29 October 2013

Halloween Treats!

Tasting the spirit of Halloween!
This has been the first Halloween in years that I've really gotten into. That being said I decided I wanted to make some Halloween cookies for the neighbors. What initially gave me the idea to make cookies was the fact that I found a pack of 18 Halloween cookie cut outs for sale at Michael's for $1.99. Not bad. I'm sure they are even cheaper now as Halloween is almost upon us. (On another note not related to cookies, Michael's has a 40% off mobile coupon available on their website, which is always good to know..your welcome ;).) Anyways back to the mission of these Halloween cookies, I wanted to make sugar cookies but didn't have a good recipe that's were good ol' Google came in. Found a simple sugar cookie recipe and away I went, the recipe stated it would yield 24 cookies, but I ended up with 42 which worked for me.

Fresh out of the oven

Simple Sugar Cookies

1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 3/4 Cup Flour

Cream butter and sugar
Add egg and vanilla
Mix all dry ingredients, slowly add butter mix, stir
Roll out dough on floured board
Cut out and bake at 400 for 7-10 minutes
Cookies will be light in color with light browning along the edges

Cookies galore!

Now before we start talking about frosting let me forewarn you be sure you have plenty of time on your hands before beginning the frosting part of this venture, especially if you're planning on mixing more than just a few colors worth of frosting. It took me about 2 hours from start to finish to make and mix all of the variety of colored frosting and to frost the cookies themselves.

Typically when I make homemade frosting I just mix powdered sugar and water but wanted to see if there was a different variation on this and of course there was. Found a recipe for frosting which was pretty much as the same one I had been making except it calls for milk instead of water. I ended up liking the milk better than the water as it made the frosting thicker. The frosting recipe also called for vanilla extract which gave the frosting a nice taste, but I did not like the off white color the vanilla gave the frosting. I ended up using this off white frosting for my colored frosting, by simply adding food coloring to it. To create a nice bright white I cut out the vanilla extract, and just used powdered sugar and milk, which worked great. I really liked this frosting recipe as the frosting was thick, and it set quickly which made it easier to do my designs. As the frosting does set fairly quickly I would suggest only making a small batch at a time, and to only do one color of frosting at a time if that's the case. I would also suggest to only decorate one cookie at a time as it does set quickly. I tried to frost a few cookies at a time and had to work against time to spread the frosting before it set. Learn from my mistakes :)

Off white frosting due to vanilla extract
Bright white due to no vanilla extract

Simple Cookie Frosting

1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Combine all ingredients until smooth.

As I stated I used food coloring to create different colors for the frosting and learned a few new things about mixing colors with food coloring. Being as I was making Halloween cookies I needed a good black frosting. I hadn't thought about it until after I got home (as they do sell black food coloring at the store) so I decided to try my hand at creating some black frosting, boy was that an experience. I did some searching online to see if anyone else out there had concocted a good recipe for black frosting, and found one recipe to try which entailed of 4 drops of red & blue, and 2 drops of green and yellow. I followed the directions as is but the color initially turned out to be an army green. I found I had to add a bunch more red and blue to finally achieve a dark dark brown, which became blacker as it dried. I was happy with how my black came out but if I require a lot of black frosting in the future I will definitely just buy the black food coloring as it would save me time and irritation lol. I found a good recipe for orange turned out to be 2 parts yellow, 1 part red. The rest of the colors I created were pretty straight forward just using the primary colors of the food coloring with some frosting. 

My black frosting
The perfect Halloween orange :)

 Although it did take some time to make these holiday cookies I am super proud of my first ever Halloween cookies, and I know the neighbors were happy with them too ;)

**Enjoy and Happy Halloween! Cheers!**