This week’s guest blog is a spooooky recipe for Halloween Pinata Cookies from Pixie Hall Cakes…
I can’t quite believe that it’s October already. I also feel that I’ve been saying this every month since March. This year is disappearing before my eyes and I’m not sure I’m ready!
October for me is all about spooky. I love the dark nights that autumn brings and the chill in the air that means that winter is lurking just around the corner. I’ve been checking out all the skulls and spiders and creepy crawly things adorning the shops at the moment and I’m basically in my element. If I could have this stuff up in my house all year round, I would. Actually, I sort of do. I’m pretty sure about 75% of my belongings have skulls on them!
Aldiss asked me to pick something kid friendly and Halloween inspired for this month’s recipe and I was more than happy to oblige! I’ve been trawling Pinterest looking at all the amazing Halloween treats and wishing there were another 5 hours in each day so I could make one of each and have a super tasty Halloween party. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible so I opted for one of the latest baking trends doing the rounds at the moment and that is piñata cookies. They are really easy to make and so effective. Kids love finding the little surprises inside their cookies and can easily help with making them.
The dough is a basic sugar cookie, it’s important to chill it thoroughly so that the cookies don’t spread during baking, that way you know your cookies will fit together. These can be made in any shapes you like but I chose some classic Halloween pumpkins and skulls for a spooky treat!
When filling the cookies, you want to choose something small enough to fit in the gap created by the middle cookie. I chose some bright blue bubblegum Millions and some tiny Halloween sprinkles made up of bats and pumpkins. Again, choose whatever you like and that will fit. There are so many options available that you can customise these to whatever theme you wish.
On to the recipe:
220g butter, softened
400g plain flour
¼ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
Small sweets or sprinkles of your choice
Black writing icing
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, soda and salt to combine. Add the flour mixture a third at a time to the butter mixture, stirring thoroughly between each addition.
Divide the mixture into 2 (or however many colours you are using) and add a few drops of food colouring if appropriate (I used orange for the pumpkins). Knead the colour through the mixture until evenly distributed.
Wrap each piece of dough in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
When the dough is chilled, take one piece from the fridge and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and pliable. Try not to overwork the mixture.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to around 3mm thickness before cutting out your shapes with your chosen cutters. Remember: Each finished cookie will take 3 cut outs to complete so make sure you count out enough. Place the cookies on to trays lined with baking parchment.
Using a sharp knife, cut a hole in the centre of a third of the cookies, these will form the hole in the centre that you put your sprinkles/sweets in. You need to make it big enough for your sweets without stretching the dough. It might be best if the kids don’t help with this step.
Bake the cookies for 7-10 minutes; keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Repeat the process for the other half of the cookie dough.
Once cold, it’s time to assemble the cookies. If you check the photos, they will show you where to place the icing and how to assemble for the next steps.
Take the writing icing and ice a line just inside the edges of one cookie. Place one of the cookies with a hole in on the top and fill the gap with sprinkles. Make sure the sprinkles lie flat otherwise the top cookie won’t fit. Ice another line of frosting and add the top cookie. Decorate the front however you like and serve!
It may seem like a lot of work but actually, these are pretty easy to put together once you’ve got the process sorted. They come together quickly after the cookies are baked and kids will love to help to decorate them too.
Linds Hall runs Pixie Hall Cakes in Fakenham and can be found selling her delicious baking at Fakenham Farmers’ Market on the 4th Saturday of each month.