|The aim: Tim Burton style cookies on Pinterest|
Matt and I celebrated our Halloween yesterday as we knew we wouldn't have the time to today! I really wanted to dress up, but seeing as we didn't have anywhere to go, I settled for a Halloween themed baking day- much to Matt's delight!! He's never keen when it comes to doing hands-on activities like this but to my dismay it actually turned out he was better than me at rolling the dough and creating the finishing touches!
I spotted these awesome Voodoo doll cookies on Pinterest earlier this week and thought we definitely needed to have a go at them, especially as we both like Tim Burton movies and they are pretty Burton-esque. Also, I'm not the most talented in the kitchen but these looked simple enough to do (and yummy with all that icing), plus I had a gingerbread man cutter handy from last Christmas.
For the cookies you need:
4 oz butter, softened (& a bit for greasing!)
2 oz caster sugar
4 oz plain flour (we used gluten free as Matt is a coeliac and they came out just as good!)
Coloured icing tubes
Jelly heart sweets (which we actually forgot, so sadly we had to make do with the red icing)
If you want to flavour them to be actual gingerbread men, then you'll also need 1 teaspoon of ground ginger.
It said this makes about 15, but we only managed to get 10 out of our dough!
Spatula or wooden spoon to mix
A gingerbread man cutter
1. Weigh out all your ingredients and preheat the oven to 160 degrees, or gas mark 3. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until any lumps disappear. Gradually add the sifted flour (and ginger) and knead lightly with your hands to form a dough.
2. Put the dough onto a pre-sprinkled-with-flour surface. Make sure the dough is smooth, then roll it out with the rolling pin to about 5mm or 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut the dough into your voodoo dolls with the gingerbread man cutter. You may need to re-roll the dough several times to include all the trimmings!
3. Grease a piece of baking paper with butter and place on baking tray. Place all your voodoo dolls carefully onto the paper (you may need more than one tray as you need to leave space around them for expansion!) Bake the dolls in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
4. Leave the dolls to cool on a wire rack or separate plate for about 20-30 minutes. You don't want that icing to melt!
5. Now for the decorating! We loosely copied the Tim Burton ones, but obviously they didn't come out as good! I think they would have looked much better with darker coloured icing! This is a selection of our best cookies- Matt thinks his are best (his are the top two) and I probably have to agree that they are neater :(. I went a bit crazy with the icing!
The second treat we made were these adorable fruity ghosts, aka strawberries dipped in white chocolate!
For the ghosts you need:
A bar of white chocolate (about 120g)- we use Milky Bar every time!
A punnet of strawberries, washed and dried (we used about 20 with this 120g bar)
A tube of black icing
A heatproof bowl
A large plate or tray
1. Wash your strawberries and leave them to dry on a clean tea towel. Line a tray or large plate with baking paper.
2. Break the chocolate into squares and place in a heatproof bowl set above (not in- trust me, I did do this once and the result was scary) simmering water. Stir the chocolate occasionally with a wooden spoon, until melted. This should take about 5 minutes. Then remove from heat.
3. Holding each strawberry by the stem, dip into the melted chocolate, and twirl around until it is as covered as you would like. Hover the strawberry over the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip off. Place each coated strawberry on the baking paper.
4. Refrigerate for about half an hour or until the chocolate is completely firm. Beware that leaving them in the fridge for over an hour may cause condensation drops to collect on the chocolate coat.
5. Using black icing, pipe two eyes and a mouth onto each strawberry to create your ghosts!
(We found this quite fiddly! It may be better to use icing that is slightly set in the tube and not brand new so that it sticks better to the chocolate!)
After we'd made our goodies we carved our pumpkins, and then it was time to relax (or not) with one of the scariest films ever; the 70's classic, Halloween by John Carpenter. I think this is pretty terrifying, especially for an old movie. Matt certainly jumped, a lot - but that was the first time he'd seen it whereas I knew what was coming! We had great fun making our spooky treats, though it did actually take us around three hours to create both, so set aside your afternoon and get your bake on. I'd love to know what you think of our baking and please share the links to your delicious Halloween goodies in the comments box!
Our pumpkins! Mine's the owl, Matt's is Jack from the Nightmare Before Christmas!
Which one do you think is best? What will you be carving into your pumpkin?