Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween Cookies

I've had a break from this blog for nearly a year - as I had to concentrate on revising.  I've finally passed the exam and now never have to sit one again.  I can't tell you what a relief that is.  I also can't really believe that I was still taking exams well into my 30s - definitely one of the downsides of choosing medicine as a career.

Now that have more time on my hands I'm getting right back into my baking, and have been particularly motivated by watching the latest series of Great British Bakeoff.

I've always enjoyed making cookies and biscuits using a wide variety of cookie-cutters, so when the kids were invited to a Halloween party it was the perfect excuse for me to get out my tried-and-tested pumpkin cutter and new-and-exciting ghost cutter.  Taking food with us to a party serves two purposes - it's always lovely for the host to receive home-baked goods and it means that the 3-year-old is definitely allowed to eat something sweet.

I've tried these out with a few flavour combination, but find that orange and cinnamon works best for autumn.  The kids like them in all their incarnations (so far), which is pretty unusual, and explains why I've so much practice making them.


Ingredients - Biscuits

90g sunflower spread
100g caster sugar
1 egg
230g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Ingredients - Icing

100g icing sugar, sieved
1 egg white (I use powdered, as then it is kid-safe)
Juice of 1 orange


Cream sunflower spread and caster sugar.  Beat in the egg, orange zest and cinnamon.  Mix in the flour and baking powder to make a dough.
Cover in clingfilm and put in the fridge for about an hour

Roll out thinly and cut into your desired shapes

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 C

Meanwhile, make the icing sugar by combining the icing sugar and egg white with enough orange to make a spreading consistency and colour as required.

When the biscuits are cool enough, ice them.  The icing will set within about 30 minutes, so you have to work relatively quickly at this stage

Recipe evolution

This is based on Nigella's 'cut-out cookies' from her Feast book, but dairy-free and flavoured for autumn


Nigella's original recipe calls only for vanilla (1/2 tsp), with plain icing.  Lemon also works well (zest of 1 lemon in the dough and some lemon juice in the icing)


Using the recipe builder this works out as 2 propoints per biscuit (if 40 biscuits made - adjust points accordingly if making more or fewer biscuits)

Pumpkins from our vegetable patch last year

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