Hands up if you can’t quite believe we’re into October 2020? It has been a rather crazy year, that’s for sure. And it would seem that Halloween, much like the rest of 2020, will be somewhat different this year. It’s for that reason I decided to make this Pumpkin Biscuits recipe.
For a while now the boys have been asking me if they’d be able to go guising at Halloween and for the most part I’ve told them we’d just need to wait and see closer to the time. Now with a little under 2 weeks to go and restrictions ever-changing, I think we’ve all made peace with the fact Halloween will look somewhat different this year.
There’ll be no Halloween parties at school or at home, no dooking for apples with anyone other than those in your household and no coming together with all the kids and parents in the street to go door-to-door guising.
That being said, I’m one for always trying to maintain a bit of magic to childhood. So this year our Halloween will be bit different but still just as special. Our school has already put on a Pumpkin Picture Trial where the kids colour in a pumpkin picture and display them in their window – similar to the rainbows during lockdown.
We will also still be visiting our local pumpkin patch (pre-booked and covid secure, of course), doing a Halloween breakfast, getting dressed up, watching a spooky movie and doing some at-home apple dooking! I will also be making sure there’s plenty of sweeties and Halloween treats on offer too, including some Pumpkin Biscuits.
Now eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that these biscuits follow the same dough as our ever-popular Empire Biscuits recipe. That’s because it really is a wonderfully versatile recipe. However our Pumpkin Biscuits do use a different filling – chocolate spread!
Biscuits need a bit of sweetness and these Pumpkin Biscuits are no exception. Caster sugar is preferable over Granulated in most baking, due to it’s finer texture. You could swap for Golden Caster sugar for a more caramelised flavour.
Butter or Block Margarine
Either will do and it’s personal preference to which you choose. I opt for margarine as a way to omit the dairy but you can use any butter you have to hand.
No raising agents are required in these biscuits, so good old plain flour is ideal.
Not all biscuit recipes will include egg but in Empire Biscuits an egg adds a bit extra moisture and some richness to the overall flavour.
Unlike your classic Empire Biscuits, these Pumpkin Biscuits are filled with chocolate spread. Halloween is all about the sweets and chocolate though, right?
You can of course substitute this for your spread of choice – be it Nutella, Biscoff, peanut butter or just classic jam.
Icing Sugar, Fondant Icing & Food Colouring
To turn your biscuits from just biscuits to Pumpkin Biscuits you need to get decorating! A orange icing, topped with black fondant eyes and smiles – perfect for getting creative.
- 80 g Caster Sugar
- 150 g Butter or Block Margarine
- 1 Egg
- 300 g Plain Flour
- 10-12 tsp Chocolate Spread
- 150 g Icing Sugar
- Few teaspoons of boiling water
- Few drops of orange food colouring
- Small amount of black fondant icing
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°c (or 160°c for a fan assisted oven) and line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream, together your butter/margarine and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined.
- Sift the flour into the mixture and mix to form a somewhat stiff dough. Gently knead the dough on a well floured surface, before rolling to around 1cm thick. Using a circular or pumpkin shaped cutter, cut your biscuits and transfer them to your prepared baking sheets.You should be able to cut 20-24 biscuits, depending on the size of your cutter – these will be sandwiched together, giving you half as many completed biscuits.
- Bake in your pre-heated oven for about 10-12 minutes until the edges of the biscuit are just golden.
- When still warm but cool enough to touch, add a teaspoon of the chocolate spread to the under side on of half your biscuits, and pop the other half on top of these to sandwich together. Leave to cool completely before decorating.
- To make the orange icing for your pumpkin biscuits: In a small bowl, mix the icing sugar & gradually add small amounts of boiling water until you're happy with the consistency – "gloopy" is a great way to describe it! Add a few drops of orange food colouring (or equal amounts of red and yellow) until your icing is the desired shade of orange.
- Before covering your biscuits with the orange icing, prepare your pumpkins faces. Roll a small amount of black fondant icing to a couple of millimetres thick and using a small knife and any sugarcraft tools you may have, make a variety of pumpkin-style faces. Set aside.
- To cover your biscuits in the orange icing, gently dip the top of your biscuits into the icing to cover, allowing any excess to drip off before flipping upright again. Alternatively you can spread the icing on top but this won't allow as even a finish.Whilst the icing is still wet, add your pumpkin faces on top. Allow to set for a couple of hours before enjoying!