It’s that time of year again. My favorite quarter! I can’t believe how quickly it gets here. Maybe I’m just getting old and forget half of the stuff that happens throughout the year, and it’s what makes the year seem to fly by. We always make sugar cookies for the holidays and Halloween, but this year I decided to mix it up a bit. We went with a red velvet cookie. The original thought was that they would look scary, but yeah, not so much. So, plan “B”, they are just yummy cookies so why the heck not. We decorated these with royal icing. Not very hard to do or work with, but it takes a wee bit of practice. We had a few experimental errors with frosting the skeleton. I want to share that it is ok to trace your cookie onto parchment paper and try out your decorations without wasting a cookie. Or in our case, we even turned the cookie over and decorated the back for practice if we found we had an ugly cookie that wasn’t going to make the cut.
Once you have decorated the cookie it can take easily a few hours for the royal icing to dry and become smooth and hard with the matte finish. Be patient. Also this icing doesn’t work so well in humidity. If you are in a very humid place be cautious and extremely patient.
Royal icing can be made in one of two ways. One with egg whites, the other with meringue powder. The power can be found at pretty much any craft store in the cake baking section. I prefer the one with egg whites because I think the flavor is better, but using meringue powder is just as easy if you want to go that route.
This is the royal icing recipe we used. Now if you want the icing thicker, add a bit more powdered sugar. If you want it thinner, add a tiny bit of water. We colored the icing with gel colors that can be found at any craft store right next to the meringue powder.
Royal icing with egg white:
1 large egg white
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons of water
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add egg whites and powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until combined. Add your coloring. Use sparingly. For instance, a tiny drop on the end of a toothpick would be all the color you probably need. Stir until you have the color you want. If it is too thick, add a few drops of water to thin it out a bit. If it is too thin, add a 1/4 teaspoon powdered sugar until it is the thickness you want. Put it in a piping bag and you have all you need to start decorating.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do and I’m sure your little goblins will love these ghoulish Halloween cookies.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon red velvet emulsion
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons dry buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 400°
- Cream butter and confectioner's sugar in a stand up mixer with paddle attachment.
- Add egg, mix in red velvet emulsion, vanilla, cocoa powder and melted chocolate.
- Blend in flour, baking powder, dry buttermilk, and salt.
- Mix until dough pulls away from paddle and begins to form ball. Roll out onto floured surface and cut with cookie cutter.
- Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 9 minutes.