirring the mixture every 15 seconds or so to avoid burnt marshmallows.
- The marshmallowy mixture will be very hot, so be careful as you take it from the microwave and be sure that your child steps back as you mix in the Rice Krispies. You will need to stir the mixture quickly and transfer it into the tin as fast as possible. The mixture starts to set immediately and is also extremely sticky! I wrapped a piece of lightly oiled cling film around my hand as I pressed the mixture down into the tin.
- Your Rice Krispie squares are now made but you will need to leave them to set completely. When you take the biscuit dough out of the fridge replace it with the tin of Rice Krispie squares – the cold fridge will make them set quicker.
Continue making the biscuits:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- While the oven heats up, your child can happily roll out the biscuit dough, to about the thickness of a pound coin (roughly 3mm). By all means flour your worktop and rolling pin before rolling out the dough. However, I find it so much easier and far less messy simply to roll it out between two pieces of cling film.
- Use a table knife or a shaped biscuit cutter to cut your dough into headstone shapes. We got a bit carried away and went for several 'styles'!
- Place the biscuits onto the greased baking tray and carefully transfer into the oven to cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. If you have made varying sizes, bear in mind that the smaller biscuits will cook more quickly than any larger biscuits so do keep a beady eye on them.
- Once all the biscuits are cooked, place onto a wire rack to cool.
For the decoration - pumpkins:
- Take your orange fondant and knead it for a few seconds to soften it. Divide it into 12 pieces and ask your child to roll each piece into a ball.
- Use a cocktail stick to press into and around the sides of each ball, to give the distinct pumpkin shape.
- Take the green writing icing and add squiggles of icing to the top of each 'pumpkin' for the leaves. Leave to one side for a moment.
- Simply pour the coconut into a sandwich or freezer bag and carefully add a few drops of the green food colouring. Seal the bag and ask your child to give it a good old shake. My little boy got very carried away at this point!
- Once you are satisfied that all the coconut is a suitable shade of garish green, place to one side to await its purpose.
- Place the softened butter into a mixing bowl and add in the icing sugar. I was too lazy to sift my icing sugar!
- Beat the two ingredients together until smooth. Add the black food colouring a drop or two at a time, whilst whisking, until you get to a dull shade of grey. It's not meant to look pretty!
- Take the Rice Krispie mixture from the fridge, take it out of the tin and remove the cling film. Use an oiled sharp knife to slice carefully into 12 squares.
- Ask your helper to scoop up a teaspoon of Nutella and spread over a Rice Krispie square. Repeat this for all the Rice Krispie squares!
- Your child can now squeal with delight as they sprinkle the green coconut 'grass' over the Nutella covered Rice Krispie squares.
- Use a table knife or palette knife to spread the grey buttercream over the biscuit headstones in a thin layer. Lay the iced biscuits flat on the worktop and carefully use the black writing icing to add a few choice words!
- Gingerly attach the 'headstones' to the back of each grassy square by gently pushing into the sticky Rice Krispies. Place the cute little pumpkins on the coconut grass as a cute finishing touch!