Sugar & Spice Halloween and Fall Cookies

Sugar & Spice Halloween and Fall Cookies

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There’s a bit of a nip in the air, even here in Hawaii it’s been rainy and gloomy.  And Starbuck’s has added my seasonal favorites like Pumpkin Spice Latte!  This can only mean Fall is here!

This time of year I get a yen for spice cookies, nothing smells better than oven fresh cookies.  It fills the house with those delicious fall aromas like cinnamon and ginger.  And since this year’s Halloween will probably be very different from Halloweens past cookie baking is one of the activities we’ve added to our yearly festivities.  I mean Halloween parties (or parties of any type involving multiple people from different households) is out of the question and for our family and friends Trick or Treating is a no go too.  Instead we’ve been making Halloween crafts, watching Halloween movies, and reading Halloween books.  And now we’ll also be baking and decorating Halloween cookies.

These Sugar & Spice cookies are yummy without the icing.  They’re great for all the Fall occasions including Halloween and Thanksgiving.  That’s right one recipe different styles!

 

 

 

 

 

You can even use the same cookie cutter, well at least the pumpkin shape!  And the same icing colors!

These cookies are so easy to bake and they are so yummy!  To make them pretty I used royal cookie icing in 2 different consistencies, piping and flooding.  I also saved some cookies and icing so the kids can decorate them next when they’re in the mood!

This cookie recipe makes a dough that is great for rolled and cut cookies without having to refrigerate it before cutting!  Here’s the recipe for the cookie icing, the cookie recipe is below.  Enjoy!

Royal Cookie Icing

Ingredients:

4 Tbs. Meringue Powder

1/2 Cup Water at room temp

7 Cups Powdered Sugar

2 Tsp Vanilla extract or other flavor

2 Tbs Shortening

2 Tbs Corn Syrup

1/8 tsp Salt

Procedure:

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment mix together meringue powder and water until frothy and all powder is dissolved.

Add 1/2 of the sugar and beat on medium speed about 4 minutes.  It will be thick and glossy.

Add flavor, shortening, and corn syrup and mix well.

Slowly add in remaining sugar.  Mix on slow/medium until well blended.  Mix for another 3 minutes.  It should be thick like a  piping consistency. (if you want it really thick add another cup of sugar, this is used for hard decorations like roses, eyes, and more that you stick to the top of cookies and cakes.)

Cover bowl with plastic wrap or damp cloth to keep moist.

Divide to make different colors and consistencies.

To make flood icing thin with water but add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp water at a time until you get desired consistency.  Flood icing should be a bit thin and runny, but not too runny and watery that it rolls off the sides of the cookie.

To decorate cookies place a small amount of icing in a small bowl and color using gel food coloring.

I usually color a bowl then separate it again so that I can change the consistency of a portion of the colored icing.   I place the Piping or thicker consistency in a piping bag and the thinner flood icing in a plastic squeeze bottle.

Pipe a thin line of icing, piping consistency of course, around the edges of the cookies and any other place you want to separate the flood icing from.  Let dry.

Squeeze flood icing on the cookie surface and spread out making sure it all stays inside the piped lines.  Let dry.

Pipe other decorations onto to dry flood icing, like words, eyes, and designs.

Let everything dry completely and store in air tight containers.


Sugar & Spice Fall Cookies
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Sugar & Spice Fall Cookies
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and spices.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer cream together butter and sugars.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated.
  4. Gradually add in flour mixture scarping down sides and bowl bottom to make sure the dough is well blended. Dough will be thick.
  5. Roll out dough on floured surface. The thickness should be between 1/4" and 1/2".
  6. Cut out shapes and place on parchment or silicone covered baking sheet.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 11 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let sit on sheet about 2 minutes.
  9. Gently transfer to wire racks and cool completely before decorating.
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CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS

CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS

I’m a big fan of those hot soft pretzels that they sell at malls. I have trouble walking by these kiosks that sell those deliciously salty twisted pieces of baked dough without stopping for a pretzel or two. I’m sure you know how expensive they can get, specially after you add the dipping sauce and drink! Then it gets really costly if you have to buy pretzels for the family.

