Thursday 31 October 2013

Halloween Buns

Full of treacle and spice - old fashioned Halloween Buns

My Mum has been making these buns since before I was born. Long before Halloween became fashionable in the UK we always used to have a little party at home with some special food. We never went treat or tricking as we didn't know anybody else who did Halloween at that time. However, with Mum's fine spread and the fact I wasn't really bothered with sweets there was no need to start scaring the neighbours.

Compared to today's sophisticated efforts these may seem rather basic but that's what I like about them. I can find cupcakes and coloured icing rather sickly and kids quite often end up leaving them. You won't have this problem with these buns. If you don't make them for Halloween the treacle and spice flavourings also make them great little Fireworks buns. Just imagine poor Guy Fawkes' eyes burning...

There is one tradition to leave you with. Despite their deliciousness each year the leftover buns would be put into a tin. Over the next few days we would help ourselves to a bun when we felt peckish – except for one. For some mysterious reason one bun would always be left in the tin only to be found at a much later date . The spirit of Halloween lives on...

Equipment: 12 hole shallow bun tin


12 Whole blanched almonds
5oz (140g) Plain flour
1tsp (5ml) Ground cinnamon
⅛ (0.625ml) Ground nutmeg
1tsp (5ml) Bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp (30ml) Milk
1 Egg
2oz (60g) Unsalted butter or baking spread
3oz (85g) Granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15ml) Black treacle
6 Glacé cherries


1. Lightly grease a 12 cup shallow bun tin. Place one of the almonds in each of the sections. Put at the bottom as this will be the 'mouth'.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
3. Sift the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl.
4. In another bowl dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk. Add the egg and beat with a fork.
5. Heat the butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan until the butter has melted.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the treacle mixture onto the flour. Add the egg, milk and bicarbonate of soda mixture as well and mix together well.
7. Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 sections in the bun tin, covering the almonds.
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until dark brown and firm.
9. Remove from the oven and turn on to a wire rack, almond side uppermost.
10. Cut the cherries in quarters and place two pieces on each bun to form the eyes. Leave until cold.

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