For anyone doing the sweet sweep rounds next weekend, Halloween may seem more like a gimmick and try rather than cheat or treat. As soon as our children have received sweets, we try to trick them into not eating them. Or did Scrooge come to our house early this year? Anyway, for 2021, I’ll be leaning towards making Halloween snacks: black lime gum worms, pumpkin cookies, and something tasty to make up for the late-night sugar gluttons. All the goodies, no gimmicks.
Black Lime Gum Worms
They are a lot of fun to make, either as worms or poured into different shaped silicone molds, if you have them (we really like bears, for example). Black Lime Sugar Sauce is sweet, sour, and sour, and just as much, if not more, for the grown-ups in Halloween service.
Homework 15 minutes
cook 30 minutes
Place 30 minutes
1 teaspoon of sunflower oil
24g powder jelly
350 ml cold water
2 dried Iranian black limes (10 g)
100 g of liquid honey
2 large lemons, shredded, then squeezed, to make 5 tablespoons
1 package of 135 g of strawberry jelly, broken into cubes
For the black lime sugar dip
1 small black Iranian limefinely ground in a spice grinder or small food processor to obtain ½ teaspoon
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Lightly grease an 18 cm square pan with oil and line the base with greaseproof paper. Put 100ml of cold water in a small bowl, add the gelatin and let it rest and bloom while you continue with the rest of the dish.
Crush the two black limes between the palms of your hands and place them in a medium saucepan with the remaining 250 ml of water, honey, lemon zest and juice. Place the skillet over medium-high heat, simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, until the zest is candied and shiny and the liquid is thick and dark amber. Remove from heat, strain into a medium container and extract as much liquid as possible from the solids – you should end up with 100 ml.
Return the liquid to the pan, add the gelatin cubes, then return to the heat and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat, pour in the soaked gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Pour into the lined can (or silicone molds), let stand for 10 minutes, until slightly chilled, then refrigerate for 30 minutes, until set.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the ground black lime with the sugar and set aside.
Once the gelatin mixture has set, run the tip of a sharp knife around the entire edge, spread out on a clean surface and cut into ½ cm thick pieces. You should now have 30 slightly springy, bouncy gummies. Serve with the black lime sugar sauce on the side. (If you’re not going to serve them right away, place the gummies on a wire rack, air dry overnight, and then store in airtight jars.)
Sev with fried peanuts and curry leaves
Sev is a tasty snack of small crunchy noodles made with chickpea flour paste that can be seasoned in many ways. This particular recipe comes from my colleague ChayaMauricio’s mother, who used to make it in large batches on New Years Eve.
Homework 10 minutes
cook 20 minutes
It serves 4 as a snack
200g grams (Chickpea flour
1¼ teaspoon carambola seeds (or fennel or anise seeds), crushed in a mortar
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Sea salt flakes
170 ml cold water
1 tablespoon of olive oil
750 ml sunflower oil
150 g raw peanuts (i.e. unsalted and unroasted)
40 (7g) fresh curry leaves (i.e. about 7 twigs)
Make the dough first. Sift the chickpea flour into a large bowl, add the carom seeds, turmeric, and two teaspoons of flake salt, and toss to combine. Make a well in the center, pour in the water and olive oil and mix until you get a thick, creamy paste that falls from a spoon in thick ribbons. Cover (we used reusable kitchen paper) and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the sunflower oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour half of the dough into a piping bag and cut 1mm from the pointed end. Once the oil is hot, roll long, thin noodles out of the batter in a circular motion, keeping them apart so they don’t stick together – depending on the size of your skillet, you should be able to fit seven to nine noodles at a time. Fry for 30 seconds to a minute, until crisp when pounded with a spoon, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain on a baking sheet lined with kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining batter, in three to four batches, until the piping bag is empty.
Refill the piping bag with the remaining dough mixture and cut another 2mm from the thin end. Again, working in manageable batches, place the wider noodles in the skillet, fry for two to three minutes, until crisp, then transfer to the paper lined pan and repeat until all batter is used up. Keep the pan on the fire, to fry the peanuts, and let the sev cool.
Fry the peanuts in the hot oil for two and a half minutes, until lightly browned, then transfer to a bowl lined with a kitchen towel, keeping the pan on the heat. Sprinkle the walnuts with half a teaspoon of flaked salt while they are still hot, stir well and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, fry half the curry leaves in the hot skillet for one minute, until shiny and deep green, then drain on a paper towel and cool while you fry the remaining curry leaves.
Once all the ingredients are cool, put them in a large bowl and mix gently, so that the sev and curry leaves are broken into smaller pieces. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Pumpkin spice snickerdoodles
Snickerdoodles are hard not to love at any time of year: they are slightly caked in the center, crisp on the edges, cracked on top, and wrapped in cinnamon sugar; they are also great as a base for an ice cream sandwich. Here, we’ve given them an autumn twist of pumpkin spice. Cookies keep in a sealed jar for up to a week, and can also be baked straight from frozen, in which case add a minute to baking time.
Homework 15 minutes
Rest 1 hourr
cook 50 min
For the pumpkin spice mix
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
50 g demerara sugar
For the snickerdoodle dough
340 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar 250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 egg, lightly beaten
Make the pumpkin spice mix first. Place the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl, pour two teaspoons of the mixture into a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar, and set aside. Add the sugar to the remaining spice mixture in the small bowl and set it aside as well.
Now the dough. Put the butter, sugar, and half a teaspoon of salt into the bowl of a separate mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Mix on medium-high speed for 10 minutes, until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla and egg, and continue mixing on medium-high speed for one minute, until everything is well incorporated. With the engine running, add the flour mixture in three batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Scrape the dough to the bottom of the bowl, making sure no chunks are stuck to the sides, then cover and refrigerate for an hour, until firm and rollable.
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan) / 390F / gas 6. Divide the dough into 40 g pieces and roll them into firm balls – you should end up with 22. One at a time, roll the balls in the spice and sugar mixture, to layer well (if it doesn’t stick, first heat the balls a little in your hands). Place balls on large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing well among themselves; They will spread a lot while baking so leave at least 5cm between each ball and if necessary use two trays and / or bake in batches. .
Bake for nine minutes for a stickier cookie and up to 12 for a firmer one, then remove, transfer to a wire rack to cool, and serve warm or at room temperature.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism