Not So Scary Spider Cookies

So firstly apologies, it doesn’t help if the post is posted after the actual event that you can make these for and the fact that as they were so popular they were eaten before I could get some fabulous photos.

These cookies look like you’ve slaved over them for ages, whereas they can be baked and iced in just a few hours, go ahead.. Show off your baking skills.

No So Scary Spider Cookies

I used a recipe for the cookies from here…www.GloriousTreats.com

They really are so simple to make:

You’ll need:

Cookies

  • 3 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter ( get out of the fridge a few hours before hand)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

Icing:

  • 4 Tbsp Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 6 Tbsp Warm Water
  • M&M’s

Also:

Parchment paper and icing bags/tips. Perfection strips (or as Glorious Treat suggests and which really works. A couple of paint sticks from the hardware store!!!). Black icing colorant.

Making the cookies:

Cream the butter and sugar together using a mixer (you can do this by hand, but it’ll take a while). You’ll know when it’s ready as it’ll look light and fluffy and be very pale in color.

Lightly whisk the egg and add to the creamed butter & sugar mixture. Add the Vanilla. Mix until incorporated. If the egg looks like it’s going to curdle; add a few tablespoons of flour.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl.

Slowly add the flour to the creamed butter/sugar/egg mix.  Mix until everything is mixed and the dough looks like it’s starting to create a ball shape.

Empty the contents of the bowl on to a strip of parchment and give it a light knead. Don’t go for too long as the heat from your hands will start melting that butter. Pull off another strip of parchment and lay on top. Either press with your hands, rolling pin or just flatten into a big circle (think Frisbee). Wrap the parchment around the circle and pop into the fridge for around half an hour (freezer for 5-10 minutes in in a rush).

Grab the perfection or paint sticks. Pull the dough out of the fridge and roll out using the sticks to get an even thickness. Yes the dough looks really thick, but it really does bake up a great cookie.

I like using a standard shape and letting the icing do the talking. In this case just a circle cutter. Cut out your cookies and place directly on to a cookie sheet that has parchment paper on it. You can re-roll your dough bits back into a circle but do this quickly as the butter will start melting and your dough will become sticky. Pop this tray into the fridge for a few minutes to firm up the dough and turn the oven on to 3500f.

When the oven is up to temperature, take the cookie try out of the fridge and place directly into the oven.

This recipe will make around 2 large trays worth and I’ve always baked them separately, not sure if this is a help or a hindrance, but I don’t have a convection oven, if you do, then it may be fine to go ahead and bake them both at the same time.

Bake for about 11-12 minutes. You want the bottom f the cookies to be just turning a golden color… no more as they will continue to back eon the tray. Take out of the oven and place onto a cooling rack.

After a few minutes ( the cookies will start to harden) take of the tray and put on the cooling tray… now just leave them alone while the other tray bakes.

When all the cookies are baked you are ready to make the icing.

Icing

For these cookies you’ll black and white icing in two different consistencies.

1 thick white one to do the outside lining

1 thinner white to flood the cookie

1 thick black to make the spiders legs

1 think black to make the spider web

Mix up the main batch of icing by adding the meringue powder to the powdered sugar. Add the water a tablespoon at a time until all the sugar is incorporated. Split into 3.

Put a quarter into a piping bag with a 1 or 2 tip. (This is to do the outside lining)

Put a quarter into a separate small bowl and add the black coloring. Keep adding until the icing has gone from greyish to black…

In a bowl put the other half and add a little more water. Keep adding water until the icing, when cut through with a knife immediately flows back together quickly.

Split this batch into 2. Add black colorant into one of these.

The flooding icing is so much easier to use when it’s put into bottles. These can be bought at the craft store in the candy making isle. But using a spoon will do the trick.

By now the cookies should be cold. If not leave for a few moments longer, but if the icing isn’t used immediately, make sure you cover it.

Start by adding an outside line to the cookie with the thick icing in the icing bag and tip. In this case just small scallops that will eventually become the edge of the web.

Line the outside of the cookie

Allow to set up for a while (It’s easier to do this in small numbers 3 or 4 at a time).

Flood each lined cookie with the white icing and then in a circle motion ad a swirl of the thin black.

Flood using the thinner icing

And then in a circle motion add a swirl of the thin black icing.

Swirled black icingPull the cocktail stick through

Pull a cocktail stick gently though the icing from the center to each point. This will drag the black through the white creating that effect we’re after.

Gently plop an M&M on the the web. It doesn’t have to be centered, just somewhere.

Plop a M&M on to the web

Leave the cookies to set up somewhere flat. Repeat with the next 4 cookies until all are at this stage..

Using the think white icing add two eyes to each M&M.

Add some eyes

Add a black pupil. This is easy if you still have that cocktail stick handy, just dab a small amount of the black icing onto the each eye.

Using the thick black icing, add 6 small lines to each M&M. I know spiders are supposed to have 8 legs, but mine are special. And those M&M are small…

Add legs and pupils

Now step away and leave all that icing to set… if you’re lucky enough to have had a few mishaps along the way, now is the time to conduct that quality assurance check and eat them.

Add them to a tray for your Halloween party of just gobble them up now…..These won’t last long….

No So Scary Spider Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple, Date and Walnut Chutney

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Absolutely delicious with a hunk of mature cheddar.

mmm delicious with mature cheddar

This apple chutney is really simple. The recipe was adapted from an old copy of the reader’s digest farmhouse kitchen. I can’t recall if it was a present from years ago or one of those freebies you used to get to promote the book club. It’s full of recipes from around the world and it a constant source for when I fancy spending the day in the kitchen either baking or canning.

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Nautical Chocolate Cake Topper

You’ve seen all those contests on the popular food channels and how they make chocolate look easy…. well guess what! It can be. If you can find a shape you like or can model food safe clay, then the world of chocolate casting is yours to explore.

Finished close upCake-topper-cropped-2

For this easy project we take an anniversary cake to the next level with a chocolate anchor.  Using brown sugar and some craft store candy melts, a fancy and unique chocolate candy topper comes to life.

 

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