Oh my goodness, can you believe it's already Halloween tomorrow? I honestly can't. This is crazy! It seems like just a couple weeks ago it was the end of summer and school was just starting and then I blinked... and it's been more than two months. Where is all the time going?! Before I know it, it's gonna be Christmas. Not that I mind though, I adore Christmastime, it's my absolute favorite. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. This post is about Halloween!
To tell you the truth, I realized this was Halloween weekend just two or three days ago. My first thought: "Oh, cool, it's almost Halloween!" And then immediately after: "Oh my gosh, I can't not have even ONE Halloween recipe on my blog, I am a disgrace to my family and everyone associated with me." So I whipped up some easy-peasy cut-out cookie recipes that can be adapted to any occasion just by using different cookie cutters. I thought these were both good standard recipes for both white sugar cookies and (whole wheat) cocoa cookies. To keep things fast (and fun if you're getting kids to help you), I kept the decorating to a minimum by using white pearl sprinkles for the eyes on my cocoa cookies, and using food markers to draw on my white cookies.
Needless to say, I was pretty much laughing the whole time I was drawing faces on these little silly ghosts, just cause I thought they looked so funny! I'm quite certain my mom thought I was going crazy, laughing to myself while making cookies... I bet they would have been gorgeous if decorated with icing and everything, but I'll be honest with you. I'm lazy. I work. I go to school. I have homework. If I can do something more easily, I'm all for it! So I skipped the icing, although if you want to use it, I won't stop you! All I ask is you show me your masterpieces. 🙂 Also, my family probably appreciated the lack of icing because it enabled these cookies to go from pan to mouth much more quickly. 😉
I was even lazier when it came to the chocolate cookies because I assumed that they would be too dark for any food markers to show, so I pushed two little white pearl "eyes" in each cookie pre-baking. As you can see, it seems like the cookies weren't too dark after all... but whatever. Like I said, easy is best! I like making recipes that aren't super complicated and hard and require a lot of work, because the chances of you guys making such recipes are slim at best. Somewhere between zero and none. 🙂 So if I post recipes that are easy and quick, there are no excuses to not make them! And that's why I'm here. To persuade you into making desserts last-minute and not regretting it. Happy Halloween!
Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Bake at 350
Yields: about 2 dozen cookies
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup white sugar
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, cold
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Food-safe markers (I have the Wilton brand ones), for decorating
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine the flour and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and beat until just combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl often.
Dump the dough out on a lightly floured surface, and roll out. Cut out with ghost shapes for Halloween, or whatever else for any other occasion. Place on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet, and place the sheet(s) in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before baking to prevent the shapes from spreading.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly firm when touched. Cookies shouldn't brown! Let cool completely before decorating with the food markers.
Cut-Out Whole Wheat Cocoa Cookies
Adapted from Joy The Baker
Yields: about 2 dozen cookies
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoon unbleached pastry flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
White pearl sprinkles, for decorating
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars, beat until well-incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add in the egg, beating until the mixture is glossy and fluffy, about two minutes.
Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients all at once, then beat on low speed until incorporated. Finish mixing the flour in with a spatula if necessary. Dump the dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper, loosely shape into a log, roll and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Once chilled, split the dough in two and work with half at a time. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut with floured bat and scaredy-cat cutters (or whatever you want), then place on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet. If desired, push two of the white pearl sprinkles in the cookies as "eyes".
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly firm when touched. Let cool on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack. Enjoy!