It's Halloween once again. The celebration here in the UK is very quiet compared to America. Although of late there are more Halloween stuff in the shops, the trick or treating is not a happy affair. There are just a handful of kids going around. I still prepare sweets though, so as not to disappoint those who knock at our door.
Health and safety is a big issue here. Not that it's a dangerous country. People just want to be safe. There was one Halloween when there were policemen walking about. At first I thought they were in "The Village People" gear but they turned out to be the real deal. Apparently, some old people were being harassed by kids.
I make cookies around Halloween, just for my kids, again for health and safety reasons. Sad huh? For them, not for us, 'cause we've got cookies.
I made chocolate cookies into haunted houses. The leftover dough were stamped into bat and cat shapes. I found this recipe in About.com. It is an easy and straightforward recipe. I have cut the house shapes free hand with a small pointed knife. Make a rough sketch first. It is not that hard. The wonkier, the better. This dough is easy to stamp into shape and retains its form when baking. Very delicious, too. Tastes like brownies. I've used melted white chocolate for the icing.
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. of flour
1/4 c. of cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Combine all the dry ingredients and gradually add to the creamed mixture, blending well after each addition. Chill the dough for 30 min. to an hour or until firm enough to roll. Heat the oven to 325° F/ 170° C. Roll the cookie dough between 2 pieces of baking paper and roll to 1/4" thickness. I made the houses slightly thicker so that they won't break too easily. Cut into desired shapes and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking tray, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost with white chocolate or any icing of your choice.
To melt chocolate:
Cut into pieces and melt on half power, a few minutes at a time. Take out occasionally to stir until just melted. Transfer to a piping bag with a writing nozzle.
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