10 October


Witch Hat Cone Cookies

Witch Hat Cone Cookies

October 31: Halloween

Islander joined a local cake coven club so she could learn more about and practice witch sugar craft. At its monthly meeting every October, which has a Halloween theme, members bring in desserts to share decorating ideas.

For this particular post, we wanted to “hocus-focus” on a stereotypical witch’s most fashionable accessory—her pointy hat. Islander saw two styles at the Halloween meeting. One version included a candy-filled sugar cone sprayed with black color mist and set on a small, round chocolate cookie base. Another (easier) version featured Hershey’s Kisses on top of the backsides of Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies.

As a Blair witch project, Islander adapted the idea and used ice cream sugar cones and waffle cookies (same textures with a frillier-brimmed hat). The trick to making this treat is patience in “painting” with chocolate. The result is a festive food and decorative dessert for Halloween!

Recipe

Ingredients 

  • Round waffle cookies (Italian pizzelles)
  • Ice cream sugar cones
  • Semi-sweet chocolate, melted (or Wilton brand black candy melts)
  • Assorted lightweight Halloween-themed sweets (we used gummie worms, but feel free to fill the cones with candy corn, mini M&M’s, seasonal sprinkles or chocolate chips)
  • Yellow, orange, green or purple tube frosting
  • Pumpkin candies

Directions

On large baking sheets lined with waxed paper, place a dozen pizzelles spaced apart.  In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Dip the open end of the ice cream sugar cone in the melted chocolate. Carefully fill with a little candy.

Witch Hat Cone Cookies

Position a pizzelle to cover the cone and invert it back on the baking sheet. Repeat with all the cones and let the chocolate set as a seal. Using a food safe brush, paint the chocolate on the cone and pizzelle. Cool completely to set.

Witch Hat Cone Cookies

Use the tube frosting with a small decorating tip to make a hatband where the cone and pizzelle are attached. Add a little tube frosting to secure the pumpkin candy in place. Keep the witch hat cone cookies cool until ready to serve.

Witch Hat Cone Cookies

Notes

  • Search our blog for other Halloween recipes.
  • Happy Halloween to all our blog readers!

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

October 30: National Candy Corn Day

On the eve before All Hallow’s Eve, make a treat that is good to eat—sugar cookies simply embedded with a single candy corn. This tri-colored confection is most popular around the autumn harvest, as it resembles the kernel of a corn. Traditional colors are white, orange and yellow, but there are seasonal variants to the color scheme.

We usually bake a batch of both vanilla and chocolate sugar cookies and decorate them with candy corn for a color contrast on a tray. Kids (and kids-at-heart) enjoy eating them when we bring these desserts to different fall festivals and Halloween parties. Candy corn sugar cookies are especially appropriate on National Candy Corn Day, too!

Recipe

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

For the vanilla candy corn sugar cookies

  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, large
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup flour
  • candy corn

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, baking powder and flour.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Roll out an inch round ball. Place two inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are firm and the middle of the cookie is dry.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Remove from the oven. Press a candy corn in the center of each cookie.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 ½ dozen cookies.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

For the chocolate candy corn sugar cookies

  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, large
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • candy corn

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, baking powder, flour and cocoa powder. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Roll out an inch round ball.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Place two inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are firm and the middle of the cookie is dry. Remove from the oven. Press a candy corn in the center of each cookie.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Notes

  • The chocolate candy corn sugar cookies yield fewer than the vanilla ones. The tops also need to be slightly flattened with the palm of the hand before baking. The cookies’ darker color contrasts well with the bright candy corn.
  • Candy corn sugar cookies are a nice Halloween and seasonal treat. Try using candy corn to decorate Oreo turkey cookies for Thanksgiving.

Petal Cake

Petal Cake

October 10: National Cake Decorating Day

Although Islander has taken cake decorating classes from the Wilton headquarters in Illinois, she does not consider herself an expert like the professionals in her local cake club in Texas. But she likes to learn new techniques from the more advanced members and decided to try making a petal cake herself for National Cake Decorating Day.

This blog post focuses not on a recipe but on a frosting technique. Islander baked a three-layered cake as a taller display works best to showcase the petals. After crumb-coating it, she used a large, round tip to pipe dots down the side of the cake. Then she got into a rhythm of using a spatula to swipe the petal design, piping dots and swiping with the spatula again and finishing the back of the cake with dots. She repeated this technique on the top of the cake, starting from the outside and working her way toward the center.

Frosting a layered cake in a petal design is a simple yet impressive way to decorate a cake. Try this technique for a birthday, anniversary or other special event and especially for National Cake Decorating Day.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 8-inch round cake layers (any flavor)
  • Whipped cream or buttercream frosting (enough to cover the cake)

Directions

Frost the cakes and stack the layers. Crumb coat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set.

Petal Cake

Pipe some dots down the side of the cake using a large round tip. Gently use a spatula to swipe lightly in one direction, wiping the spatula blade clean each time so the frosting does not stick. Move about half an inch over and pipe more dots. Use the spatula to swipe in the same direction as the others. Repeat until the entire side of the cake is done.

Petal Cake

End the back of the petal sides with dots. Pipe the top of the cake in the same manner, beginning from the outer edge. Pipe a dot, swipe it with a spatula, repeat towards the center of the cake and end with a dot in the middle. Refrigerate to set the frosting. Garnish with fresh fruits or candles.

Petal Cake

Notes

  • For this particular post about our petal cake, we made a strawberry-and-whipped cream cake and topped it with a trio of fresh strawberries. We just used a boxed strawberry cake mix and Cool Whip frosting for something fast and fabulous.
  • For another frosting technique, try decorating a layered cake with rosettes. See our photo tutorial here.

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