Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lil' Chefs School: Halloween Cookies

For October’s Lil’ Chefs School, we celebrated the season by baking Halloween Cookies and the kids loved it!  I used my favorite cookie-cutter dough recipe and made it in both vanilla and chocolate.  I love this recipe because it actually bakes up into the exact shape you cut out.  The kids & I made our own frosting using cream cheese & confectioner’s sugar, and we colored it naturally with blueberry simple syrup for purple and pumpkin puree for orange.  I do have to admit that my lil’ guy wasn’t too keen on the cream cheese frosting…he’s a traditionalist when it comes to sugar cookies.  He likes vanilla with buttercream frosting & sprinkles…why mess with a good thing, right?  J 

Cookie-Cutter Dough

3 sticks unsalted butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
4-1/2 C flour
1/4 cup cocoa (if you want chocolate dough)

In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, & salt with an electric mixer.  Gradually add cocoa (if you’re making chocolate dough) & flour until well incorporated but don’t over mix or you’ll get tough cookies.  Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour (if the dough is super hard when you take it out of the fridge, just let it sit at room temp for about 15 minutes to relax). 

Preheat oven to 375.  Separate the dough into 4 pieces, then roll out onto a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness.  Cut out your shapes and use a side spatula to transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-oz package cream cheese
1/4 C confectioner’s sugar

Beat together in a bowl until well incorporated. 

**We added about 2 T blueberry simple syrup to make purple to half the cream cheese frosting and about 2 T pumpkin puree to the other half to make orange.  We then placed them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden up.

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