I think Halloween may be one of my favourite “holidays” of the year. There’s no stress, no gifts to buy or large dinners to make – it’s just a lot of fun. We always have a ton of fun carving pumpkins (you can find a bunch of free stencils here) and picking out costumes to wear. I’ve dressed up for Halloween just about every year of my life (except maybe a few years as a teen). Even when I was single and living on my own I dressed up to hand out candy to the little ones. And now that we have a little one of our own my husband and I enjoy getting dressed up to take her trick or treating. And of course Halloween would not be complete without some spooky tasty homemade treats.
I have quite a selection of Halloween cookie cutters and I love flooding sugar cookies this time of year. It’s a bit time consuming but not terribly difficult and you can create some pretty fun cookies this way. I knew I wanted to do something a little different this year other than the typical ghosts, goblins and jack o lantern cookies. So when I was browsing through my cookie cutter collection and came across Hello Kitty I immediately knew that she would be by Halloween cookie inspiration this year.
I’m not going to give you an in depth tutorial here about flooding cookies because so many people have already done a great job of that. You can pop over and read this one over at CakeJournal.com if you’ve never done this before. This post is more about giving you some inspiration and a basic “how I did it” overview.
Zombie and Mummy Kitty Cookies
If you have a tried and true sugar cookie recipe go ahead and use it. If not here’s my go to recipe.
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 egg whites (I like to use pasteurized liquid egg whites)
- 4 cups of icing sugar
- Water as needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl.
In another bowl beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy using a hand or stand mixer.
Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Next add in the flour and mix until just combined. You want a nice firm dough that isn’t going to spread when it bakes. If it seems a little soft just add a bit more flour.
Form the dough into a couple of balls, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for about an hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and place on a lightly floured surface.
Roll out the dough to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured cookie cutter. Carefully transfer the cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are just starting to turn golden.
Cool completely on a wire rack before decorating. You can also make up and freeze the undecorated cookies ahead of time.
Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature.
Place in a deep bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the they are light and fluffy.
Add one cup of the icing sugar and beat until well incorporated. Keep adding the sugar about 1/2 cup at a time and beating until your icing is thick and glossy (you may not use all of the sugar).
Now we need to talk about icing consistency. For flooding cookies you are going to need both outline/piping and flooding consistency. I would describe outline icing as being the consistency of toothpaste and flood icing is more like your average shampoo.
You can achieve the consistency you want by simply adding water, a couple drops at a time and mixing well until you get the consistency you need.. Make sure you do this in small batches (ie don’t make your entire batch of icing flood consistency).
Start by outlining the cookies, with piping consistency, with black icing. Use an icing bag and a small, plain tip to do this. Allow the outline to set for at least 5 minutes before flooding.
Now mix up some nice zombie green icing in flooding consistency. To flood you can either use a piping bag with a plain tip or a small squeeze bottle with a small opening. Practice a bit and see which method feels most comfortable for you. Flood the zombie cookies.
Allow the green icing to set for a solid hour before putting on the final touches.
Begin by outlining the bows with piping black icing. Next do the whiskers, eyes, and scar. For the nose I had some little yellow candies that were the perfect size. If you can find those great – just pipe on a bit of black icing and stick on the candies. Otherwise you can mix up a bit of yellow icing in piping consistency and make a nose.
By the time you pipe all the details the bow outline should be set enough to flood. I also sprinkled on some black sparkle sugar that I happened to have on hand.
These were a bit more of a challenge to make than the zombie cookies. The main issue I had with them was finding the exact time to make the “bandage” lines in the icing. You have to do it before the icing has set too much but not too soon or the lines will just disappear. I will have to continue to experiment with these to find that exact time – and even then it’s going to change because you rarely have the exact same consistency with your icing.
Start by outlining the cookies with white piping icing. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.
Flood the cookies with white icing. Allow them to set for about 15 minutes. Grab a toothpick and scratch a line in the icing in one corner. If it stays great! If it doesn’t let the icing set a while longer and try again. You may find it’s somewhere in the middle and the lines sort of half stay, that’s ok too, you can come back after they have set a bit more and make the lines more defined.
Once the cookies have set for at least an hour you can pipe the eyes, nose, whiskers and outline of the bows. Extend the bottom of the “knot” in the center of the bow down a bit for the outline of the bottom of the skull. After they have set for a few minutes go ahead and flood the loops of the bow with black icing but not the center. Flood the center of the bows with white icing.
Let the bows set for about 10 minutes. Now you are going to make the eyes and mouths of the skulls using black icing and a toothpick. This time you want your icing consistency to be right in the middle of piping and flood – you are essentially going to be painting the face of the skulls with your toothpick.
Allow the cookies to set overnight and then they can safely be stacked without damaging them.