I was looking for a Halloween cookie recipe recently and nothing was really jumping out at me other than the beautifully iced cookies that were way out of my league! I wanted something with a Halloween theme without being overly ghoulish as I had my two year old assistant to consider. Without being able to find exactly what I wanted to make I had the idea of using something I saw in last years Donna Hay Celebrate issue for Christmas and just changing the cookie cutters used to be Halloween themed. Voila! Beautiful Halloween cookies that look and taste delicious and I don't have to explain any creepiness to my little one. When she saw the finished product she thought they were "Incy Wincy Spider" and Max the cat (our cat is called Max) cookies. So sweet. Make sure you bake the cutouts also they are tasty little bite sized gems.
For even more of a Halloween twist these cookies would look awesome with a coffin, tombstone of spider web as the cookie shape instead of the square.
Here's my attempt at these cookies. I am sure with a bit of practise I can get them looking pretty darn good by Halloween. The recipe is below also.
Ready for the oven:
Out of the oven:
The finished product (with a bit more practice and a little less assistance from miss 2 I am sure they will look much neater!):
Don't forget the cut-outs:
Donna Hay's Jam Cookie Sandwiches Recipe:
125g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (225g) plain flour, sifted
Icing sugar for dusting
110g raspberry jam
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6-8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for a further 2-3 minutes or until well combined. Add the flour and beat until the mixture just comes together to form a smooth dough. Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper to 3mm thick and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Using a 6cm fluted square cutter, cut out 24 shapes from the dough. Using mini cookie cutters of your choice (I used a bat, spider, ghost and scary cat) cut shapes from the centre of half the squares, reserving the cut-outs. Place the squares and reserved cut-outs on 2 large lightly greased baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust the cut out squares and cut-outs with icing sugar. Spread the plain squares with jam and sandwich with the cut out squares. Makes 12.
Recently searching (or procrastinating) on Pinterest I stumbled across a picture of these Redback spider cookies made by LilaLoa. I thought these were very appropriate for Halloween, but especially an Aussie halloween. I also loved her take on Halloween in general included in her post on decorating these cookies which you can check out here: LilaLoa's Halloween Spider Cookies. American Halloween traditions do seem to be becoming more popular here each year with families organising trick or treat events. You could make a batch of these not-too-creepy spider cookies and pop them into little cellophane bags for the little trick or treaters in your neighbourhood. I wonder if I should make some for my dad, who is terrified of spiders!
Do check out LilaLoa's website for so much cookie know-how you may never need to look anywhere else. Recipes, decorating tips and tutorials and much, much more.