Last Minute Liquorice Coffins

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These tasty treats tick all the boxes in terms of Halloween celebrations – from the glossy black and bright red colours, to the haunting figures that decorate their tops.

You will need:

  • 30g butter
  • 200g black treacle
  • 100g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 ½ tsp liquorice root powder
  • Flavourless oil, for greasing
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • Sugar paste: 125g red, 10g white
  • Food colouring paste: black


  • Medium, heavy-based saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Sugar thermometer
  • Baking parchment
  • Heatproof work mat or baking sheet
  • Rolling pin
  • Ruler and sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Fine paintbrush


  1. Place the butter and black treacle in a medium, heavy-based saucepan and heat gently, stirring with a spatula until the butter has melted and the ingredients have combined.
  2. Clip a sugar thermometer into the saucepan, then boil the mixture, with no further stirring, until it reaches soft ball stage at 112 to 116°C.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the flour and liquorice root powder and beat until thoroughly combined. Leave to cool a little for 5 minutes.
  4. Lightly oil a sheet of baking parchment and lay it on a heatproof work mat or baking sheet. Pour the hot liquorice onto the parchment into a roughly rectangular shape – it will spread out but won’t fill the sheet.
  5. Leave for 20 to 25 minutes until the liquorice is just warm and still pliable.
  6. Lift the sheet of liquorice away from the baking parchment and place it between two fresh sheets of lightly oiled parchment.
  7. Using a rolling pin, firmly roll the liquorice to 2 to 3mm thick, roughly shaping it into a rectangle. It needs to be a little larger than 15cm by 30cm, so it can be trimmed down to size at Step 11.
  8. Use a sharp knife to slice the rectangle in half for two squares that are a little larger than 15cm. Do not separate the squares just yet.
  9. Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with icing sugar and roll out the red sugar paste to a square shape of roughly 16cm.
  10. Lay the red square on a liquorice square, then use the parchment to lift the second piece of liquorice, lowering it neatly on top of the sugar paste.
  11. Transfer to a chopping board and trim the sandwiched layers to 15cm square. Cut the square into 15 rectangles, each measuring 3cm x 5cm.
  12. Trim each of the rectangles into a coffin shape by cutting two small triangles from the top corners and two longer and thinner triangles from each long side.
  13. Roll tiny pieces of white sugar paste into balls. Form into simple ghost shapes, then flatten onto the tops of your Liquorice Coffins. Dip the tip of a fine paintbrush into black food colouring paste and mark out the ghost’s eyes. Give one or two a mouth.
  14. Chill until firm and your Liquorice Coffins are ready to eat, or store in an airtight container, interleaved with baking parchment, for several days.


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