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Creepy Cookies

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Introduction

I love a sugar-cookie, as they’re easy to make, roll out forgivingly and keep their form very precisely as they bake. This makes them perfect for shaped cutters, and these here are creepy only for the shapes in question. A mixed set of Halloween cutters normally includes ghosts, witches, pumpkins and possibly bats, though you don’t need to buy a set especially; instead, cut out cookies with a round cutter and apply white royal icing (I buy instant) and use a tube of black decorating icing, such as Wilton’s, to draw on a spooky spider’s web. Similarly, if you go down the Halloween cutter route but don’t have time (or the food colouring pastes) to make the witch’s hat black, the pumpkin orange and so forth, simply coat all cookies with white icing again, and just scatter over some seasonal sprinkles.

Instant Royal Icing can be tricky to find in the US, in which case you can make your own Royal Icing by mixing 2½ cups confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons of meringue powder. Add 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of warm water and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the icing has thickened and forms soft peaks.

I love a sugar-cookie, as they’re easy to make, roll out forgivingly and keep their form very precisely as they bake. This makes them perfect for shaped cutters, and these here are creepy only for the shapes in question. A mixed set of Halloween cutters normally includes ghosts, witches, pumpkins and possibly bats, though you don’t need to buy a set especially; instead, cut out cookies with a round cutter and apply white royal icing (I buy instant) and use a tube of black decorating icing, such as Wilton’s, to draw on a spooky spider’s web. Similarly, if you go down the Halloween cutter route but don’t have time (or the food colouring pastes) to make the witch’s hat black, the pumpkin orange and so forth, simply coat all cookies with white icing again, and just scatter over some seasonal sprinkles.

Instant Royal Icing can be tricky to find in the US, in which case you can make your own Royal Icing by mixing 2½ cups confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons of meringue powder. Add 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of warm water and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the icing has thickened and forms soft peaks.

Creepy Cookies

Ingredients

Serves: 16-20

Metric Cups
  • 90 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200 grams plain flour (plus more for rolling)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 150 grams icing sugar (sieved) or 250g Instant Royal Icing (see intro)
  • food colouring
  • 6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar (sieved) or 250g Instant Royal Icing (see intro)
  • food colouring

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/ gas mark 4/350ºF.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and as light as a mousse, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough.
  3. Form the dough into a fat disc, wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place the disc of dough on it and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about half a centimetre / one-eighth of an inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the biscuits a little apart on the baking sheet. You might need to do this in two batches, making sure the baking sheet is cool before placing the second batch.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, by which time they will be lightly golden around the edges. Cool on a rack.
  6. When they’re all fully cooled, you can get on with the icing. You can use simple glace icing, mixing hot water with icing/confectioners’ sugar, but I like to use Instant Royal Icing, about 250g (which is half a box) made up not quite as directed on the packet but adding a little more water as I whisk - and not for as long as they request - so that the icing is an easily spreadable consistency.
  7. Colour the icing as desired: here we have used Sugarflair Colour Pastes; Tangerine for the pumpkin; Black Extra for the witch; and a bit of Party Green where needed!
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/ gas mark 4/350ºF.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and as light as a mousse, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough.
  3. Form the dough into a fat disc, wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place the disc of dough on it and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about half a centimetre / one-eighth of an inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the biscuits a little apart on the baking sheet. You might need to do this in two batches, making sure the baking sheet is cool before placing the second batch.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, by which time they will be lightly golden around the edges. Cool on a rack.
  6. When they’re all fully cooled, you can get on with the icing. You can use simple glace icing, mixing hot water with icing/confectioners’ sugar, but I like to use Instant Royal Icing, about 250g (which is half a box) made up not quite as directed on the packet but adding a little more water as I whisk - and not for as long as they request - so that the icing is an easily spreadable consistency.
  7. Colour the icing as desired: here we have used Sugarflair Colour Pastes; Tangerine for the pumpkin; Black Extra for the witch; and a bit of Party Green where needed!

Tell us what you think

What 2 Others have said

  • Thank you for these tasty cookies. As usual the recipe is a success!

    Posted by Stany on 1st November 2011
  • Everything with sugar it's lovely to my flavor. Thanks.

    Posted by jrmessi on 20th October 2011
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