It's Friday the 13th again and what better way to take the sting out of the day than with some ghoulishly fun cookies. These biscuits are based on the main character of Beetlejuice from the film of the same name. Why him? I'm not sure but I do know that waiting once a year for Hallowe'en is just too long a wait...
I come from a family where things are directly communicated. Growing up my mother refused to say the word please to us as she figured that she didn't have to say please to her children and any "feedback" was always blunt and to the point. "Get me this," and "You did that wrong," were not uncommon. Perhaps it was a Chinese thing, I don't know.
Contrast that with Mr NQN's family, the spiritual hippies that encouraged their children to do anything and everything (well as long as it didn't involve eating an animal, mining or cutting down a rainforest). Any criticism was cushioned in soothing tones and with a preceding balm of compliments.
Being married to Mr NQN means that I've had to rethink my direct approach. It was really brought to my attention when Mr NQN came into the bedroom one night while I was reading.
"The fridge door is having some trouble closing. I just closed the door but you may need to make sure that it closes properly..." he said.
It took me a few seconds to realise what he was saying. That I hadn't closed the fridge door properly. I would have been much more direct and said, "Honey you left the fridge door open." And he would have said that I was being a bit too direct with telling him that.
Anyway, what can I say? I'm a product of my parents except for one crucial thing. I'm a total ghoul obsessed with Halloween and all things on the dark side. And since I am only allowed to have Halloween once a year, I figure that Friday the 13th allows me to let my love of the gruesome out!
This year for Friday the 13th I wanted to make some Beetlejuice cookies. Do you remember the late 80's film about the ghost Betelgeuse played by Michael Keaton and directed by Tim Burton? I'm not sure why I thought of him except sometimes when I let the crazy out it goes in all sorts of unpredictable directions. It was also one of my favourite films. I figured that Beetlejuice might be good to make a cookie out of because well, nobody else had and it seemed a good a time as any.
As always it was lots of fun decorating and it was with a devious giggle that I showed Mr NQN the cookies that I would take to my parents' house for dinner. My mother looked at them and her brow furrowed before asking, "Did you buy these in Scotland?" which only made me giggle further. My dad was more blunt as always and said, "You put me off my appetite!" which only made me laugh harder. And h finished the entire thing, gruesome face and all.
So tell me Dear Reader, are your family blunt and direct or more sensitive to feelings? And were you a fan of the movie Beetlejuice? Has anything bad happened to you so far today or have you had good luck?
Beetlejuice Cookies For Friday the 13th!
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes
Decorating time: 1 hour
For maple cookies
- 1.5 cups (187grams/6.6oz) all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (57grams/2oz) caster or superfine sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons (85grams/ 3 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 60ml/2.1flozs. maple syrup
- Oval cutter
- Small round cutter (I used an apple corer as I couldn't find a round cutter small enough)
- White fondant
- Black fondant
- Black and yellow colouring gel
- 2 fine paintbrushes, 1 medium sized paintbrush
- Small quantity of simple icing (icing sugar mixed with water)
- White pashmak (Persian fairy floss)
Step 1 - In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda). On low speed, add the butter and maple syrup and mix until combined. Add more flour if the mixture is too sticky. Shape into a round and wrap in cling film. Rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Step 2 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Then tear off two large sheets of parchment and roll the rough out between the two sheets. Cut out oval shapes and carefully place on the lined baking sheets. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until firm. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden (it depends on how thinly you've rolled them). Cool completely.
Step 3 - Roll out the white fondant and cut into oval shapes. Have a small bowl of water ready and dip the medium paintbrush into it and affix the white fondant oval to the cookie with a little water. Repeat for all of the cookies.
Step 4 - Roll out the black fondant and cut out large eyes and affix these to the face. Wash hands (sounds silly but they may have traces of black fondant on them) and then roll out eyeballs and a smile and attach these on using the water.
Step 5 - Start drawing features like the eyebrows and pupils. Trace around the mouth and draw in crooked teeth. Draw lines on the forehead and stubble/dirt around the face.
Step 6 - Mix a little black with the yellow to make a greeny yellow and colour in the teeth and draw around the edge of the face.
Step 7 - Spread the simple icing around the top and side edges of the cookie and attach some pashmak. This is done best before serving as the pashmak is very susceptible to melting in the humidity. Or just do this in an air conditioned room and it will keep better.