Trick or treat everyone... it's almost Halloween! I'm not sure if it's the apple bobbing, the lantern carving or the scary stories, but I've loved the celebration of 'All-Hallows-Even' – the night before All Hallows Day (All Saints Day) – since I was a little girl.
Because we always had a big dressing up box there was never a shortage of costumes in our house and the night was really just another excuse to get dressed up in something outrageous. My Mum loves Halloween too. She'll go out and buy loads of treats and then wait at home for all the neighborhood kids to come knocking.
This year is going to be fun because Ethan will be so much more aware of all the colour and excitement going on around him. Last year Holly Willoughby told me you could get cute little costumes for babies and I couldn't wait to get Ethan dressed up. His Daddy wasn't too keen but, 'unfortunately' for Kris, he was back in Australia working, and we were back-stage at the X Factor judges. Superpartymasks.co.uk does facemasks of all the 'old skool' judges: Simon, Cheryl, Louis and me. If you're dressing up as us you have to make sure you accessorise appropriately though... high-beam white teeth for Simon, mega glamorous dress for Cheryl, grey wig for Louis and skyscraper heels if you're going as me. The website also does masks of your new judges Kelly and Tulisa, and of Jedward (bad dance routines optional).
So you're ready for when the trick or treaters come a-calling, here's a recipe for toffee apples, one of my favourite Halloween treats:
8 Granny Smith (green) apples.
400g golden caster sugar.
4 tsp golden syrup.
- Put the apples in a large bowl and cover with boiling water to remove any waxy coating on the skin and help the caramel to stick.
- Dry the apples thoroughly with kitchen towel and twist off their stalks.
- Push a thick wooden skewer or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.
- Place the apples on a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray.
- Tip the sugar into a heavy-bottomed pan with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mins until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup.
- Put a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 140C or 'hard crack' stage. If you don't have a sugar thermometer test the toffee by using a spoon to drip a few drops into a bowl of cold water. If it hardens instantly and is brittle and easy to break it's ready, if it's still squishy continue to boil it.
- Working quickly and carefully (hot toffee can give you a nasty burn), dip and twist each apple in the molten toffee until covered, let any excess drip back into the pan, then place on the baking paper to harden.
- You may have to re-heat the toffee a little if it starts to cool and feel thick and viscous.
- Allow the toffee apples to cool before eating or dishing them out to lucky trick or treaters!
Enjoy, D x
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