Monday, October 31

Chocolate Sugar Skulls

Happy Halloween!!  Right now in Red Deer, it's storming away - blowing hail/snow and major gusts of wind.  Poor kids - they really have to put in maximum effort for their hauls tonight!!

Last night, I prepped for the office potluck - because Todd and I work in the same office, it means that by proxy I have to cook up two items :(   But it's all good, because I got to get my spook on with food!  I started with Chocolate Sugar Skulls - an adaptation from an old Martha Stewart Recipe for "chocolate sweet hearts" (originally published in Everyday Food January/February 2009).  They turned out awesome though and I only got about 2 dozen.  I highly recommend this recipe and am scheming how I can do something with them for xmas - possibly with peppermint icing??  Back to Halloween - here's the recipe:



Chocolate Sugar Skulls
Cookie Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup Fry's Cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg

Icing Ingredients:
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp meringue powder
4 tbsp warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract (or whatever flavor your would like)

Method:
In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside. 

In another heat safe bowl (glass or metal), add butter, chocolate chips and brown sugar.  Set bowl over top of a pot with simmering water - create a "double boiler" effect.  Stir frequently until almost melted.  Remove from heat and stir until all the way melted - let cool slightly.

Home-made double boiler!

Add the egg to the chocolate mixture.  Using a handmixer on low, beat until well blended.  Gradually stir in flour mixture - you will be pleasantly surprised to see a dough ball form all on it's own!





Divide the dough into two and roll out each half onto a sheet of parchment paper.  Roll to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350degrees.  Carefully pull the dough from the paper and put down on a clean work surface (no need to flour if you move quick!)  Take your cookie cutter and cut out those shapes, placing on parchment-lined cookie sheets, about 1/2 inch apart.  Bake for about 8 minutes until they are firm and "fragrant" - you'll know!  Let cool completely before icing!!



To make the icing, simply add all ingredients in a bowl - you can control the consistency with the amount of water you add.  As with anything, start with a little and add as you go - you will know when you hit it.  I added a lot of vanilla extract, but keep in mind that it did alter the colour a bit - was more beige than stark white.

Make sure to let the base harden up or set first before decorating!

Once those cookies are totally cooled off, then you can put your icing into a piping bag and start working on your designs :)   **one thing to note, these cookies should be nice and crisp - they were BUT I iced them last night, so by the time lunch rolled around, they were quite soft - they were still really good, but not crispy like I thought they would be - maybe I needed to make the icing a bit more firm.  LEARNING!!

For Todd's offering, I made up a batch of my hummus, but presented in a more barfy way. 



There were also some really hilarious and creative foods brought in by my co-workers - here are a couple:

Carol's "meat head" !!!

Sheree's cake pop eyeballs!
Happy Halloween!!!

8 comments:

  1. These are way too pretty to be scary! :) Great work decorating.

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  2. The skulls look great, and the barfy hummus look so cool!

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  3. Love the sugar sculls!! Its Day of the Dead here in Mexico tomorrow - I think I might have to try my hand at these!!

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  4. They turned out wonderfully! I love all the spooky-themed treats :)

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  5. Wow you are super creative!! Those cookies look amazing! I am going to try your icing recipe when we do our Christmas cookies this year.

    Love the barfing pumpkin!! Your office is very creative! I will admit the meat head sorta made me lose my appetite!

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  6. LOVE those cookies! I am going to have to find an excuse to make those!

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