Brilliant Bonfire Night Recipes for Family Get-Togethers

Even if its origins as a celebration of Guy Fawkes’ foiled 17th century gunpowder plot may seem increasingly remote – and not all parents appreciate the tradition of burning a ‘Guy’ on the bonfire – it remains a thrilling night of fun and fireworks for children. 

Like all the best celebrations, Bonfire night is also a chance to feast on some delicious party food with friends and family. So, on a night which is all about having fun with your family, why not get your children involved in the food preparation? Cooking together can be fun and it’s never too early to introduce young chefs to simple culinary processes. It’s also a great way to encourage children to eat more adventurously – they’re usually more open to trying food if they’ve had a hand in preparing it. The trick is to keep is basic and stress-free.

Here are a few simple recipes that should go down a treat on a cold November evening.

Gingerbread skeletons

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g soft butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spices
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Tubes of coloured icing
  1. Pre-heat oven to 190C. Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl
  2. Mix everything together with your hands until you have a pastry ball
  3. Wrap the ball in cling film and leave it in the fridge for an hour to chill
  4. Dust table with flour and roll the pastry out flat with the rolling pin. cut the bodies out with the shape cutter.
  5. Place on a greased baking tray and pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes. This stops them spreading when they cook.
  6. Bake int the oven for 10-12 minutes until they are golden brown at the edges
  7. take them out of the oven and let them cool before icing
  8. Here comes the fun part! Draw bones with the icing tubes. Get creative with different coloured icing.

Jam tarts

Everyone loves jam tarts! This super-simple recipe is really quick and gives children a chance to help out by rolling the pastry and stamping out fun shapes to decorate the tarts. 

Ingredients:

  • 500g sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 20 tsp jam (any flavour)
  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to just under the thickness of £1 coin. Use a pastry cutter to cut out 20 x 5cm circles using a pastry cutter and line 2 mini muffin tins.
  2. Prick with a fork and spoon 1 tsp jam into each. Stamp out shapes from the leftover pastry to decorate the tarts. Stars shaped pastry cutters are easy to come by and work well. 
  3. Bake at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 12-15 mins, until the pastry is golden.

Pumpkin soup

A lovely warming pumpkin soup is perfect post-bonfire night fare and a great way to make use of any leftover Halloween pumpkins.

Ingredients:

  • 600 g (1lb 5oz) pumpkin flesh, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
  • 800 ml (1 pint 7fl oz) vegetable stock
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  1. Put the pumpkin flesh into a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds until it’s almost smooth. Add the celery, garlic, cumin and coriander ut the pumpkin flesh into a food processor and whiz for 30sec until almost smooth. Add the celery, garlic and spices and whiz again for 30sec. Empty into a large pan.
  2. Pour over stock and coconut milk, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 15min. 
  3. Remove from heat and blend until smooth – do this in batches, if necessary. Check the seasoning and ladle into warmed soup bowls. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with crusty bread.

Bonfire toffee

Treacle toffee is a traditional bonfire night treat that couldn’t be easier to make. Children are bound to enjoy smashing up the toffee.

Ingredients:

  • 125 g butter
  • 450 g soft brown sugar
  • 60 g black treacle
  • 60 g golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  1. Add all the ingredients to a medium-sized pan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously to prevent burning. Reduce to a simmer, then cook for 15 – 20 minutes. 
  2. Check whether it’s ready by dropping a little into a cup of cold water. If it’s ready it should go brittle.
  3. Pour the mixture into a well-greased tin and leave to cool. Once it’s completely cool it will be hard to the touch. Turn it out onto a chopping board and break with a clean hammer.

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