Fall is my favorite time of year, and Halloween is my favorite holiday. There is nothing like the changing colors of the leaves, pumpkins, the first fireplace fire of the year, the crisp fall air, and the ghosties and goblins running amok.
Yup, I LIVE for this time of year. I can’t wait for summer to be over so I can pull out my favorite sweaters and cook up a nice hot stew in the crock pot. But let’s face it. This time of year, and Halloween in particular, just wouldn’t be the same without some cookies and a tall glass of milk.
So here is the recipe I bake at home for my husband. He loves these, and the dough is perfect for form cookies. The flavor is relatively mild, so you can really go all out with the flavoring in your icing.
Be sure to make plenty for the goblins! After all, the treats are always better than the tricks!
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 c unsalted butter at room temp.
- ¾ c confectioners sugar
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- (2 tsp pumpkin spice if you like your cookies with that flavor)
- In a large bowl, combine the butter and confectioners sugar. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and stir until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together in large clumps.
- Press the dough together into a ball, then divide in half. Gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 40 minutes.
- Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and transfer to cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes at 325 degrees. Watch your first batch carefully for timing. Bake only until cookie edges are just slightly golden brown. Cool and add icing.
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
*Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.
(Cookie dough recipe from William Sonoma “Essentials of Baking”)
(Icing recipe from www.cooks.com)