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I’m a big fan of the holidays. In my opinion Halloween starts on the 1st of October and Christmas starts on the 1st of November. Autumn/Winter is my favourite time of year because it’s all about everything I love – food, drinks, decorations, costumes, parties, family, open fires and being cosy, and this year I made a list of seasonal foods I want to cook. Top of the Autumn list were homemade pumpkin spiced lattes. I found a few recipes online and added a few things, and thought they’d go well with gingerbread cookies so I made some of those shaped like pumpkins. I also edited the pictures to look more Halloweeney…because I could.

Ingredients:

Gingerbread cookies (makes app. 24) :

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup

Pumpkin Spiced Latte Syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground all spice
  • Whipped cream to top

Cookies Method:

  • Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice into a large bowl.

  • Add the butter, and use your hands to crumble it through until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

  • In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and golden syrup.

  • Add this mixture to the flour and form into a dough. Don’t worry if it appears to be too little liquid – just keep working it with your hands and it will eventually combine!

  • Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180°.

  • When it’s ready, dust your work surface and your rolling pin with flour and roll it out. (If it’s sticking at all you need more flour!) If you like your gingerbread crispy roll it quite thin, however I definitely recommend leaving it a little thicker. That way it ends up crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside – deelishus.

  • To make a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter I took a normal circular one and pushed the join inwards.

Difficult.

  • Cut out your cookies and lay them out on greasproof paper on a baking sheet.

  • I used a wee knife to cut pumpkin faces into them – if you wanted you could draw them on with a mixture of confectioners sugar and black food colouring!

The entire range of pumpkin emotions were represented

  • Because cutting out pumpkin faces takes time and effort, i used the remaining dough to test out a wee ‘home made’ cookie stamp James bought me…

  • Place the tray on the middle shelf of your preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes for a fan assisted oven, 10-12 for standard. Make sure to turn the tray halfway through to ensure they cook evenly!
  • When they’re ready remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes before transferring a few to a plate and storing the rest in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup:

  • Combine all your ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a light boil and reduce to a medium heat. Make sure you stir it continuously to stop the sugar sticking to the pan.

  • Keep stirring for around 10-15 minutes, until the mixture becomes syrupy and begins to coat the spoon.

  • Strain your syrup into a heat proof container. Because I didn’t have a funnel, I strained it first into a teapot, then poured it into glass bottles with stoppers.

Halloween themed apothecary labels optional…

  • Finally, make up a latte and serve with your cookies. I microwaved 3/4s of a mug of milk until boiling, stirred through one teaspoon of coffee granules and 2 teaspoons of syrup and topped with a little cold milk and some whipped cream. Then I posed everything with halloween themed objects – fancy, no?

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