Monday, October 31, 2016

Day of the Dead Cookies

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Day of the Dead - Dia de los Muertos Cookies
Day of the Dead - Dia de los Muertos Cookies
Feliz Dia de los Muertos - Happy Day of the Dead! To honor the dead, I baked Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Cookies using a vanilla sugar cookie recipe. Please go to Jack Skellington Cookies for the recipe and instructions. I bought Celebration Wafer Paper from Fancy Flours to make these cookies and use AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pens. Each sheet has 8 designs. See Edgar Allan Poe Cookies for instructions on using wafer paper.

Wafer Paper sheet ready to color with edible markers
AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pens and skully
I love the Celebration Paper used to make the sugar skull cookies. They are just like coloring in a book but with edible markers and on paper you can eat. It was time consuming to make these, but fun and relaxing.

Painted wafer paper ready to adhere to cookies
Wafer paper on cookies setting
I bought the black and white sugar skulls at Rite Aid for 50% off recently and love them!

Day of the Dead Cookies
When you cut the wafer paper be careful and do it slowly to avoid any breakage.

Day of the Dead Cookies
I colored the wafer sheet first and let them dry overnight and cut them the next morning.

Day of the Dead Cookies
For History of Day of the Dead & the Sugar Skull Tradition, visit:
http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/support/dodhistory.html

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Cookies

Pin It Halloween Cookies

Halloween Cookies
Witch Hat, Cauldron, Witch Silhouette, Witch Broom
I made two batches of cookies for Halloween, vanilla and chocolate. The vanilla sugar cookie recipe is from Sweetopia, and I added 1 tablespoon of milk. This is the best tasting sugar cookie and my go to recipe for cutout cookies. For the chocolate sugar cookie recipe and instructions check out Holiday Sugar Cookies.

Skulls
Haunted House
Tovolo Coffins: Skeleton and Bats

Vanilla Sugar Cookie 
Ingredients
2 cups Unsalted Butter, softened

2 cups Sugar

2 Extra Large Eggs

3 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon Milk

5 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

Frankenstein and silly looking Dracula
Frankenstein
Silly looking Dracula

Directions
Sift flour and add salt. Combine with spatula. Put aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix for a 10-15 seconds.

Moon
Ghosts
Candy Corn
Add eggs one at a time, mix until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5-10 seconds.

Add milk and vanilla extract and mix on low until incorporated, about 20-25 seconds.

Slowly add flour mixture on low to combine. The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Bats
Ravens
Cats
Roll dough into ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours.

Cut dough into 4 cuts, leaving unused dough covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached.

Place onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper and put in freezer for 5 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

Tombstones
Tombstones
Tombstones
Tombstones
Tombstones
Coffins
Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned.

Wait 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Decorate once cookies have cooled completely.

Witch Silhouette Cookies
Cauldrons
Witch Hats
Witch Brooms

Large Batch Royal Icing

Ingredients
8 Egg Whites

8 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

12 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract

Directions
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar, set aside.

In a bowl, add egg whites.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

With mixer speed on low, slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

Sprinkles, decorations
Royal Icing, double batch
If needed, you may add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. Watch the Joy of Baking (link at the end) video for both Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing. If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link.

I separated the icing in plastic containers with lids according to the different colors I needed for tinting.

I used AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color.

Keep the containers covered until you are ready to color.

I transferred the icing immediately into Squeeze Bottles using a funnel to prevent spilling. If the Royal Icing hardens due to exposure to air, use a spray bottle and spray a little bit of water and shake bottle well holding the tip with your finger. Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie.

I outlined the cookies and waited 1/2 hour and then filled them.

For the witch silhouette, I used wax paper and under it placed the silhouette. With the black border royal icing, I made a silhouette and let it dry overnight. I carefully peeled it off and applied a few drops of icing in the center of the cookie and gently placed the silhouette.

Use a paintbrush or cookie stick to reach edges and use tip of cookie stick or a toothpick to pop any air bubbles.

Let cookies dry overnight.

For further information:
Please visit, Sweetopia for the Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe:
http://sweetopia.net/2009/12/sugar-cookie-recipe/

Please visit, Joy of Baking for the Royal Icing Recipe and Video Tutorial:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/RoyalIcing.html

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Jack Skellington Cookies

Pin It Jack Skellington Candy Mold Cookies

Jack Skellington and his Candy Mold Cookies
I recently purchased Disney Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Ice Cube Tray to use as molds for Wilton White Candy Melts. Every Halloween my Jack Skellington doll comes out and stays out until the New Year. I love the film and the facial expressions of Jack Skellington are perfectly captured in this ice cube tray. The cookies were made using a vanilla sugar cookie recipe with white royal icing. See my Halloween Cookies post for the cookie recipe and royal icing recipe. I save a few cookies for this and used an oval and plaque cutter. Instructions on how to use candy melts follow below.

