I started off this task by researching through the different sources available for different ideas and recipes for cookies and biscuits that I can make my own because essentially that is what I want to do. There is no point copying someone else’s work, this was actually a bit of a fail for me in one sense and a complete triumph in another. So here goes. I will point out before we get going that baking I am good at and comfortable with but icing and decorating is new to me so please be kind.
To start you will need the following ingredients to make your cookies:
- 200g of Butter
- 200g of Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla essence
- 350g Plain Flour.
- Icing Sugar
- Tap Water
- Food Colouring
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Spoon- preferably wooden but don’t panic if you only have a normal table spoon.
- Weighing Scales
- Baking Tray
- Cookie cutter
- Rolling Pin
Step One- Get Mixing
To get started on your spooky cookies you will need to turn the oven on to 180 degrees to preheat. Then use a folded up piece of kitchen roll covered in butter to grease your baking tray, you can alternatively use baking paper but I didn’t have any in. Once you have done this put your butter and sugar into the bowl and slowly start to cream together. With this motion, you want to create a soft texture with the butter, you don’t want it to be liquid but soft. At the end, it should look something similar to the image below.
Step Two- Adding the liquids
You now want to add in the egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence and whisk/beat together until smooth, this will add a nice flavour to your cookies. The mixture should turn up out to be quite runny and smooth, almost like a cake batter mix. Be sure yo make sure you have no remaining lumps of butter left as they will cause problems when trying to roll out the dough later.
Step Three- Adding the flour
When adding the flour try putting it in, in 2 or 3 smaller sections, this means it doesn’t overwhelm the mixture. It also means you don’t end up wasting half of it when it falls out the bowl when you start to mix. If you are using a mixer to do this I would still separate the flour so it doesn’t make it too hard. Start by mixing with your spoon and then once you get to the end of the flour you will notice that the mixture is getting harder to move with a spoon and will need to start using your hands.
Step Four- Chill for a hour
Once your dough is all mixed together and kneaded together place it in the bowl in the fridge with a cloth or tea towel to cover. This just helps the mixture to strengthen and makes it easier to roll out later.
Step Five- Time to get cutting
Dust your surface with flour and do the same for your rolling pin to stop the dough from sticking. Then you can start to roll out your dough to create your cookies. Roll your mixture out onto the surface to around 1cm thickness. You can go thinner or thicker if you wish this is just simply a guide. You can use any cookie cutter you wish, I used an upside down owl to create a monster, a circle with bits cut out to create a pumpkin and a lid from a Whiskers temptations that are the shape of a cat. Make sure that your dough is not stuck to the surface as this will be harder to get your cut out cookies off the surface.
Step Six- Baking Time
Put the cookies with good spacing between each one onto your tray and place in the oven, let cook for around 15-20 mins or until a nice golden brown appears around the edges. Be careful not to leave too long as once they have burnt a little they won’t taste very good.
Step Seven- Cool Down
Once you have taken your cookies from the oven, you can leave them on the tray or you can place them on a cooling rack. The cookies don’t take too long to cool but they need to be cool before we ice them. I will say everything worked out well for me up until the icing point. I prepared my icing to the colour of a pumpkin, see image below.
Step Eight – Icing
I started by using an icing bag to create the outer circle of my icing. (see image below) however, I ran out of icing from this bag so I couldn’t finish the full inside of the pumpkins and as I made more it was very hard to match the colour. I underestimated how much icing I would need and this what let me down. I used the darker icing to decorate the monster cookies instead. I decided to stop there with icing until I learnt how to control it, especially with using dye in a cream kitchen, it could only end badly.
Overall making the cookies went really well, I had tried a week or two ago with the same mixture and failed again on the icing, hence the second attempt. This has only spurred me on to find a course to learn how to decorate sweet treats. The cookies tasted great and came out really well, I would definitely use this method and recipe again.