Have I mentioned lately that this is my favorite time of year? I have? Oh. Well in that case… should we just get right to the cookies?
Because I’d hate to bore you with tales of how much I adore Halloween. I’d just hate to keep talking about it… I mean, it’s probably obvious. I live for monsters & zombies & black cats & witches. I’m the kid who went to Salem, MA at 8 years old & was fascinated by not only Laurie Cabot’s witch store (where I bought my own wand) but also the fact that there was an actual dungeon. I always loved Halloween. When I was 14, I wanted to go as The Bride of Frankenstein. Problem was back then they didn’t have pre-made costumes for that… so my mom, my uncle Pat & my cousin Tommy all helped to hand-make me a costume. My cousin & his girlfriend rented the movie for us to watch, then we all planned it out- my mother made a dress out of torn old white sheets. She spray painted silk flowers black, & she tied a black ribbon on them for my bouquet. My uncle took a “Vampira” wig & hung it upside down then sprayed that Stiffen Stuff on it to make it stick up. My cousin then spray painted two silver lightning bolts for either side. BAM! Combine that with white face paint, black exaggerated eyebrows & drawn on neck stitches… I won best costume at the party. Take that, parents of kids with store bought costumes.
She’s still my favorite, the Bride.
Have I bored you yet?
Are you just dying to see these cookies?
Anyway… it’s clear I love Halloween. It’s also one of my favorite times of year to bake for: everything is so much fun. The colors. The recipes. The creep factor. When else can you make brains in a jar or cookies with eyeballs?! (Jovanna- sit down with your Yo-Gabba-Gabba-birthday-party-having self! That doesn’t count!)
These cookies are super fun. They look like melted monsters, which is perfect for Halloween. They could also be Yo Gabba Gabba! cookies, like I said, or Monsters, Inc/Monsters University cookies. Or minion cookies (with minimal adaptation). Or… cut the dough into bats or witches or pumpkins or whatever!
I cut mine into circles. And for some reason my circles always come out lopsided & not perfectly round. Huh. I need to ask Marian at Sweetopia how the heck she manages to make perfectly round cookies every single time.
CHOCOLATE MELTED MONSTER COOKIES (adapted from Joy of Baking)
Recipe can be doubled
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder (the darker the better)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- candy eyeballs
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the egg & beat well. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
- Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
- Bake cookies for about 10 – 12 minutes (depending on size) or until they are firm around the edges.
- Remove cookies from oven and let on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Make icing: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. Divide & mix in food coloring, if desired. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
- Frost with royal icing, & top with candy eyeball if desired. Be sure that the frosting on the cookies dries completely before storing. (This may take several hours.) Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.
You can frost the cookies evenly, in a circle… or unevenly like they’re “melted”, which is what I did. Plop one, two or three candy eyeballs on each of them. You can also pipe mouths or noses or whatever you want, with black royal icing.
I prefer them without.
To be fair, the cookie recipe is fantastic in it’s own right. It doesn’t need any razzle dazzle. But how fun are these? So cute. If you’re making the cookies alone, with no frosting, I’d sprinkle some turbinado sugar on top before baking.
I also recommend doing the following: take HALF of the dough out of the fridge at one time. Roll it out, cut it out & re-roll it until it’s all finished, and bake. You might (depending on the size & shape of your cookie cutters) have more than enough cookies with half the batch. If not, just use the other half. If so, you’ve got another half batch of dough for another day. And trust me… it’s a good idea to have half a batch of cookie dough in the fridge or freezer. You never know when you’re gonna
want need it.