I had a pretty last minute request to bake some simple sugar cookies for a friend. “The kids are going to decorate them together for Halloween” he added. Being the novice baker that I am, this was huge. “But of course I can “, I replied in the same breath. Not for once taking into consideration it was a week day, I will barely have a few hours at the end of a hard working tuesday.
The rational part of my brain said, Ratna, you realize that all the star bakers are probably drowned with orders of cakes, cookies, muffins and other ghoulish treats, they have no time doing “just plain sugar cookies’. The other part of my brain said’ are you kidding me, maybe I am just too modest. Maybe I am much better than I consider myself to be!
At the end of a very long day, I measured the flour and sugar, reading and rereading the recipe, checking the labels of my vanilla bottle ( a very minor mishap happened when I poured coffee flavour instead of vanilla ). The stand mixer was put to work, which gave me back a perfect dough. Following the recipe to the T, I put the dough in the fridge to chill.
Looking for the plain round cookie cutter from the four shoe boxes full of all shapes from Christmas to easter, Linzer to zoo animals, flowers to ginger bread men, it dawned on me that I should put my Halloween cookie cutters to use too. Between the witch’s hat to smiling pumpkin face my hand went for the silicone cookie sheet with cavities. Just press the dough in it, and bake. Very smart move, I said to myself.
It was past midnight when the few dozen cookies were put on wire racks to cool down just as the recipe called for.
As I opened my eyes in the morning I ran to the kitchen to appreciate my handiwork. The plain rounds turned out perfect. What are these , weird faces from the silicone cavities? On a closer look I found that it were the little chicks hatching from the eggs, easter cookies which I mistook for smiley pumpkin faces. Hmmmm….
Plan B was launched, how can the little chicks be changed to a halloween theme? Cover the faces! Yup, just cover the faces. Make them into mummies. Phew! sometimes I am so proud of myself. Save the two eyes every bit of the face was covered, and here I present a bunch of totally spooky Halloween cookies just for you.
Recipe; Adapted from Mommy’s Home cooking.
Got 21/2 dozen cookies. Numbers may vary depending on size.
All purpose flour 3 cups
Granulated sugar 1 cup
Softened cream cheese 8 oz
Unsalted butter softened 3/4 cup
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Vanilla extract 2 tsps
Store bought icing, colours..
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the baking sheets with Silpat sheet or parchment paper.
Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl.Add salt and sat aside. Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed in a stand mixer until mixed thoroughly and the butter is light coloured and fluffy about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and vanilla, mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl too.
Add the flour mixture, I usually cover it with a tea towel, and mix on low speed till just combined. Take the towel off, run the machine a little more if needed. We only want to form a rough dough. Put the mixer off. Take the dough out on the counter top. Divide in two halves. Shape into two discs. Cover with saran wrap, let these sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Take one disc out, dust some flour on the counter top. Roll this flat till about 1/4 inches thick, Use flour if sticky, cut out your favourite shapes with a cookie cutter. Place them 1 inch apart, let them chill in the fridge one more time for another 15 minutes. Use the scraps and roll them again. Repeat this with the second dough disc.
Bake till the edges are light brown in colour about 12 minutes.
Let it sit on a wire rack to cool completely.. Decorate to your liking. I used store bought icing.