This is not an original idea, but one that I found while on the net. I’m definitely not one of those people who find gory or even messy looking food attractive, so I do stay away from Halloween food that looks like the stuff of one’s nightmares. I found these red splattered cookies some time back while on the net and I personally thought they looked more like abstract art rather than blood!
My daughter is home for a week on an unexpected break and she loves interesting looking cookies. We don’t celebrate, but with Halloween just round the corner, I gave into the temptation to bake these cookies for her to take back with her.
In retrospect, it is a good thing that I did bake these cookies when Akshaya was around because she saved them from being a decoration disaster. When it was time to “spatter” the cookies with “blood”, I found the going tough. I just wasn’t able to create a fine “spatter” of colour. Our temporarily resident artist wielded a mean fork and coloured royal icing to create the perfect finish to these cookies.
Then of course, she had to gloat about my disaster showing her Dad the cookie that she decorated saying “someone bled gently on these” and then showed him my first unsuccessful attempts saying “someone died on these”!
We both thoroughly enjoyed decorating the cookies, and I must confess that throwing the colour on the cookies was quite like going back to kindergarten. Another blogger who had written about making these cookies suggested, “Dip a fork in the icing and fling away. Cackle evilly. Hoot with laughter. Repeat. Every cookie will look unique.”
If that works for you then go ahead, otherwise have fun whichever way you want. After all, when was the last time you threw paint around and had fun? Just don’t forget that cleaning up after can be painful, so be prepared and do spread a lot of old newspaper to make it a stress-free affair. Of course, she showed me her “blood spattering” technique which I quickly got the hang of, though I did end up poking a hole on a couple of cookies at the beginning , which prompted my daughter to quip, “You’re supposed to spatter the cookies with the blood, and not stab them with a fork so they bleed!”
The recipe for sugar cookies is one that I use on and off, and I have used Royal Icing. Cookies iced with Royal Icing travel better and my daughter will be taking these back to college with her to share with friends. Bothe the cookies and the icing contain eggs. Note that the icing contains raw egg whites, and if this is a problem, then please use an icing that works for you. You can use these egg-free recipes for sugar cookies and icing if you don’t use eggs.
Blood/ Red Spattered Almond-Vanilla Sugar Cookies.
(Inspired by Annie’s Eats)
Blood/ Red Spattered Almond-Vanilla Sugar Cookies For Halloween
For the Almond-Vanilla Sugar Cookies:
- 150 gm unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt teaspoon
For the Royal Icing:
- 2 egg whites
- 3 cups icing sugar , sifted (or a little more)
- 1 tsp lemon juice fresh
- A few drops red food colouring
- With a hand held electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until pale in colour and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and mix. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture and salt, and beat just until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Shape the dough into a disc, cover with clingwrap and refrigerate the dough for about half an hour to an hour, to make it easier to handle. Divide the dough into two and work with one portion at a time. Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough evenly to 1/4" thickness. Re-roll the scraps and cut out cookies from them till the dough is used up.
- Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and place them on parchment lined baking trays, leaving a little space between them. Place the trays in the freezer for about 5 minutes (no longer or they will start to freeze). This will ensure they keep their shape while baking.
- Bake the cookies at 180C (350F) for about 10 to 15 minutes till theyu2019re somewhat firm on top and starting to brown at the edges. The cookies themselves should be pale and not brown. Let them cool on the trays for 5 minutes. Then cool them completely on racks. Store the cookies in airtight containers till youu2019re ready to decorate them.
- This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies if you use a 2 1/2 u201c round cookie cutter.
- Make the Royal Icing. Make sure the eggs whites are at room temperature. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and with a hand held mixer, beat until theyu2019re frothy. Add the icing sugar and the lemon juice, and beat at low speed until it turns thick, somewhat stiff and shiny. If you beat at a higher speed, you will end up with bubbles in your icing which is not desirable.
- This icing will dry out if left uncovered. Spoon the Royal Icing into piping bag and use, or store in an airtight container for upto 3 days in the refrigerator.
- To decorate the cookies, thin some of the Royal icing with a little water and use it to pipe the outlines/ borders on the cookies. Then thin the icing a little more and then u201cfloodu201d the cookies to cover the top of the cookies within the outline. Let this dry out completely.
- Now take a little Royal icing and thin it quite a bit (should be of easily pouring consistency) and then colour with red food colouring till it resembles u201cbloodu201d. Mix well and then take a fork (or a clean painting brush), dip into the red icing and then u201cspatteru201d the surface of the cookies so that they look like blood spatters. Allow to dry out completely before storing them in an airtight container.