As I child I have fond memories of walking around the tiny village we grew up in, dressed proudly in devil horns or, in some cases, mummified with toilet roll. An enthusiastic albeit moderate group of children, eyes gleaming, full of hope that the next door we knocked on would promise even more candy than the previous. We’d enjoy a game of apple bobbing, or attempt to eat a ring donut off of a line of string without using out hands, before doing the rounds and disturbing unenthusiastic neighbours, there lack of excitement portrayed in their choice of ‘treats’. (Baked beans, a half empty packet of liquorice allsorts, and even a healthy muesli bar on one occasion, which, as a 6 year old expecting candy, I took as a trick, not a treat.
The lead up to halloween was just as exciting. We’d make halloween biscuits or concoct some unruly potions whilst our mothers ‘enjoyed’ making our costumes. Icing and decorating the biscuits was the best bit, even though I didn’t like the taste of icing. Despite a severe case of sweet tooth, I never liked that part of a cake. I actually felt insulted by fondant icing, and although I went with it, was even hostile towards butter cream. I’m much the same now. I ice my cakes with creamy frosting like cashew or coconut cream, as opposed to sickeningly sweet icing. I love experimenting with natural colourings too, using an easy coconut base and simply adding vibrant superfood powders. The recipe below is a sweeter icing recipe compared to nut based alternatives like cashew cream. The creamed coconut is a brilliant consistency to work with, and sets perfectly in the fridge. Mixed with a little liquid, like nut milk, or blended smoothly with cashews, it will become slightly softer which is ideal for cakes, but for biscuits, it is best left as it is. Coconut is an incredibly source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so not only is this recipe completely natural, sugar free and made without artificial colours or flavours, it is incredibly nutritious too.
100g Coconut Oil
35g Coconut Palm Sugar
1 Tabelspoon Raw Organic Honey
100g Buckwheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Almond or Cashew Butter, or Smooth Tahini
1 Bar Creamed Coconut
1 Teaspoon Natural Sweetener, optional
Charcoal Powder or Capsules
Sweet Orange or Freeze Dried Mango Powder
Beetroot Powder or Fresh Beetroot (to stain)
Vanilla Extract or Seeds
Lemon Juice or Zest
Preheat the oven to 190c.
Beat the coconut oil, sugar and honey together in a bowl until fluffy. Then stir in the flour and the nut butter and form into a bowl. If the mixture is too wet, add more flour. Flour a surface and roll out the dough so it is no higher than 1cm. Use cookie cutters or a knife if you are free styling, and make your desired biscuit shapes. Arrange them onto a baking tray, either greased or lined with baking paper, and place in the oven for 12-18 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Fill a small bowl with boiling hot water and sit the bar of creamed coconut inside. (Make sure not to cut the plastic at this stage). Leave for a few minutes, and when the water is cool enough, start to massage the creamed coconut to encourage the mixture to melt. When it is soft, remove from the water, cut the plastic it is in and pour into a medium bowl. Add your colourings/flavourings of choice (charcoal for bats, turmeric for pumpkins, beetroot for some blood) and mix with a spoon or spatula until the coconut is vibrantly coloured.
Remove the biscuits from the oven when they are beginning to brown. (They will be browner than normal biscuits due to the buckwheat flour). Let them cool for about 10-20 minutes before icing them. Once they are iced, set in the fridge for 1 hour until ready to serve.