Happy Halloween everyone! Oh I can’t believe the day is here and I still have so much to do. To celebrate I am sharing some Halloween decorated cookies with you and announcing the winners of my Halloween contest.
Not quite yet though! Stingy the spider will be protecting the names until the end of this post.
MAKING THE COOKIES
At Home Sense I bought a Wilton Halloween Cookie Pan and two fantastic Halloween spatulas (as well as the silver skull that I used for the draw). They were my Halloween foodie presents for this year’s celebration so I put them to good use. I made half the batch of the recipe for the sugar cookies that came with the pan but will write it in full for you.
In a large bowl cream together 1 cup of softened butter with 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Beat in 1 egg and 1 1/2 tsp of clear vanilla extract. I used orange instead.
Combine 2 3/4 cup flour with 1 tsp of salt. Add to butter mixture and beat until blended.
Lightly spray the pan with vegetable pan spray and preheat the oven to 350F. Press dough into the cavities so they are 2/3 full. Bake 9-10 minutes in the oven until lightly brown around the edges. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn and tap to remove cookies.
Cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating. I needed to use a palette knife to wedge some of them out but overall the pan worked great.
DECORATING THE COOKIES
My dearest blogging buddy Ava recommended this royal icing recipe to me last year. I finally had an opportunity to make it, thanks Ava! I made half the recipe but will write it in full for you.
Sift 4 cups icing sugar and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar into the bowl of a mixer. Dissolve 1/4 cup meringue powder in 1/2 cup warm water.
Start slowing whisking the dry ingredients together and then add in the dissolved meringue powder. Keep pushing down the sides of the bowl until everything is whisked together. Whisk on high for 7 minutes.
Now the hard part for me…. the decorating. I wanted most of the backgrounds of the cookies to be black so I added a lot of the food colouring to some of the royal icing.
It ended up being more grey than black. Because it was supposed to the the background I was supposed to thin it a little with warm water. I made some other colours too.
Now the royal icing recipe said to do the outline first which I interpreted as also doing the details. I was wrong. Not only that, because I used gel icing for the cookies, it was a bit of a disaster. I did not know that gel icing does not harden!!!
You are supposed to flood the cookies with the thinned background colour after adding the outlines which I tried to do and it flooded over everything.
As a result, I just left a lot of the cookies with the gelled detailing as-is. I never said I was a pastry artist! I am more of a sculptor than a painter so this was way more frustrating that fun.
Still, when you make the effort, it means a lot to people and they will always taste better than store-bought. These sure did. They were wonderfully flaky and the orange flavour was subtle but present and yummy.
You put cookies on a pretty plate, they will always be hard to resist, no matter what they look like.
So onto the winners of the Saybon candy contest! They are:
Janet in Winnipeg who loves fruit jellies made with real fruit juice/flavour
Ducky-ducky3 who enjoys hard caramel candies with chocolate inside
Renee who is in love the Saybon, butter mint toffees
409cope loves gummy bears, raspberries any candy really
marce_03 who appreciates Mini O’Henry bars! Crunchy, gooey, yummmy!
I have now notified all the winners. Please respond as soon as possible!
Tomorrow I will be sharing photos of our Halloween on my blogs and then life will, sadly, return to normal. This year’s feast is going to be quite humble I think. I have already indulged quite enough for an entire year! Hope I have come up with enough treat ideas for you to make your Halloween extra spooky and delicious this year.
~ Suzie the Foodie