This year I decided to prepare Halloween treats with my youngest students (two ten year old Italian girls) at the international school where I teach. We looked at Halloween traditions, read horror stories for children and made some craft decorations. Browsing on the internet I also found some biscuit recipes that we adapted to our Italian taste. Here are the recipes and the photos of the biscuits we made at school, we stuffed ourselves and had great fun!
You need: 150 g flour, 70 g sugar, 1 egg, 50 g butter, 70 g ground almonds, 1 tsp of baking powder, 3 tbsp of milk and black icing to decorate.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and the egg in a bowl, add the milk, ground almonds and melted butter. Knead the dough and let it rest for half an hour in a cool place. Roll out the dough and cut out bat shapes with a pastry cutter. Set them on a greased oven tray and bake for 15 minutes, 180°C. When they are cool, decorate with black icing, rolling it out and cutting the shapes using the same pastry cutter.
You need: 200 g flour, 100 g brown sugar, 50 g butter, 1 egg, half a tsp of ground cinnamon, 1 tsp of baking powder, 50 g of raisins, 100 g of pumpkin puree and icing sugar to decorate.
Prepare the pumpkin puree cutting the pumpkin in cubes and boiling it in some water with 50 g of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. When it is soft mash it with a fork or using a blender and let it cool. Beat the butter with a wooden spoon in a bowl till it is smooth; add flour, baking powder, the egg, the rest of the sugar and cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree and knead the dough then chill it for half an hour. Roll the dough out and cut round shapes (you can use a glass or a pastry cutter). Bake on a greased tin for 15 minutes, 180°C. When they are cool, sprinkle with icing sugar.
You need: 200 g flour, 100 g sugar, 50 g butter, 1 egg, 1 tsp of baking powder and grated lemon zest.
For the filling: 100 g of pumpkin puree (see above).
To decorate you need 4 tbsp of icing sugar, lemon juice, 1 tbsp of water and green and orange food colouring.
Prepare the dough mixing flour, sugar, egg, melted butter, grated lemon zest and baking powder. Knead the dough and let it chill for half an hour. In the meantime prepare the pumpkin puree (see the previous recipe). Roll out the dough and cut shapes of pumpkin with a pastry cutter. Fill the middle of each shape with a tsp of pumpkin puree and cover with another pumpkin shape. Bake for 30 minutes, 180°C on an oven tray. When they are cool, prepare the icing mixing 4 tbsp of icing sugar with a tbsp of warm water, one tsp of lemon juice and some drops of food colouring, green for the stem and orange for the pumpkin. Decorate the biscuits and go stuff yourselves!