Sunday, 23 October 2011

Halloween Special: Jack Skellington Cookies

For the second part of my Halloween Special here are my lightly spiced, utterly delicious Jack Skellington Cookies.  As fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas know, Jack is the "Pumpkin King" of Halloween Town, where residents are responsible for scaring people in the "real world" on Halloween night.

These tasty cookies are sweet and lightly spiced to give them a warming, autumnal taste and aroma to compliment this special time of year.  I've made Jack's face with white chocolate regal icing and milk chocolate food colouring to give them a lovely, surprising chocolaty flavour!  So to add a spooky treat to your Halloween celebrations give these yummy cookies a try!

Jack Skellington Cookies


300g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g unsalted butter, softened
200g golden caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
250g white chocolate flavoured regal icing
1 milk chocolate food colouring pen (or 100g melted milk chocolate)

In a large bowl sift in the flour, baking powder, spices and a pinch of salt, mix together.  Make a well in the centre and leave to one side. 

In a small bowl beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add the egg and mix until well combined.

Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.  When the dough starts to come together add a teaspoon of cold water and use your hands to form into a smooth, even coloured dough.

Once the dough has formed a ball shape, wrap tightly in clingfilm and place in the fridge.  Preferably leave overnight, or for at least an hour if you're short on time.

When the dough is ready preheat the oven to 170C/gas 4 and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.  Lightly flour a clean, dry surface and roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin.  Use a round cookie cutter to stamp out rounds of the dough and place on the baking sheets, ensuring they are evenly spaced, you should get around 15 cookies.

Place the baking sheets in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden in colour.  Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the Jack Skellington faces; lightly dust a clean surface with icing sugar and roll out the regal icing to about 3-5mm thick.  Use a cookie cutter slightly smaller than the one used for the cookies and cut out rounds equal to the amount of cookies you have.

Take a cold cookie and lightly dab the top with a little cold water (this will help the icing stick), place a round of icing on top and smooth gently with your fingers; repeat with all the cookies.  Then use your food colouring pen (or melted milk chocolate if piping) to add Jack's eyes, nose and mouth to the icing face and voila!

Belle's Top Tip
White chocolate regal icing and chocolate food colouring pens are available from specialist Cake Craft stores like The Craft Company.  Alternatively, you can use plain white regal icing and melted milk chocolate in a piping bag with a fine tip nozzle for the same fang-tastic result!