Celebrate Halloween in the sweetest, creepiest and cutest way with this Halloween sugar cookie box selection! There are ouija board planchette cookies, witches hats, pumpkins, hangmen, autumn leaves and spooky messages. Make one or all of these cookies and see your little and big ghouls go wild for these buttery sugar cookies!
Every Halloween I make a different type of Halloween cookie. I like making sugar cookies because you can get really creative, make them ahead of time and either keep them in an airtight container or if you're like me and make them a few weeks ahead of time, you can store them in the freezer for a few weeks. I use my neverfail sugar cookie recipe which I have honed over the years (and I've got Thermomix directions for y'all too!). I love it because this cookie or biscuit dough can be rolled and re-rolled multiple times and still work perfectly. My dough recipe also doesn't spread very much at all so they don't end up like indistinguishable blobs. This also helps with decorating them with fondant as you can use the cutter as a stamp.
I got the idea for the planchette cookies when I was looking at my ouija board cake because I love anything spooky and mysterious. At first I wanted to do mini ouija board cookies but the detail on these would have been a bit too hard given my low level artistry skills. Plus I love the planchette shape which is easy to make using a heart cutter and decorating these with edible gold paint was lots of fun. After that the rest of the cookie selection was easy as I have a range of Halloween cookie cutters. Make one or make them all depending on the time and patience that you have. Even if you have a plain round or fluted cutter you can make some delicious Halloween sugar cookies like the ones below.
Royal Icing Vs Fondant Decorated Cookies
Some of these cookies are decorated using fondant while others are decorated using royal icing. They each give a different effect: Fondant is very easy to work with and all you need to do is use the same cookie cutter for the topping and it is fast and easy to paint on with edible colours. I had the planchette cookies baked from scratch and finished within a matter of 3 hours (that includes cooling time). Fondant is easy to fix, you just remove the topper and roll another one in its place. I recommend it for beginners. Painting on the planchettes requires a fine paintbrush but it isn't hard. If I can do it, anyone can.
Having said that, I love Royal Icing because it has a bit more 3D depth with piping detail. Another upside is that it is very easy and inexpensive to make. You just need icing or powdered sugar, egg white and whatever food colourings you like. I make it in the food processor or Thermomix in 2 minutes (you don't even need to sift the icing sugar). However royal icing does take a bit more time because you do need to wait for it to set.
I promise that even if you make a mistake with royal icing, Halloween lends itself to messy mistakes. The spooky one above came about because I messed up the word "Season" that I wrote below the word "Spooky" so I covered it up with some sexy vampire lips. If you make a mistake with royal icing, wipe it off immediately and then rub it clean with a slightly damp fingertip. It won't completely dissolve but it will mostly disappear and you can add something else on top.
I'm SO, SOOO excited about my annual Halloween party and this is the 16th year we will be holding it! It will be at our house which my friends have described as a cross between a gingerbread house with a Halloween vibe (which is kind of why we bought it). Daylight Savings means that I really get into the spirit of things and I can spend all night decorating and making treats for my friends. I play a spooky Halloween soundtrack to get myself in the mood and it really does the trick (no pun intended).
Speaking of weird things, I don't know what is happening but in the few weeks we've seen some really odd things happen. Mr NQN and I were out in the city one Saturday night and were walking down a busy-ish alleyway. Two guys were standing on a corner having a conversation and then two younger guys came around the corner. "Is that your car?" one slurred loudly holding a bottle. "No," they said and the one holding the bottle ran up on the front bonnet of the car and then stomped on the windscreen completely smashing the window. He and his partner in crime ran off whooping and all four of us stood there stunned.
"Bloody eshays," said one of the guys shaking his head surveying the damage. There was no way the unfortunate owner whoever it was could drive the car home as the spider web patterned glass split right in front of the driver's window. Then a woman walked past us screaming abuse at an invisible person and spitting every few metres. "What is happening?" I said to Mr NQN.
The next day I went to a shopping centre to pick up some things and when I was driving out of the car park there was a man blocking my way. He holding his phone and writhing and dancing suggestively. He wanted to put on a show for the whole car park and every car that was exiting was treated to this dance show for a good minute before he dared let us pass. Maybe everyone knows that it's just the witching season!?
So tell me Dear Reader, have you noticed anything odd lately? Which cookie would be your pick? Do you prefer fondant or royal icing cookies to make or eat?
