So what’s it going to be, Halloween? Given everything that the coronavirus has adversely affected, is our beloved holiday also on the chopping block?
The answer from me is a resounding, “NO!” I propose that this year we look at Halloween as more of a season and less of a one-night-only holiday. That means lots of fun activities, days of decorating, pumpkin hunting, streaming spooky movies and, of course, food preparation!
In this spirit I offer recipes for the next two weeks that will highlight the fun and decorative aspect of the Halloween season. Let’s start with one of my favorites: haunted-house glass window cookies. These cookies, while ridiculously easy to make, look very impressive. And you can try out your skill in creating creepy-looking houses.
Haunted-house glass window cookies
Stand mixer with paddle attachment (or electric mixer or very, very strong arms)
Silicon baking mat
Cookie cutters (optional)
Ingredients for the cookies:
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
½ cup cornstarch, sifted
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blue, green and red food coloring (optional)
For the glass:
⅓ cup red Jolly Rancher candy, crushed up into little pieces
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, sift in your flour, cornstarch and salt. Gently mix everything together.
3. Put the butter and sugar into the stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment and cream them together.
4. With the mixer on low, slowly add in your eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. For a spooky haunted-house black color, mix 1 part blue food coloring to 2.5 parts green and 3 parts red (as a guide, I used 30 blue drops, 75 green and 90 red). Add this into the mixing bowl and combine.
5. Into this wet mixture, add in your flour mixture until it is well combined and becomes a dough.
6. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and separate it into two dough balls. Wrap each ball in plastic and place in the fridge for one hour.
7. Remove the dough balls and roll them out to about a quarter-inch thick.
8. Cut out square shapes with a sharp paring knife or a cookie cutter. Once you’ve fashioned your haunted house to your liking, cut out smaller window shapes. If you feel extra confident in your cookie-cutting abilities, you can cut out small bat, cobweb and pumpkin shapes to add some spooky decor to your cookie window!
9. Take your houses and place them on a silicon baking sheet.
10. Into the window shapes, place your crushed-up Jolly Ranchers. Try to keep the candy inside of the window holes.
11. Bake for 12 minutes and allow to fully cool before removing from sheet.
Enjoy and Happy Halloween!!