Jack Skellington Candy Mold Cookies
Jack Skellington Candy Mold Cookies
Jack Skellington Candy Mold Cookies
Jack Skellington Candy Mold Cookies
I put the candy melts in a disposable decorating bag and made a knot at the top. Use the defrost setting in your microwave for 1 minute and continue to do this at 30-second intervals until the candy is melted. My melts took 2 minutes to melt. Knead bag half way and when the candy melts, snip the bottom of bag and fill your mold.

Jack Skellington Ice Tray
Jack Skellington Ice Tray
Take mold and put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Gently tap on a table and push out one by one.

Wilton Bright White Candy Melts
Wilton Candy Melts melted

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Halloween Chocolate Chip Cookies
I think the original Nestle Toll House chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is the best one out there. For Halloween, I baked a Halloween version with Semi-Sweet Chocolate and Orange Colored Morsels. I was so happy when I saw these morsels at Target. The recipe is simple and fun to do together with your family or friends. I prefer not to add nuts to my chocolate chip cookies, but if you wish add 1 cup of nuts when you add the morsels to the dough. I share the recipe below.

Yield: 2 dozen large cookies or 4 dozen medium cookies.

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour (King Arthur)

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened and each stick cut into 8 pieces

3/4 cup Granulated Sugar

3/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar

2 Large Eggs

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 2/3 cups (10 oz. pkg.) Nestle Toll House Halloween Morsels

Halloween Chocolate Chip Cookies close-up

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine with a whisk or spatula the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a whisk or stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed, mix butter, sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time and combine until incorporated.

Turn mixer to low speed and slowly add flour until combined.

Fold in morsels and nuts if adding.

Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate and Orange Covered Morsels
Use 1/4 cup measuring spoon or ice cream scoop and space cookies on baking sheet two inches apart.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. My cookies baked in 13 minutes.

Cool on baking sheets for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely but be sure to have some warm with milk like Allen and me did last night. :)

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, October 21, 2016

Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

Pin It Jack-O'-Lantern Cookies

Jack-O'-Lantern Cookies
Around Halloween, you see Jack-O'-Lantern pumpkins in front of porches, windows and in retail stores everywhere decorated in different ways, some scary and others are pure works of art. These days, you can buy them with the design and lighted. For those of us who want the effect, but not the work of carving a real one, even artificial Jack-O'-Lanterns are a great option. I was thrilled when I came across Tovolo Jack-O-Lantern Cookie Cutters and ordered a set. The set includes the pumpkin cookie cutter and six reversible templates. For the cookie and royal icing recipe and directions, click Pumpkin Spice Autumn Cookies.

A Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
Once your dough has chilled, roll out and dip the pumpkin cutter and the imprints in a little all purpose flour so the dough does not stick to it.

A Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
After you make the shape with the cookie cutter, press down with the template to make the impression on the dough. It is super easy to do. Just repeat until you are done.

A Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
Once you have your dough imprinted, take a small brush and gently wipe away any excess flour.

A silly looking Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
To color the design imprints after the cookies were completely cooled, I used a black AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pen. I waited about 1 hour for it to set, and then did piped a border outline around the design using orange royal icing.  After 1/2 hour, I filled the cookie with flood icing consistency.

A Jack-O'-Lantern cookie
On one of the cookies, I tried to cover up a black mark that somehow got on the orange icing, but I noticed it after the icing dried and when I added a little more icing on top, it made it worse and left bumps. Thus, one of my jack-o'-lantern cookies has zits or looks like he is working up a sweat. Hee, hee... My advice never do try to do this once the icing has dried. I learned my lesson. Duh.

Dip the templates in flour before making the impressions
 Let the cookies dry for 5-6 hours or overnight.

Cookies cut out with impressions done

Another option I have seen on Pinterest is to tint the dough orange and just color the imprinted sections with black royal icing and/or sprinkles or sanding sugar of different colors.

To read about the history of the Jack O'Lantern, visit:
http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history

To order Jack-O-Lantern cookie cutters set, visit:
http://www.tovolo.com

-Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys