Gluten Free Halloween: Chocolate Skeleton Cookies

Just in time for Halloween – here is my recipe for these rather kooky, but not so spooky cookies.

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These cookies are of course gluten free could be made dairy free, just substitute the butter for dairy free spread or dairy free butter. If you use dairy free spread make sure it is super cold, or it can make your biscuit dough a little oily – you may also need to for chill your biscuit dough for a little longer.

I also used an all purpose gluten free flour to make these biscuits – the new Schär Mix It Universal Blend – if you can’t get hold of this you could use a mix of gluten free self raising and rice flour (see the recipe below for details).

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I had a lot of fun decorating these cookies and giving them rather shocked expressions! I think this recipe would be a lovely project to get children involved in over the Halloween weekend, as the cookie dough is very simple to make and they can get creative giving the skeleton men different expressions and looks!

Gluten Free Chocolate Skeleton Cookies

Ingredients

For the chocolate biscuits:

150g sugar
150g butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
280g gluten free all purpose flour (I used Schar Universal Mix It – you could also use 150g GF Self raising and 130g rice flour)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the decorations:

250g icing sugar
1 egg white

Method

1) To make the biscuit dough, combine the gluten free flour, cocoa powder and sugar in a large bowl.

2) Rub in the butter until you have a bread crumb like texture.

3) Add the egg and vanilla essence and start to bring the ingredients together using a wooden spoon.

4) Tip the contents onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to work the ingredients into a soft dough. Don’t worry if the dough seems a little sticky as it will be refrigerated which help it to firm up – don’t be tempted to add more flour!

5) Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

6) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.

7) Dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin until it is about 5mm thick, then cut out gingerbread men shapes.

8) Transfer the cookies to tray lined with greaseproof paper using a palate knife. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cookies are firm and a light golden brown – be sure to keep an eye on them as they could quickly over-bake.

9) Once baked, leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays to before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling.

10) To make the royal Royal icing: place 1 egg white in a bowl, then slowly sift in the icing sugar in batches. In between the batches of icing sugar, stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon or a balloon whisk until the icing thickens up – you can use a dash of water to encourage the ingredients to come together if necessary.

11) Transfer the icing into a piping bag fitted with a writing nozzle and decorate the Skeleton men – don’t forget to give them shocked expressions!

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I love seeing your take on my recipes, so remember to share a snap of your Halloween cookies over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

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Gluten Free Fondant Fancy Cupcakes (Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

Today I’m going to share with you my Gluten Free Fondant Fancy Cupcakes recipe which is inspired by the showstopper challenge from the Semi Final of ‘The Great British Bake Off’.

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Last week’s show saw the remaining four bakers battling it out over Patisserie for a place in final, but sadly Selasi didn’t make the cut. He might not have made it to the final, but he did win over the hearts of the nation and I will definitely miss him during this week’s show. Speaking of this week, the final will be a very bittersweet occasion, as although I am excited to see who wins, I am sad that this is the last episode of GBBO as we know it.

What I’m going to miss most is how the show has inspired me to bake things I’d never thought of trying – this includes fondant fancies, which were featured on last week’s show.

I used to love Fondant Fancies and seeing them on the show has made me feel super nostalgic – I remember having them at my Grandma’s house when I was little and how I always would choose the pink ones, because I liked them best!

I will admit though, Fondant Fancies looked incredibly difficult and fiddly to make, so I decided to go for a more simple approach. My Fondant Fancy cupcakes are much a easier to achieve, but they are every bit as delicate, dainty and delicious as the fondant fancies I remember.

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These cupcakes would be lovely served at afternoon tea or a birthday party and are sure to impress, despite being deceptively simple.

Gluten Free Fondant Fancy Cupcakes

Makes approximately 16 small cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

150g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
150g caster sugar
150g gluten free self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk (or dairy free alternative)

For the buttercream:

100g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
100g icing sugar

For the fondant icing:

300g ready to roll icing
50ml cold water
A few drops of pink food colouring

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C/gas mark 3 then line two cupcake trays with 16 cupcake cases.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.

3. Add a tablespoon of flour, then beat in the eggs a little bit a time before sifting in the remaining flour and baking powder. Add the milk, then beat the ingredients together with the electric hand mixer until combined.

4. Spoon two teaspoons of mixture into each cupcake case, being careful not to overfill them. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch.

5. Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack. To make the buttercream, beat the butter with an electric hand mixer until it’s very light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat until all the ingredients are combined, then transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle.

