It’s Halloween time. Watch out for scary eyeballs that follow you everywhere. Even on cookies.
Sometimes less is more when it comes to scary. And sometimes less is more when it comes to decorating cookies.
eyeballs sprinkles on a cookie and I’m happy. Make me apply a neat outline with royal icing, wait for it to set, fill in the middle, let that set, add another layer with a different color (wait – I fell asleep).
No one around here named Lisa has that kind of patience. I applaud those that do and I will be the first in line to buy those cookies, if they’re gluten-free. But if you’re holding your breath waiting for homemade fancy pants cookies from the Canteen kitchen, inhale right now. These are about as fancy pants as it gets.
And really. Eyeballs are great. Nothing says Halloween like weird little eyeballs all oddly painted so the pupils look askew.
About the cookie. Use a dark cocoa when making the cookies for best results. Hershey’s makes a good dark unsweetened cocoa and it really looks great when you want to make a baked good look and taste like deep dark chocolate.
To roll out the cookies, and to cut them out plus successfully transfer them to the baking sheet, keep the dough this side of frozen chilled. Chilled dough is so much easier to work with than room temperature floppy stuff which rips so easily. Also, roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thick – the cookies will thick enough and won’t break as easily. This batch went in and out of the freezer multiple times while working on getting them cut and into the oven.
Royal icing is not mandatory though it is the best glue type icing around. The royal icing recipe makes plenty enough to frost the cookies if you wish or save the icing in a container in the refrigerator for another batch of cookies. Cut the icing recipe in half if you wish – it is forgiving, but if you have more cookies to bake it’s handy to have some on hand. The icing sets rather quickly so be sure to attach those eyeballs or add the sprinkles right away or as you frost – don’t wait until they’re all finished before adding sprinkles or eyeballs because the icing will have set. You can also use canned or homemade buttercream frosting but it will take slightly longer to set.
Royal icing and dried egg white what? Yes, it requires egg white and the easiest way to do this is using the dried stuff which has a shelf life of 45 to 650 years. Deb El is the only stuff I use and while it isn’t terribly cheap, it lasts for such a long time I cannot even remember when I purchased this can. Deb El Just Whites can be found in most grocery stores or here.
Skip the icing altogether and feel free to slather the unbaked rolled dough (before cutting out the shapes) with sprinkles, nonpareils, or colored sugar. Place plastic wrap back on top, give the dough a light press with a (rolling) pin to set the decorations firmly. Once again, chill the sprinkled dough, cut the shapes, chill the dough again, and bake.
Hey, it’s Halloween. It’s the over-the-top-decorating-everything-we-eat season. And it’s just the beginning. Here’s to a spooky scary-good tasty Halloween.
|Halloween Chocolate Bats & Cats Cookies|| |
- 260 grams Canteen flour blend (2 cups) (see notes)
- 20 grams unsweetened cocoa (3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 150 grams granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
- 113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature (8 tablespoons)
- 70 grams Spectrum organic shortening (5 tablespoons)
- 1 extra large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional, but good)
- 220 grams powdered sugar, sifted (2 cups)
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried Deb El Just (Egg) Whites
- 15 to 20 grams warm water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- sprinkles, eyeballs
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt until combined. In a large bowl blend together sugar and butter until a little fluffy and fully combined. Blend in egg, vanilla and almond extract (if using) until mixture is smooth and egg is fully incorporated. Add flour mixture and stir until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and mixture is well blended. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least two hours and up to three days.
- Roll out each dough half between sheets of plastic wrap to about ⅛ inch thick (too thin and they will break). Cut out small cats or bats. Refrigerate or freeze dough as you go to make sure it stays chilled for easier cutting and transferring to baking sheet.
- Place cutouts on parchment lined baking sheets. Refrigerate pans while oven preheats. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pans in the oven and bake smaller cookies 8-9 minutes or until set. Bake larger cookies 11-14 minutes. Cool in the pan for five minutes and then transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely. Makes about 50 small cookies and 25-30 larger cookies.
- In a small bowl whisk together sugar and powdered egg white. Add warm water a tablespoon at a time until mixture is blended, smooth, thick and barely runs off the spoon. Stir in vanilla. If the mixture is too thick add drops of warm water. If the mixture is too thin, cover with plastic wrap and wait five minutes and check it again. If it is still too thin, add 25 grams (heaping 2 tablespoons) sifted powdered sugar until it is the right consistency. Pipe or spread on cookies immediately.
- Use royal icing or a small amount of regular icing to place eyeballs or use royal icing to make eyeballs. Cover and refrigerate remaining icing for another use or use the icing to fully frost cookies, if desired.