Disclaimer: Before we get stuck in on this recipe, let me just say that I fully understand why the idea of eating any bat-themed treats might be met with outrage right now. I ummed and erred about including this recipe for several days, but the visual effect of them is so impressive that I decided to share it on a ‘bake at your own discretion’ kind of policy. Unfortunately, this recipe and activity is one that my mother got from a book when we were young and as such, it’s not really up to me to change it. If you’re not bothered by that or, naysay, even have a dark sense of humour like I do, then enjoy. If you’d rather not bake these treats due to the theme and the current pandemic (or the time-consuming process!), that too is entirely understandable – no judging!
Good evening lovelies,
Hands up, how many people have eaten rice krispie cakes? Growing up in the UK, they’re often sold for 10 or 20p at summer fayres. Essentially, they are nothing more than melted chocolate and cereal, dumped into muffin cases and cooled. For whatever reason and for many young people, these treats also completely work.
Having made several batches of rice krispie cakes in my time with the Girl Guides, I like to spice these ‘Bat Bites’ up a bit. You see, for me, Halloween is as much about autumn as it as about the spooky things. For that reason, I like to include the deliciously tart seasonal fruit that is cranberry, at least, in its dried form. To make these treats even more devilish than they first appear, I also included a surprise of popping candy, without telling anyone of my doing so first, of course. Why do people develop trust issues around me, you ask? Well, this is why 😉
Of course, you don’t have to add anything if you don’t want to. If you do, keep sensitivities in mind. Opt for dried fruit, flavoured chocolate or coloured sprinkles instead of chopped nuts, but whatever you do decide – have fun!
This activity takes a fair bit of preparation but I promise you it’s worth it. I also tried to use environmentally friendly products as much as possible, apart from the tape I needed to use to hold the wrapping paper to the flower pot! Please don’t mind my excessively large quantities of ingredients either, I went by my brother’s vague recollections and narrowly wound up making enough Bat Bites to feed the entire British army. I’ve halved the quantities he gave me to save you the trouble!
- A large, dry branch, approximately 80-90cm long
- A large plant container
- A weight (you could use a bag of sugar or flour, some bean bags, I used about 100 glass nuggets for mine)
- A large polystyrene block, about 4cm deep and wide enough for your plant container
- Orange or Halloween-themed recyclable gift wrap (try to pick something bright to contrast all of the black)
- Sticky tape
- Black tissue paper
- Black water-based, non-toxic craft paint
- A large paintbrush or paint sponge
- Paper petit fours cases
- Black cotton thread
- Non-toxic metallic marker pens
- A sharp knife
For the Bat Bites
- 250g chocolate rice cereal
- 100g milk chocolate
- 15g (1 tablespoon) butter
- 30g corn syrup or golden syrup
- Up to 50g of any other ingredients you would like to add, chopped small if necessary (unless you add sprinkles at the end!)
Makes approximately 24 Bat Bites
Time: 15 Min
Method – For The Bat Bites
- Begin by placing the butter and syrup in with your chocolate and heating it in the microwave for 20 seconds, remove it, give it a good stir and repeat again for 10 seconds. Keep doing this until your chocolate and butter has melted and your new chocolate mixture is smooth. Don’t panic if it goes a little bit greasy-looking as mine did!
2. Pour your chocolate mixture onto your chocolate rice cereal and combine it thoroughly. Fold the chocolate cereal into the chocolate from the outside of the bowl then press it down into the chocolate with the back of a spatula or spoon. Keep going until all of the cereal is covered.
3. Add your nice (or naughty!) extra ingredients, if you’re using any, and mix well again.
4. Line a baking tray with petit fours cases, then wash your hands.
5. Use your hands to pull of small amounts of the mixture and gently squeeze it into balls, then place one in each case. You can also place even amounts of mixture into each case with a tablespoon if you prefer. Don’t panic if you make a bit of a mess, none of us are perfect 😉
6. Add any sprinkles and pop your bites in the fridge to harden.
To Make Your Bat Bites Stand
- Begin with your plant container, make sure it’s clean inside and out!
2. Add your weights to your container. This will help to keep your stand upright and prevent it from topping over. Ideally, you want at least 500g-1kg weight.
3. Wrap your plant container using coloured or themed paper and sticky tape.
4. Using a knife, Trim your polystyrene block to fit into the top of your plant pot and use your finger to push a hole into the centre of the polystyrene to make a holder. Carefully use the knife to push the hole all the way through. Set your wrapped plant container aside.
5. Take your branch, remove any leaves and fine twigs and paint it black. Leave about 20% at the bottom to give yourself something to hold onto while you paint. You will hide this in the plant container later.
6. Once it’s dry, push your branch into the hole in the centre of the flower pot, then take some black tissue paper, scrunch it up and then increase it slightly. Keep making more pieces of scrunched up tissue paper to cover the polystyrene and fill up the top of the plant container. Set your stand aside, it’s time to make your bats.
1. Cut yourself 24 pieces of tissue paper approximately 5 x 5″ (13 x 13cm). If you’re using A4 sheets, cut them in half into A5 size.
2. To make your Bat Bites, remove the tray from the fridge and place a chocolate treat into the centre of a piece of tissue paper.
3. Cut yourself a piece of black thread approximately 15cm long, bundle up the tissue paper over the treat and tie it around the tissue at the centre of the length of thread.
4. Holding your thread ends together, leave about 4cm, then knot the threads together and trim off the excess. You should be left with a hanging loop.
5. Use your metallic markers to draw a bat face on the treat.
6. Hang your Bite Bite on your branch and repeat the process for the remaining treats. Don’t forget to spread them out evenly to prevent your holder from toppling over. Enjoy!