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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Sugar Cookies

Halloween is coming up in a day or two and, of course, there will the hoards of neighbourhood children knocking on our door looking for a treat.  This year I'm giving out juice boxes, bucking the tradition of candy or chips.  My son says I'm going to get "egged" in protest.  Ah, well, I'm sure some of those kids will enjoy sipping on a juice box while devouring their pile of candy and chips.  And I'm betting a few parents will be pleased with my choice. 

Our grandchildren don't live nearby but there are a few great nieces and and nephews who will come banging at our door expecting a sweet treat.  I usually do up a bag for these little family members with a few extras but this year I'm going to make cookies.  I wouldn't normally give out cookies to just anyone because I'm sure most of them would end up in the trash.  Parents have to be so careful of Halloween treats and anything "homemade" can be suspicious if the giver is not known or remembered.  But for the family members I'll attach a tag so mommy and daddy will know the cookies came from Aunt Lois.  You can find the Sugar Cookie recipe HERE.

Sugar cookies, in my opinion, are tedious to make because they have to be refrigerated and then rolled and cut and baked and finally decorated.  And they have to be crispy but soft at the same time.  You know, crispy edges and soft and somewhat chewy in the middle. At least they shoud be when they come out of the oven and these  were just lovely.  But, that being said, they do make a lovely presentation and worth the effort a few of times a year.  

I was going to use Royal Icing but I found this simple icing recipe on All Recipes submitted by JBS Box and thought I'd use that instead as it had over 2000 glowing reviews and nearly 900 photos. Royal Icing will hold up much better but this will do for the few cookies I'll be doing.  I used vanilla extract instead of the almond as the cookies already had almond extract in them.

Sugar Cookie Icing
1 cup icing (confectioners') sugar
2 teaspoons milk (I had to use 3 teaspoons.)
2 teaspoons light corn syrup (I had to use 3 teaspoons.)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Assorted food coloring


Mix the sugar and milk together.  Add the corn syrup and flavouring.  You may use whatever flavouring you like.


Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each until the colour you want is reached. (It may be best to use paste or gel color so not to dilute the icing.) Decorate as desired, outlining, flooding, dipping or brushing. 

Makes enough for 12 cookies. 
  



For outlining, the icing should be quite thick but still pourable.


Use paste or gel color for vibrant bright icing.
Cookies outlined in a dark orange icing. 

For flooding the cookie surface, carefully thin the icing with a few drops of milk or water.

Use a toothpick or small brush to apply thinned icing in tiny places.

Cookies ready to be flooded with a lighter orange icing.

Test Subject.
 
Decorated with leaves and vine runners.


Now, all I have to do is wrap and tag the cookies and wait for the kiddies to come on Halloween night.  



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