Sunday, 6 November 2011

Halloween cookies and cupcakes

So I couldn't decide whether to make cupcakes or cookies for halloween, then I thought I'd meet halfway, somewhere between a cookie and a cake!

I must admit this idea of mine (although great) did actually take ages to make partly because of the stencils I used - next time I might just get the right cookie cutters. Also, I was trying to aim for black cupcakes, but came out grey, but I have to admit the grey works so much better. It looks wrong to eat something so grey, but it tastes just as yummy!

I've not really done much for Halloween in the past few years, so I wanted to do something this year; like carve a pumpkin! Alas, I just didn't find the time, but I salute all those who did make pumpkins...

Ingredients for cookies:-

195g all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
115g butter
100g castor sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Keep to one side.

In another bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, add the egg and vanilla extract. Add flour until mixture forms a soft dough. Remove from bowl and place in clingwrap film and place in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.

Remove from fridge and place on lightly floured counter. Roll out to about 1/4 cm thickness into desired shapes. I don't actually have the cutters for the ghost, headstone, bat or cat shapes, so I made stencils as before. It does take a while but its soo worth it!

Place cut out cookies on prepared greased baking trays. Chill in fridge for at least half an hour again.

Remove from fridge and bake for about 10 mins until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Royal icing:-

2 large egg whites
2 tsp lemon juice
230 g icing sugar
black food colouring


In a glass bowl, beat half the egg whites and half the lemon juice with your mixer on a slow speed. Slowly add the icing sugar until it begins to stiffen and form light peaks, similar to that of a meringue mixture. Add a few drops of black colour to get the desired greyness.

Instead of transferring to an icing bag, I just used a small plastic bag - like a sandwich bag and snipped one corner to resemble a small icing bag. Transfer half the mixture to the bag.

Very carefully trace the edges with the icing to make a border around the corners. I was going to fill them all in but thought it would be too much, except for the bats. Then I used little silver balls for the bats eyes.

With the remaining mixture, add the other egg white and tsp of lemon juice to make a thinner consistency with the icing. As before, use a small sandwich bag to 'flood' the cookies, once the outline has dried. This makes it so much easier to ice the cookies.

Ingredients for cupcakes:-

115g butter
130g light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
195g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
60ml whole milk
black food colouring


Preheat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

Using an electric beater or whisk, beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy and the sugar and butter lighten in colour. This will take you about 4 minutes or so. Add the eggs, one at a time beating quite thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla essence and food colouring to desired greyness.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt and add half of this to the egg mixture. Beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour in half the milk. Beat again until combined and repeat the flour and milk process until finished, alternating between the two.

Immediately, fill the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 mins. Don't forget to rotate the tray about half way through if you have a gas oven, to ensure evenly cooked.

You should have enough mixture to make 20 decent sized cupcakes.

Remove from oven and leave in tray for a few minutes. Don’t forget to remove from the muffin tray!

For the icing:-

250g icing sugar

125g butter
2 tblsp whole milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

black food colouring


With your hand mixer or food processor, cream butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence and food colouring until smooth. Add the milk 1tblsp at a time. If mixture still feels too stiff add some more milk. I just used a knife to make the icing smooth and forgo the piping bag!

To add the cookie to the cupcake, I just made a small slit in the cupcake wide enough to fit and squeeze in a cookie. I also just made some small blades of grass with green fondant icing, oh and also a spider but that took forever.... the possibilities are endless!

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