Christmas Delights and Edible Tree Decorations


If you are looking for something a bit different to do this year to go alongside the traditional Christmas pudding and warm Mince pies, why not have a go at making some Festive Cake Pops!

These are great fun for all the family to make and what's even better is that there is no cooking involved!!

You only need a few ingredients to get you going and they don't take much to make!


Preparation method

  1. Break the Christmas cake into pieces then blend in the food processor for a few minutes to turn into crumbs.
  2. Divide the mix into 12 and shape into balls. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.
  3. Melt the chocolates in separate bowls, over pans of simmering water or in a microwave.
  4. Make a hole in each ball with a lolly stick, then dip the end of the stick in the melted chocolate and place back in the hole. Repeat with the other sticks and leave to set for about 30 minutes.
  5. Re-melt the chocolate if necessary, then, using a teaspoon pour the chocolate over a cake pop, holding it over the bowl. Work quickly to get a smooth finish. Tap the cake pop on the side of the bowl to get rid of the excess chocolate, then stick into a piece of polystyrene or upturned colander while you coat the rest of the pops.
  6. Once the chocolate has set slightly, but is still sticky, coat in sprinkles then leave to set completely.

Or why not try some edible tree decorations like these Snowy Owl Biscuits, that's if they make it as far as the Christmas Tree!!

For the biscuits

  • 125g slightly salted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour

For the decoration

  • 100g packet of whole blanched almonds
  • 100g packet of flaked almonds, toasted
  • 126g packet of giant white chocolate buttons
  • 20g packet standard-sized white chocolate buttons
  • 50g dark chocolate chips
  • gold edible glitter (optional)
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • fine string, for hanging the biscuits


1. Heat the oven to 190c/170c fan/ gas 5.  Cream together the butter and sugar and gradually beat in the egg and vanilla extract.  Sift and stir in the flour and mix to a soft dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.  Cover the dough or wrap in cling film and chill for at least 2 hours.

2. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 0.5cm thick and cut into oval shapes.

3. Transfer the biscuits onto a lined baking tray.  Place the whole almonds into the dough to create the Owls' eyebrows and beaks.  If making decorations for the tree make a hole near the top of the biscuits.  Bake in the oven for 8-14 minutes until the edges turn lightly golden in colour.  Once cooked, leave to cool on the baking tray.

4. To decorate set aside enough white chocolate buttons for the Owls' eyes - the biggest buttons you can get are best to give a truly owl-like expression.  Melt the remaining chocolate.

5. Using the white chocolate as glue carefully stick on the white chocolate buttons, then the dark chocolate chips on top to make the eyes.  Paint more melted chocolate over each owl's chest, pressing on the flaked almonds.  If some of the eyes and beaks have become loose, use some of the melted chocolate to stick them in place.

6. Thread pretty string or fine ribbon into the decorations so you can hang them on the Tree.


Santa Specials on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway


It won't be long before we're all getting ready for that special time of year again.  In just a couple of weeks we will all be making those last minute mad dashes to the shops for that one person who you always forget about, or because two trolleys full of goodies simple isn't enough!

If you're looking for something a little bit different to do this year for the kids, why not book a trip on one of the Santa Specials on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.  Not only will they have an amazing trip through the snow covered (hopefully!) countryside but they will also have a visit from Santa with an extra special early Christmas present.  What better way to start the festive season than with a magical adventure on board the Santa Express!

At just £15 per child/adult which covers your return journey you will also receive a scrumptious mince pie along with a glass of juice for the kids and an alcoholic tipple for the adults!  The price also includes a present for every girl and boy on board the Santa special along with some colouring things to keep them entertained!

All you need to do is choose which day you would like to take your festive trip and book your tickets on line, then all you need to do is turn up at your chosen station at the specified time!

The Santa Specials will be departing from the following stations on the following days:

Pickering - 30th Nov, 6th, 7th, 14th and 14th December

Grosmont - 30th Nov, 6th, 13th, 20th, 21st and 22nd December

Whitby- 7th and 14th December

So don't forget to book your tickets early so you don't miss out!



Halloween Recipes for all to enjoy!

Halloween Recipes for all to enjoy!!