Halloween Sugar Cookie Box
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360g/12.7ozs all-purpose flour (or a bit more, I needed about 50g/1.7oz more for this batch)
500g/1.1lbs Black fondant
1/2 teaspoon edible gold lustre paint
2 tablespoons vodka
400g/14ozs icing or confectioners sugar
60g/2oz. egg white (around 2 egg whites)
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Food colouring in red, black, orange, purple, green and brown
You will also need an assortment of cookie cutters. I used a heart for the planchette, a pumpkin, rat, autumn leaf, witch's hat, round fluted and gingerbread man cutter.
Step 1 - Using a beater attachment, beat the butter and sugar until pale. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Then on the lowest speed, add the flour until it becomes a pliable dough. If it is too sticky, gradually add some more flour (if it too sticky, the dough will spread). Divide the dough in half and roll out each half a between two large sheets of parchment. Place both on a large tray and rest in fridge for 1 hour or overnight (up to 3 days).
Thermomix directions: place the butter and sugar in the Thermomix bowl and set to speed 3, 20 seconds. Then add egg and vanilla and set to speed 3, 10 seconds. Then add the flour and set to speed 4 for 10 seconds.
Step 2 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line three baking trays with parchment. Dip your cutter into some flour and cut out cookies. I usually peel away the excess dough and use a brownie lifter to gently place them on the prepared trays about 1/2 an inch apart. For the planchette cookie I use a heart cookie and then a thick boba straw to cut out a circle. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on the tray and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. This dough can roll and re-roll again easily but needs to be rolled between parchment paper each time and then chilled for 15 minutes before baking.
Step 3 - Make the royal icing for the pumpkins, leaves, round message and hangman. Mix the icing sugar and the egg white together. I do this in a food processor because I'm lazy and hate sifting icing sugar. But just a lil' warning, it does create lots of tiny little bubbles so it's best if you rest this covered for about 15 minutes before using it to let the bubbles dissipate. First I whizz the icing sugar so that the lumps disappear and then add the egg white. You want to be able to draw a line and have it hold so add more icing sugar if necessary.
Thermomix royal icing: Place the icing sugar in the Thermomix bowl and set to speed 6, 10 seconds. Add the egg white and set to speed 5, 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides and add lemon juice and set to speed 4, 10 seconds. Check that the icing is of pipeable consistency adding more icing sugar (if too liquid) or lemon juice (if too stiff) if needed.
Step 4 - Divide the royal icing into 6 bowls - you want orange, white, brown, black, green and purple. Tint each one with edible colouring (you won't need to tint the white one) and cover with cling film as royal icing dries out quickly. Take 2 tablespoons of royal icing out of each one and place in a small piping bag (please see this youtube video where Chef Jessica Pedemont shows how to make a small parchment piping bag as above, it's super handy to know how to make these). These tiny piping bags are to pipe the outlines of icing and draw patterns.
To make Pumpkin Cookies/Autumn Cookies/Spooky Message/SOS/HELP Cookies: Pipe an outline around each cookie and let it set hard (around 15-20 minutes). Keep this little piping bag in an airtight container as we will use it to draw patterns on top of the pumpkins. Then add a few drops of water to the matching icing so that it becomes runnier in texture (be careful to not add too much water). Spoon into the centre of the cookie spreading it out to the borders with the back of the spoon. Poke any air holes with a toothpick and allow to set completely. Then using one of the piping bags with icing, draw patterns.
To Make Hangman Cookies: Draw two red crosses for eyes in red royal icing and take a small length of twine and wrap it around the neck.
To Make Rat Cookies: Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of powdered/icing sugar on a non stick chopping board. Roll out some grey or brown fondant and use the rat cutter to cut out rats.
Wet a brush and brush water lightly on the back of the fondant and then stick it to the rat cookie. This rat cookie had indents for the ears, eyes and head but if yours doesn't draw them in using a small paring knife. Use your nails to create an articulated tail. Draw a red eye in using red royal icing.
To make Planchette Cookies: Sprinkle a little cocoa powder or powdered/icing sugar on a non stick chopping board. Roll out some black fondant and use the heart cutter to cut out hearts. Wet a brush and brush water lightly on the back of the fondant and then stick it to the heart cookie. Take a chopstick and poke a hole into the cookie in the same spot as the cookie hole. Mix the gold lustre dust with the vodka well and paint designs on the cookies.
To make Witch's Hat Cookies: Sprinkle a little cocoa powder or powdered/icing sugar on a non stick chopping board. Roll out some black fondant and use the witch's hat cutter to cut out hats. Wet a brush and brush water lightly on the back of the fondant and then stick it to the hat cookie. Cut out thin strips and add them as a band on top using a little water to help it stick to the fondant. Mix the gold lustre dust with the vodka well and paint a square buckle.