A fun indoor activity that can be done with your family and friends this Halloween is to bake and decorate spooky cookies! So grab your favourite Halloween-shaped cookie cutters and a few ingredients and have a spook-tacular time!
Halloween Sugar Cookies
For the full recipe, find it here.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
Gel food colouring, for tinting the icing
Special equipment: Halloween cookie cutters; a piping bag fitted with a round number 2 tip; a piping bag fitted with a round number 1 tip
For the cookies:
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Beat the butter and granulated sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture. Mix until completely incorporated. Divide the dough in half, pat into 2 discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until firm, about 1 hour.
Position the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Let the dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes to make rolling easier. Roll out 1 disc between 2 pieces of parchment to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out desired Halloween shapes with cookies cutters and arrange about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining disc of dough.
Bake, rotating and switching the positions of the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies are just turning golden brown on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, reroll the scraps between 2 pieces of parchment and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Repeat the cutting and baking process.
For the royal icing:
Beat the confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and 1/3 cup water in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes. Colour the icing as desired for the cookie shapes.
To make flood icing:
Remove three-quarters of the desired colour icing to a small bowl and stir in 1/2 teaspoon water until flooding consistency is achieved? You can run a knife through it and it flows back to where it was in 10 seconds. Add more water, 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until you've reached the right consistency. Transfer the flood icing to a piping back fitted with a number 2 round tip. Transfer the remaining thick icing to a piping bag fitted with a number 1 round tip.
For ghosts/bats: Pipe a border around the ghost/bat with thick black icing. Fill with white or black flood icing and allow to harden, 6 hours and up to overnight. Pipe a face with thick black or white icing. Allow hardening, about 1 hour.
For pumpkins: Pipe an orange border around the edge of the pumpkin with thick orange icing. You also have the option of filling the shape with orange flood icing and allow to harden, 6 hours and up to overnight. Pipe two orange lines down the pumpkin with thick orange icing. Pipe on a green stem with thick green icing. Pipe vines with thick green icing. Allow hardening, about 1 hour.
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