Why not try the following Recipes for the kids to enjoy this Halloween!:

Chocolate Bat Biscuits


  • 125g butter, softened
  • 85g icing sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 175g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp fine espresso-style powder coffee (I used Azeera)
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

To decorate

  • 100g bar dark or milk chocolate
  • chocolate hundreds and thousands
  • coloured writing icing (or make your own with 100g icing sugar, 3-4 tsp water and some colouring)


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and pale, then beat in the yolk, the vanilla and milk. Sift the flour, coffee, cocoa and salt into the bowl, then mix together to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for 15 mins.
  2. Dust the dough all over with a little flour, then roll it between two large sheets of baking parchment, to the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the top layer of the paper, stamp shapes with an 8cm bat (or other) cutter, and carefully lift to the lined sheets using a palette knife. Re-roll the trimmings. Cut a 1.5cm x 5mm notch at the base of each bat’s body. This is about right to sit the bats on thick tumblers; if your glasses are finer-edged, make the notches thinner so that the bats stay put. Bake for 10 mins or until the biscuits feel sandy and smell rich and chocolatey. Cool on the sheets for 5 mins, then lift the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  3. To decorate, melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. One biscuit at a time, brush chocolate over the bat ears and wings with a small paintbrush, then cover with chocolate sprinkles. Tap off the excess. Pipe faces and fangs onto your bats, then leave to dry. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2014

Frankenstein Cupcakes


For the cupcakes

  • 200g soft butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100ml milk, at room temperature

To decorate

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • green food colouring paste (we used Party Green from Sugarflair)

  • 36 mini marshmallows, 12 snipped in half (for the eyes)
  • tube of black piping icing or gel


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with deep muffin cases. Cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the remaining cake ingredients and beat until smooth. Spoon into the muffin cases and bake for 20 mins or until golden and a skewer inserted into one of the middle cakes comes out clean. Cool for 5 mins in the tin, then completely on a wire rack.

  2. Using a small, sharp serrated knife, cut a semi-circle piece of cake from the left and right of each cake, to make stepped edges, level with the cupcake case. Next, make
 a widthways cut about 3cm from the top 
of the cake, about 1cm deep. Slice a 5mm piece off the surface of the cake to meet this cut, to make a flat, raised face and prominent forehead. Chill for 10 mins to firm the crumbs.

  3. Mix the icing sugar, milk and green colouring to make a very thick icing that flows slowly from the spoon. Spoon 1 tbsp onto a cake and let it begin to spread 
itself over the cut shape. Ease it here and there with a palette knife to coat. Add marshmallow neck bolts and eyes. Repeat for each cupcake. Leave to set, then pipe on the faces and hair.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2014


The Centenary of the Rohilla

The Centenary of the Rohilla

31st October 2014 will mark the centenary of the sinking of the Rohilla just off Saltwick Bay.

The Rohilla was a hospital ship which was bound for Dunkirk to pick up the wounded soldiers. With heavy seas the Rohilla was knocked off course sending it towards the rocks and cliffs. A couple of hours later the Rohilla broke in two. 

The Whitby Lifeboat the "John Fielden" was launched to help in the rescue of the the passengers on board. Local trawlers also came to the aid of the Lifeboat. Boats, Lifeboats and trawlers from around the North East coast came to hep with the final boat to finish off the rescue coming from Tynemouth. 

Of the 220 people onboard 146 were saved. 

So this week here in Whitby there will be a memorial plaque unveiled, rowing and rescue demo, flotilla of boats and a wreath will be laid out at sea along with and evening concert with a Service of Remembrance.


North Yorkshire Moors Railway in Wartime at North Yorkshire Moors Railway

North Yorkshire Moors Railway in Wartime at North Yorkshire Moors Railway

This year the paper is being produced as a souvenir what’s on guide and not as a platform pass. Still costing £1.00 it has full details of what is happening at each station,  train timetable and lots of interesting and informative articles. All proceeds of the paper go to the NYMR to help us put this event on each year, your support is appreciated.
This year the paper is being produced as a souvenir what’s on guide and not as a platform pass. Still costing £1.00 it has full details of what is happening at each station,  train timetable and lots of interesting and informative articles. All proceeds of the paper go to the NYMR to help us put this event on each year, your support is appreciated.

Please find below the time table for the railway in wartime:

to find out about all the itinerary please have a look at the following website: