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9/30/10

Halloween is coming.....

Cooking w/ Grandma Set $19.99
October 1st is here! It's time for all things spooky, creepy, scary - witches, black cats, haunted houses and ghosts. Time to dig in the attic, the basement or even the goodwill racks for a great costume that no one has a chance of being able to recognize us.  

I contacted Ann Clark, Ltd about being one of our 12 Days of Christmas sponsors and she is definitely joining us!  You will find the best cookie cutters on her website, along with kids cookbooks, holiday cookies, themed and more.  Her individual cookie cutters are $3.99 - $6.99), many have these handy little handles which make it easier for little hands and arthritic hands to press down and cut lots of cookies out.

Last week's newsletter from Ann Clark's Cookie blog is up and she shared a great recipe for Halloween Cookies that are Dairy Free - perfect for those little goblins with dairy problems to enjoy.  You can sign up for her newsletter and her cookie network at: http://www.makemorecookies.com/ .  You'll get all kinds of cooking and baking tips, there's a forum to visit with other cookie-maniac's and of course, recipes!
Aren't They Cute?

DAIRY FREE VANILLA AND CHOCOLATE HALLOWEEN COOKIES

When you want everyone to be able to join in the fun, sometimes that means accommodating food allergies, and two of the most common allergens for kids are eggs and dairy. With that in mind, I created a couple of cookie recipes—one vanilla and one chocolate—that don’t use butter or eggs. These cookies are suitable for vegans as well, and incidentally, the lack of eggs means that the dough is safe to nibble. I replaced the butter with dairy-free margarine, and instead of eggs I used a product called Ener-G Egg Replacer. This is a dry powder that comes in a 1-pound box; you can find it in the baking aisle or in the special diets section of most well-stocked supermarkets. It costs about six dollars, which might seem like a big investment for cookies, but it keeps indefinitely. Better yet, you can use it to make royal icing, which dries hard and is used for decorating Christmas cookies and gluing together gingerbread houses. The standard recipe for royal icing includes raw egg whites; meringue powder is sold as a safer-to-eat substitute, but happily this egg-free powder works just as well.

If you’ve never decorated cookies with royal icing, please give it a try. Royal icing is easy to make and easy to work with, once you get a feel for how thick it needs to be. Piping a border of thick icing and then filling in with thinner icing creates nice clean edges and allows you to neatly decorate a cookie using more than one color. And the resulting cookie is much more durable than one iced with soft frosting—perfect for ornaments.

You can read a good description of royal icing as well as tips for using it here. As for coloring, here are some of my own observations:

Food coloring paste, sold in small jars, gives you a wider range of color shades and intensities than liquid coloring does. It comes in dozens of colors, but to start with, you can stick to the basics and blend your own. If you’re an avid cake and cookie decorator, it’s nice to have orange, green, and purple in addition to red, yellow, and blue—and of course you need black.

A little paste color goes a long way. Dip the tip of a butter knife in the paste and then touch it to the surface of the icing before stirring it in; set the knife aside and retouch to add more color. Keep in mind that as the icing sits, the color will become more intense (for some reason, this seems to happen with yellow in particular).

You can blend colors either by using different pastes in the same icing or by combining two different tinted icings. To tone down the orange for my pumpkins, for example, I added a tiny amount of black icing.

Even if you don’t intend to use white icing on your cookies, don’t color the whole batch of icing; set aside a little plain white in case some of your colors turn out a bit too bright for your liking.

In the weeks to come, I’ll include more cookie decorating tips. In the meantime, I’d love to see your Halloween cookie creations—you can post photos on this site. Happy haunting!

Ann  www.AnnClark.com



    


VANILLA AND CHOCOLATE HALLOWEEN COOKIES 

Makes about 18
No eggs, no butter makes this a cookie recipe that just about everyone can love—suitable for vegans, people with egg and dairy allergies, those who need to watch their cholesterol, and cookie fans in general.

Stir together:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
- 2 tablespoons warm water

Cream together until light and fluffy:
- 1 cup dairy free margarine room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar

Beat in:
- Egg replacer mixture
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together and add:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir just until all ingredients are well blended; do not overmix. Chill dough for 3-4 hours before rolling. Preheat oven to 350º. Roll dough out on a lightly floured counter to 1/4-inch thickness and cut with your favorite Ann Clark Ltd Cookie Cutters, then transfer cookies onto cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or silicone liners. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly colored. Let cookies cool slightly on cookie sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Cookies
Makes about 18
The chocolate makes this dough a bit crumbly. If the dough cracks as you are rolling it, let it rest on the counter until it softens up, about 10 to 15 minutes. It can be hard to tell when chocolate cookies are done; rather than waiting for the edges to turn brown, remove the cookies when the surface looks completely dull and dry.

Melt and let cool:
- 2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

Stir together:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
- 2 tablespoons warm water

Cream together until light and fluffy:
- 1 cup dairy free margarine
- 1 cup sugar

Beat in:
- Cooled chocolate
- Egg replacer mixture
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together and add:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir just until all ingredients are well blended; do not overmix. Chill dough for 3-4 hours before rolling. Preheat oven to 350º. Roll dough out on a lightly floured counter to 1/4-inch thickness and cut with your favorite Ann Clark Ltd Cookie Cutters, then transfer cookies onto cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or silicone liners. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until the surface looks dry and cookies seem firm. Let cookies cool slightly on cookie sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Egg-Free Royal Icing
The amount of sugar you add depends on what you are using this icing for. For piping fine lines, as for borders to be filled in with more icing, the consistency should be fairly thick, like frosting. It needs to hold its shape without being so stiff that it’s difficult to squeeze from a pastry bag. For glazing large areas, the icing should be just pourable, so that when spread, the surface flattens out. If you’re using the same icing for both purposes, make the thicker icing first, pipe the borders, then add water a few drops at a time to thin the icing.

- 2 tablespoons Ener-G egg replacer
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or clear vanilla extract (optional)
- Food coloring (optional)

Whisk egg replacer powder and cream of tartar together in a medium bowl, then whisk in water. Add 2 cups sugar and stir in until smooth. Add more sugar if necessary to get the proper consistency. Stir in the extract and food coloring if desired.

20 comments:

  1. I just love your blog. I'm following from FOLLOW ME FRIDAY 40 AND OVER. Hope you can visit my blog.
    www.jamfiescreations1.blogspot.com

    Blessings, Mary O

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi this is Nicole from ColiesKitchen.com I am just dropping by to say hi for Follow Friday blog hop!! Have a super weekend!! I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance. www.colieskitchen.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a lovely blog. Have a happy month! I'm here from Follow Friday. You've made me hungry...must try the recipes.

    http://australianinathens.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lovely blog. Have a happy month! I'm here from Follow Friday. You've made me hungry...must try the recipes.

    http://australianinathens.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Following from Social Parade Fridays. Please stop in and do the same for me (we are working on a follow friday project to see how many followers can actually be collected in a single friday with active participation)

    Thank you for your help and your return follow:
    http://www.momtobedby8.com/2010/10/social-parade-follow-on-friday-101.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi I'm your newest Friday Follower! Well I would be if my IE would work right, I’ll be back later to follow you offically. Your blog looks so interesting I can't wait to read more. If you get a chance please follow me back @
    http://throwingpaintblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loved your 10 ways to share the heart of Jesus...post.

    I am your newest Follower, hope you can stop by for a visit!

    Thanks, Becky Jane
    Raising kids can be a lot like weeding the rose bed...well worth it, but...OUCH!
    http://myelevenreasons.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, it's been an enjoyable visit to your blog!

    Following you from Follow Friday 40 and Over.

    Have a healthy day!

    http://thekissablekitchen.blogspot.com
    http://healthandfitnessfairy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hiya! I'm following you from one of the follow friday blog hops! I linked up my brain recipe but wasn't sure if that was OK! I didn't know if you were wanting cookies only on this post! Feel free to remove it if it is wrong!
    I love the theme of your blog and I will be back for more! I hope you stop over and link up this recipe in my RECIPE 2 Tab at the top of my blog. My readers will love this and will stop on over to you.
    I have a link up going to so stop in and link up!

    Susie http://goo.gl/syX1

    ps.. feel free to add other recipes in that tab, too!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm excited for the holidays and am glad to have found your blog!

    I'm your newest follower from Social Parade Friday! You can find me at

    http://bethscoupondeals.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey, I'm back and am following you now. Please do take a chance to chekc out my blog. Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  12. These cookies sound amazing, thanks so much for sharing!

    I am a new follower from Blog Hop Friday, so glad to have found your blog and I look forward to reading more. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Eloise
    Mommy2TwoGirls
    http://mommy2twogirls.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is a fantastic blog! So happy to have found it!

    Following you via the Social Parade. Hope to see you at Dropped Stitches!

    xo Erin
    droppedstitches72.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Those little cookies are so cute! And your recipe sounds great!

    Just popping by to say hello from New Friend Friday at The Girl Creative. :)

    Jessica
    http://craftily-ever-after.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. following from social parade.... hope you consider following be back! malia
    www.yesterdayontuesday.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm a new follower - Please check me out. For every follower that joins I will be releasing a Unicorn back into the wilds of the New Jersey boardwalk. So please do your part by joining and saving these special creatures. Thanks
    Thanks, Mr. Monkey

    http://laughingmonkeystick.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm your newest Saturday follower! Would love for you to visit me at Mom of all Trades when you get a chance :) I'm also following you on Twitter as @momof_alltrades.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just following you back from Follow Me Back Tuesday! Sorry it's late! Your blog is very cute! Please follow me back @ www.romanianprincess.com

    Thanks, Nicole Mariana

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yum! Hi there! I am over from simply follow to follow you. Weird about my RSS, it worked for me, I am going to try it from a different computer.
    THank you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. These cookie cutters are amazing! Thank you for sharing. ~Prairie Story

    ReplyDelete

 
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