Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Cookies

Make sugar cookies. This recipe has been found in several locations, and I can't determine the original source.

Be aware the portions below will result in about 12 - 15 cookies that are the size of your palm.  Double, triple or quadruple accordingly. 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Make a day ahead:

1) Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. 
2) Beat in egg and vanilla. 
3) Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg over; stir to blend well. 
4) Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently 1 minute. 
5) Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. 

The next day:

Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

1) Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter large baking sheet.
2) Cut dough into workable pieces, probably three or four from the ball. 

3) Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness, lifting and turning dough often and dusting surface very lightly with flour to prevent sticking. 
4) Cut out cookies. Pull away excess dough from around cookies. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart (cookies will not spread). Gently reroll dough scraps; cut out more cookies. Transfer to same sheet.

Bake cookies until light brown, about 11 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on sheet. Transfer cookies to rack; cool. 
For the pumpkins I used and apple-shaped cookie cutter and bent it to be more pumpkin-like. And used orange frosting.

Repeat with remaining dough pieces, baking 1 sheet of cookies at a time. Cool baking sheet completely and butter sheet lightly between batches.

These can be frozen for weeks, so why not make a whole bunch extra and not have to make any cookies this holiday season?

Make a very quick cookie glaze:

Combine a box of powdered sugar with a few tablespoons of milk (almond or soy milk work too) and a splash of vanilla. Add a teaspoon of cream of tartar if you have some. Food coloring optional.

I used a tulip-shaped cookie cutter to make ghosts, which chocolate chips for eyes.

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