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Sunday, 28 October 2012

DAY OF THE DEAD COOKIES



It didn't even occur to us to have a Halloween party this year. I mean, we had one last year and it was great, but seeing as we have a few other things going on right now, it wasn't the first thing on our minds. Then a friend asked if we were planning on having one again this year. Not really sure what are plans are for Halloween, we answered, but a seed was sown. Then a second friend asked. But what finally converted us was when we saw the Halloween aisle in the supermarket and our heads started buzzing with ideas, we got all excited and remembered how much fun it is to throw a party, and a decision was made.


Of course, I pretty much started with my decorations straight away. Hello cobwebs, cut-out bats and creepy pickled faces! Of course I needed to make some Halloween themed edibles as well, and after perusing the internet I came across a recipe for little skull day of the dead cookies on 101cookbooks.com. They looked pretty fun and relatively straight forward to make, so I decided to give them a bash.

I was pretty happy with the results and the taste of the cookies exceeded my expectations. I mean, I picked the recipe mainly because the cookies looked cool, but it's always a bit of a downer when the taste doesn't quite hold up and you're left with a visually pleasing but meh-tasting cookie. These went down a treat with the party guests though, and I'll definitely be making these again. I didn't end up changing anything with the recipe, so the recipe below is the same only in metric measurements.

 Day of the dead cookies (recipe from 101 cookbooks):

Vanilla dough:
250 g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
115 g butter
200 g sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate dough:
125 g flour
60 g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
115 g butter
90 g brown sugar
100 g sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Start with making the vanilla dough. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy in another bowl, and then add the egg and vanilla extract. Once it's all combined, add in the flour. Roll the dough into a sausage, cover in cling film and leave in the fridge. In a new bowl, start the chocolate dough in the same way. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy, and add egg and vanilla. Once that's mixed in, combine the flour mix into the dough. Roll it into a sausage, cover in cling film and put in the fridge. This dough is a million times easier to work with when it's chilled (or even frozen), so leave it in the fridge for about two hours, or even over night if you have time.

The original recipe recommended shaping the dough and poking eye and mouth holes in the dough sausage before cutting, and then slicing using some floss or thread to prevent the cookies from losing their shape. However, I found that no matter how hard I tried, I ended up having to reshape the cookies post cutting, and I'd thus recommend just cutting normal cookie shapes, and then shaping them once assembled. That way you'd also avoid the issue of having a funny shaped vanilla cookie on top of a different funny shaped chocolate cookie. Don't try for perfection though, as the oddly shaped ones often turn out the creepiest! Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 175 degrees Celsius. Makes about 36 cookies.


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