Thursday, October 23, 2014

Simple Halloween Cookies

Look no further if you want to bake simple cookies for Halloween that will appeal to everyone.  Cookie baking & decorating doesn't get any easier than this.  At the baking demo I had at Williams-Sonoma just a few weeks ago, I decided to try a new approach to my cookie decorating for this spooky holiday.  It didn’t fail to catch the attention of the customers & sales associates that particular day as I was rolling out dough and cutting out cookies in Halloween shapes.  I noticed that many individuals left with the feeling of having learned something new that was easily approachable & doable.


Yes, I still use some royal icing for these rolled out sugar cookies, but I make a minimum of commotion with it in order to spend less time in the kitchen.  The best thing to do is to make a superb sugar cookie dough that is easy to make, handle & bake.  Nothing is more frustrating than cutting out cookies and baking them, only to find out that they’ve lost their shapes.  I’ve been there, done that!  If you follow my recipe the results will absolutely please you. Also, my Perfect Royal Icing will have you licking the spoon when it’s all said and done.  It is indeed tasty.  Don't forget that infinitely edible Sugar and Spice Cookie Recipe that is to die for!

Simple Halloween Cookies
Are you ready for Halloween?  Have you picked out the costumes for the kids, pets & yourself?  If so, take a moment to make these Simple Halloween Cookies because not only are they fun & easy to make, but they're also very toothsome.  

What are we waiting for?  Let’s bake!


I had never tinted my sugar cookie doughs before until I took on this baking project. What I wanted to do with this set of cookies was to use the colored cookies as a canvas for simple designs.  I didn't want to have to flood a ton of cookies, so this was an easy peasy way to get the job done.

With many food colorings on the market, I tested my recipes with Wilton gel pastes and Spectrum gel colors.  They worked marvelously and the colors really kept up during the baking process.  Simply divide a batch or two of sugar cookie dough and tint to your heart's content.  

Hint:  I quartered my recipe and placed each chunk of dough into a mixing bowl for tinting.  With a pair of food-safe latex gloves, I added the food coloring bit by bit and kneaded the colors individually.  If the cookie dough is good, this process will be a cinch to perform.  Luckily, my recipe (link above) is great to work with straight from the stand mixer.


After mixing the colored doughs, I rolled them out between pieces of parchment paper.  These slabs were then chilled for 30 minutes before cutting into fun Halloween shapes.  Leftover pieces of dough were gathered and marbled for an eerie effect.  Just look at that marbled pumpkin!


Oh, before I forget, I had a reader send me a question regarding royal icing and storing it, etc.  Well, I tested and retested a few times and came to the conclusion that you can in fact freeze royal icing!  Upon thawing, the texture & flavor are not affected whatsoever and if it's the right consistency, it will pipe as if you had made it that very day.  Keep in mind that this was tested using my recipe (I use meringue powder versus egg whites) and no one else's.  We'll delve into that in another post.

The point of these cookies was to keep them simple. Therefore, I worked with white & black royal icing.  Nothing else.  I made a stiff consistency and an outlining/flooding consistency for each color (four piping bags total).  

For these pumpkins I piped outlines, gourd sections and Jack-0-lantern faces.  The large bats and itty bitty cat & bat were treated in the same manner.  

These cookies were made using a plain piping tip (#2) and a small open star tip (#13).  The star tip created small stars and textured pumpkin sections with stiff royal icing.  How simple is this?

Using solid green & purple cookie dough, in addition to marbled versions of these colors, a small menagerie of witches, bats, moons, spooky eyes and monsters were given undemanding treatments of royal icing.  Rather than give you specific directions, pipe whatever you please onto each cookie.  It's your art work, so you decide what you want to see on these cookies.  

I love those witches!

Who can resist those cute monster faces?  For the marbled faces, I piped an outline of hair for his block face and then added charming eyes with white & black royal icing.  An off-centered smile and a few scars were the only other accents.  Easy!  What I loved about the witches the most was the tattered up broomcorn.  This was made with the open star tip; simply zig-zag stiff royal icing to create texture.  

Done & Done!

There you have it.  Easy as can be Halloween Cookies that are indeed simple to make.  I'm telling you, beginners can have equal success making cookies that look like they belong in a bake shop.  Go through my recipes where I provided the links and gather your ingredients to make my Simple Halloween Cookies. I guarantee you will have a ghoulishly creative time making Halloween cookies this coming week.

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