In Shop the Swap this year, I offered decorated cookies. @susieoregon requested classic Universal film monsters: Frankenstein, Wolfman, Dracula, etc.
They were so much fun to make!
When my (grown) son saw them, he placed his own order for movie monster cookies. But he wanted mostly modern horror movie characters rather than the old classics. So I made a batch for him, too.
I wasn’t familiar with some of these characters… how about you guys? Maybe I should offer a prize to anyone who can correctly identify ALL of the cookies (without googling). Ha! But I bet no one can. Some of the Universal characters are pretty obscure. I actually printed out the classic movie posters for the older characters, and attached them as hang tags on the cookies.
Both of these sets of cookies were made the same way. Thought I’d offer a little mini-tutorial for anyone who wants to design some custom cookies.
I started by researching the characters using Google image search, but obviously you can skip that step if you don’t need to do it.
First step is to make some pencil sketches. I try my hardest to draw these about the same size as I want the cookie to be, but you can always reduce or enlarge them as needed.
When the picture looks good, trace over the main lines with a Sharpie marker. You want to avoid too much detail, and tiny thin pointy parts if possible. Cookies will spread and lose fine shapes.
I keep a stash of cheap, thin, flexible cutting boards to create custom cookie templates.
You can cut out the plastic templates while waiting for your cookie dough to chill. (Fast-chill tip: flatten your dough to about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch and wrap it up in plastic wrap. Then place it in the fridge sandwiched between two cookie sheets. The metal helps conduct the temperature so that the dough chills faster.)
Roll out your dough to the desired thickness. (Roll-out tip: Instead of flour, use a mixture of half flour and half powdered sugar to dust surfaces. Helps avoid floury-tasting cookies.)
Cut out the shapes with a small-tipped knife.
Keep dipping the tip in the flour/powdered sugar mixture to minimize sticking. Make sure the dough is firm enough, so it does not deform when you cut it. Cutting inward (toward the center) rather than outward may also help minimize stretching.
If there are little details on the edges (like the ruffle on Pennywise’s collar), it may be easiest to just cut a straight line then later add the detail. I used a small triangle cutter to nip the dough to create the ruffle.
I didn’t remember to take pictures during the decorating process. But I use a glaze, which I paint on with a silicone brush. The I add the details with a piping bag (but still using the glaze, so really fine details are not possible. If you want a lot of detail in the decoration, royal icing is probably the way to go.)
I had so much fun this year, making cookies for everyone! Here are a few more Halloween cookies (with more of a gothic style) that I made for @Bunny1kenobi.
…and some vegan ones for @susieoregon.
If you decide to make cookies, feel free to ask me questions. And… Happy Halloween!