6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, pipe a blob of buttercream onto each cupcake then place them in freezer to firm up while you make the fondant icing.

7. Cut the ready to roll icing into pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add a splash of water and using a spatula start to break up the icing until it starts to become more paste like. Add the rest of the water and beat with an electric hand mixer until the fondant becomes more runny.

8. Save a couple of tablespoons of the white icing to decorate the top of the cupcakes. Add a couple of drops of pink food colouring to the remaining icing and mix until the fondant turns a light pink colour.

9. Remove the cupcakes from the freezer. Spoon a little of the pink fondant icing over each cupcake, then use a palate knife to spread out the icing making sure that the buttercream is covered.

10. Put the left over white icing into a piping bag fitted with a small writing nozzle. Pipe the icing across the top in a zig zag pattern.

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Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween is almost here which means it’s time to get perfecting those Halloween costumes and planning those Halloween bakes.

It’s no secret amongst my friends that I am the biggest scaredy cat. I am easily spooked and don’t do well with the grisly and gruesome side of Halloween; but give me pumpkin carving, cat costumes and treats galore and I’m a happy chappy!

Speaking of treats, today I’m going to share with you my recipe for Halloween Cupcakes.
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At Halloween everyone should be able to have a treat. I decided I wanted to create a delicious cupcake that would be suitable for those with multiple food intolerances and after a bit of experimenting I came up with a recipe which is both gluten free, egg free and can be made dairy free.

In case you’re wondering, cupcakes don’t really need eggs to work! After a little research and a few experiments, I found that using soya milk helps to bind the ingredients together and a little extra raising agent helps the cakes to rise.

For decorations, I used ‘Creepy Coins‘ from Tesco which are both gluten free and egg free, but are not suitable for those with dairy intolerance. For dairy free decorations, you could try making these cute marshmallow ghosts instead!
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Gluten Free/Egg Free Halloween Cupcakes (Dairy Free Options)

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
150g gluten free self raising flour
150g caster sugar
20g cocoa powder
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
55g butter (or dairy free spread/sunflower oil)
150ml soya milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Icing:
50g butter (or dairy free spread)
200g Trex (Crisco in America)
200g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Decorations:
10 Halloween chocolates (I used ‘Creepy Coins’ from Tesco) OR
10 Marshmallow Ghosts (dairy free)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C/Gas mark 3 and line a cupcake tin with 10 cupcake cases.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar and baking powder.

3. Add the butter, vanilla extract and soya milk and give the ingredients a quick stir but don’t worry too much about any lumps.

4. Pour the mixture into the cupcake cases until they are about two thirds full.

5. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, when they are ready the cupcakes should be firm to touch.

6. Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack while you make the icing.

7. In a large bowl, beat the vanilla essence, Trex and butter with an electric hand mixer until soft then add the icing sugar and beat until you are left with a light and fluffy icing.

8. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a large 1 inch star nozzle, or one that is suitable for creating cupcake swirls.

9. Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe the icing onto each cupcake and decorate!

Come and follow me over on Instagram or Facebook to see what else i’m getting up to this Halloween!

Gluten Free Ginger Cake

Autumn is here and as the weather turns colder I look forward to all the flavours the new season has to offer. Gone are the summer fruits, in are the wintery comfort foods and what could be more comforting than slice of warm and spicy ginger cake?

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In my opinion, comfort food should be as fuss free and simple to achieve as possible. My ginger cake recipe is exactly that and requires no advanced techniques – simply mix the ingredients together and bake!

This cake certainly packs a punch and has a very strong spicy ginger flavour, so feel free to use less ginger if you’d prefer a milder flavour.

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Gluten Free Ginger Cake

Ingredients:
200g gluten free self raising flour
200g light brown sugar
2 – 3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
55g unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp black treacle
100ml strong black tea, cooled

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 then grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.

2. In a large bowl: Mix together the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda.

3. In a separate bowl: whisk together the eggs, golden syrup and treacle.

4. Make a well in the centre of the ingredients, add the egg mixture, melted butter and tea then mix until you are left with a smooth and lump-free batter.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, when the cake is done it should be firm to touch.

6. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool before serving.

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This cake matures really well and tastes even better after a day or two. If you can wait, wrap your cake in some greaseproof paper and store it in an air tight container for at least 12 hours before you tuck in – the longer you leave his cake, the sticker it gets! This cake will be at it’s best for at least 5 days and keeps for up to 7 days, if stored properly in an airtight container.