Halloween Cookies

Young children love to make these spooky cookies. The biscuit base is a simple shortbread, but any round biscuits, such as digestives or rich tea, could take their place if time wasn't on your side for baking a batch. The shortbread dough is perfect for little hands to manipulate, and they tend to always turn out rather well, even if the ‘cook’ hasn’t the lightest touch. The cooled cookies can be easily decorated with a little icing and a few sweets to fit in perfectly at any Halloween buffet.

Halloween Cookies
Makes about 25 cookies
100g icing sugar
200g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour

250g icing sugar
2 tbsp water
15-25 liquorice allsorts circular sweets
1 tsp red food colouring, placed in a small bowl
1 tsp black food colouring, placed in a small bowl

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5.
  2. Using an electric mixture, beat the icing sugar and butter until soft and well combined, which should take about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and with the mixer on a low speed gradually add the flour. Don’t overbeat and once combined bring the dough together into a ball. Place it on a sheet of greaseproof paper, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes, to harden slightly.
  4. Sprinkle a little flour onto a work surface and roll out the dough to your desired thickness. Using a cookie cutter, or a glass, make circular shapes out of the dough.
  5. Prepare two baking trays with a sheet of greaseproof paper on each. Transfer the raw cookies to the trays and place in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on their thickness.
  6. While the cookies are cooking prepare the icing. In a medium sized bowl combine the icing sugar with the water. Add a few more drops of water if required.
  7. Take the cookies from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool, which will only take a few minutes.
  8. Top each cookie with a teaspoon full of icing and smooth the top using the back of a knife. Place a circular liquorice allsorts into the centre and using a toothpick and the red food colouring draw a few lines to represent veins. For the ‘Jack Skeleton’ cookies simply use the black food colouring and another toothpick to draw the face. Allow the icing to set before serving. The cookies will keep in an airtight tin for up to 3 days.