Halloween cookies

Halloween celebrations are getting more and more popular in Australia and our neighbourhood absolutely gets into the spirit of things by getting dressed up in costume, decorating homes and taking part in trick or treating. I feel that my Mr three is a little young to join in the traditional festivities so we are celebrating by making some yummy Halloween shortbread cookies and today I have shared my recipe straight from my kitchen to yours. 

Please note I have used Halloween cookie cutters, pictured, to make my Halloween shapes. These were purchased from my local coles supermarket. Not sponsored just thought they were cute.

I also have decorated with fondant icing purchased from my local cake supplies store but also check your supermarket as they sometimes sell ready to roll icing otherwise dipping the cookies in melted chocolate would be nice too.

Now for the recipe.
1 cup sifted plain flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup softened margarine (salt reduced) 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or essence 

Different coloured ready to roll fondant icing or melted chocolate for decorating

Preheat oven 160 degrees
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla using an electric beater
Sift flour into the mix and knead into a dough
Place your dough ball in between two sheets of baking paper and roll out to no thicker than 1 cm but no thinner than .5 cm
Remove top sheet of baking paper and use your cutter of choice (I chose pumpkin, ghost and bat shaped cutters) to cut out your cookies
Carefully place your cookies onto a baking tray lined with baking paper 
Collect all excess dough and knead back into a ball and roll out again between the two sheets of baking paper. Cut out more cookies and repeat until dough is used up
Place cookies in oven for approx 10 minutes to cook. You want them lightly golden in colour
Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on the tray. They will harden as they cool.

Once cooled roll out fondant icing and use the same cookie cutters to cut out fondant shapes. These will sit on top of cookies to ice and decorate them so make sure you count how many you need of each design. 
Using your finger, dip it into some water and rub the water over the face of your cookie.

Now carefully picking up the matching fondant shape, press it onto the cookie and gently press down to stick the cookie to the fondant.

Continue until finished and then it’s time to add the finer details, if you wish. The sky is the limit and for my pumpkins and ghost shaped cookies I have used cake making tools to create the eyes and mouth and for the bats I have painted them with edible silver paint. I am in no way a professional baker but found it lots of fun to get creative with my decorating, there is no right or wrong way as long as you are having fun.

A simple dust of icing sugar onto cooled cookies would look just as nice and this recipe was a great one for my little chef who is three to help with too!

Happy Halloween and happy baking!

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