Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Treats : Chocolate Spiced Cookies

The days are getting shorter, the Visa bill has arrived from the holidays (waaah - how did we spend THAT much???) and every evening is a symphony of illegal bangers and fireworks which means that it's nearly Halloween Time.

I shall be spending the Bank Holiday weekend in Kilkenny at Savour Kilkenny and will be missing my nieces and nephew all dressed up and looking for loot, so I decided to give them a little early gift - a batch of spooky Halloween cookies.  They're based on last year's Spiced Snowflake Cookies which they all devoured, but the addition of cocoa to the mix and some very special cookie cutters makes these ultra-scarey.  I bought my cutters for a mere dollar each in Sur La Table in San Francisco but I've no doubt you can get something similar here.

A dab of white icing turned basic cookies into scarey ghosts and spooky broomsticks. Actually I called over to Lulu yesterday to give her a bag of cookies and she told her little friend that "my Auntie Aoife makes the best cookies and cakes in the whole wide world".  And this was before she knew what I had brought over for her.  She's my favourite godchild ever*

Chocolate Spiced Cookies

50g Butter
100g Golden Caster Sugar
100g Runny Honey
200g Plain Flour

25g Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon (or 2 tsp Allspice if that's all you have)
1/2 of a beaten egg

In a pot, heat the butter, sugar & honey together, stirring until melted & smooth. Remove from the heat.

In a mixer with a dough hook, put all the dry ingredients into the bowl, add the melted butter, honey & sugar & mix for a minute.  Add in the half (yes, just half) egg & let the dough hook work its magic for 4-5 minutes until the mixture has turned into a smooth & shiny dough.

Now wrap the mixture in clingfilm & chill in the fridge for at least a few hours until cold.

When you're ready to use the dough, heat your oven to 160c/Gas Mark 4 and line two large cookie sheets with baking parchment.On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it's about 2mm thin and cut out shapes with your cookie cutters.  Make sure to dust the dough well with flour otherwise it's going to stick to everything... trust me, I've done it.

Place the shapes about 2cm apart & bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.  I'd suggest you check the cookies after 8 minutes & keep an eye on them as they change from cocoa to ebony very quickly.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a cooling rack - let them go completely cold before attempting to ice them.  Make sure you keep them in an airtight container - they go soggy when left out in the open air.  I know this from experience...

*she's my only godchild...

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