I'm getting a bit Halloween crazy this year. Considering I'm actually going to be at a concert on Saturday night though, and won't be celebrating by dressing up either, I am giving myself free-reign to do some Halloween baking a tad early.
And more importantly, last year, there was a November sale of Halloween-themed cookie cutters in Rossiters, and I have been waiting a whole year - a whole year - to use them. But I think the wait has been worth it. I had such fun making these! Although, actually, I think I could have made the faces look better. But I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Life is too short for that.
Now, whether you celebrate Halloween or not (most people in Britain see it as a nuisance) is up to you, and I don't mind if you have no intention whatsoever of making cut-out cookies this weekend (although you should). But I'm putting these up here because I think my method of decorating them is the best of all.
I've tried doing it the proper way, as described by Peggy Porschen in her books (which incidentally are the shizzle when it comes to cake decorating - she makes you want to put glitter on everything), beating egg whites and icing sugar to get just the right consistency of royal icing, then adding colour, piping an outline, filling it in, etc. etc... And you know what? It was exhausting. And I hated the results. I couldn't do it neatly enough, because I'm rubbish at piping (A case in point: the faces on these biscuits!)
So when it was my sister's birthday, I changed track and came up with this method to make some New York-themed cookies. And I'm not going back.
The point is, anybody can colour and roll fondant icing. And if you use the same cutter you used to cut your cookie to cut the fondant, you'll have a perfectly sized piece of icing to top it with. Foolproof. There is no need to bother with piping at all.
It's important to use the right biscuit recipe. And that recipe is Peggy Porschen's. It's perfect because it doesn't spread in the heat of the oven, so your fondant cut-outs fit their cookie bases like Cinderella's glass slipper. Her recipe was in the Daily Mail, so I am not going to feel bad about putting a link here. You can still buy her book if you want to!
So here we go. Mr. P's renegade method for cookie decoration. Enjoy! And if you've decorated some cookies for Halloween, please leave a link to them. I'd love to see. Happy Halloween!
You will need:
baked cookies, plus the cutters you used to make them
ready made fondant icing (or marzipan - you get a brighter colour than with fondant)
food colouring paste - available here
sprinkles, tubes of squeezy gel icing and the like (optional)
- First of all, knead your fondant icing with some food colouring (go easy at first - it's strong). Marzipan will give more vivid colours than icing, but some people don't like it (weirdos). When you're happy with the colour, roll it out on a surface sprinkled with icing sugar. You can make it as thick or thin as you like.
- Wash and dry your cutters if you haven't done so (they might still have crumbs of dough on them - not desirable). Cut as many shapes as you need.
- Then, heat a few spoons of jam (any flavour) and a few spoons of water in a pan, and pass it through a sieve. This is your glue.
- Brush the tops of the cookies with jam glue, and carefully place the icing cut-outs on top. Press down gently.
- Decorate as you like! If you have any annoying white icing sugar left on the surface of your fondant icing, brush with a little boiled and cooled water to dissolve it.