Well I’ve started making them at home! I know you think it hard, messy, and time consuming. What with letting the rising, blanching, rolling, and shaping of the dough it does sound pretty daunting. But what if you can whip up a batch in about an hour?

Yup this recipe makes a batch of 8 pretzels (more or less depending on the size you make) in about an hour from start to finish. The best part it they cost pennies to make and taste just like the ones at the mall! (At least that’s what my grandkids say, and they love mall pretzels!)

These pretzels are a variation of my Basic Pretzel Recipe. I just added the cheese and garlic!

By the way these pretzels do not require blanching in a baking soda bath. You use an egg wash and it’ll have the same look and texture as store bought!

====================================================================================================

CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS
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CHEESY GARLIC PRETZELS
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Instructions
  1. Fit your standing mixer with the dough hook.
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in mixer bowl and mix for about a minute. It’s ok with there are clusters of yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl stir together 3 cups flour and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to the water yeast mix.
  5. Knead for 2 minutes. If dough is too sticky add remaining 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add cheese, parsley, and garlic powder. Combine well.
  7. Let rest 15 minutes
  8. Preheat oven to 425degrees
  9. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute.
  10. Form into a ball.
  11. Using a sharp knife cut ball in half.
  12. Take first half and cut in half again so you have 2 smaller sections
  13. Cut each section in half to make 4 sections
  14. Repeat with second half. You should end up with 8 sections of dough.
  15. Roll each section into a 25” rope. Make rope thickness as even as possible. Take end of rope and hold away from you, twist together about 3” from each end. You should have a circle on the bottom part of rope that is closer to you. Separate the ends and bring towards you, gently pinch either end into the circle part close to you.
  16. Form all sections into pretzel shapes.
  17. Whisk egg and water together in a shallow bowl.
  18. Dip both sides of each pretzel into egg wash.
  19. Arrange pretzels onto a baking sheets covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  20. Bake 10 minutes, rotating baking sheets half way thru cooking time.
  21. Melt butter and brush onto each pretzel then sprinkle with sea salt.
  22. Bake another 5 minutes.
  23. Remove from oven and cool on racks.
  24. Serve immediately or store in ziplock bags at room temp for 3 days. Pretzels can be frozen up to 3 months.
Recipe Notes

If you like to dip your pretzels, these Cheesy Garlic Pretzel are yummy dipped in my Basic Marinara Sauce. They’re an awesome combination!

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BASIC PRETZEL RECIPE

BASIC PRETZEL RECIPE

Like me are you a fan of those hot soft pretzels that sell at malls? Do you have trouble walking by these kiosks that sell those deliciously salty twisted pieces of baked dough? If you are then you know how expensive they can get, specially after you add the dipping sauce and drink! Then it gets really costly if you have to buy pretzels for the family.

Well if your a serious pretzel lover and want to save a few bucks you need to start making them at home! I know you think it hard, messy, and time consuming. What with letting the rising, blanching, rolling, and shaping of the dough it does sound pretty daunting. But what if you can whip up a batch in about an hour?

Yup this recipe makes a batch of 8 pretzels (more or less depending on the size you make) in about an hour from start to finish. The best part it they cost pennies to make and taste just like the ones at the mall! (At least that’s what my grandkids say, and they love mall pretzels!)

So let’s start with a basic pretzel recipe. It can easily be turned into any flavor you want by adding you favorite topping like cinnamon sugar or Parmesan cheese!

By the way these pretzels do not require blanching in a baking soda bath. We’ll you an egg wash and it’ll have the same look and texture as store bought!

====================================================================================================

BASIC PRETZEL RECIPE
Print Recipe
BASIC PRETZEL RECIPE
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Instructions
  1. Fit your standing mixer with the dough hook.
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in mixer bowl and mix for about a minute. It’s ok with there are clusters of yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl stir together 3 cups flour and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to the water yeast mix.
  5. Knead for 2 minutes. If dough is too sticky add remaining 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  6. Let rest 15 minutes
  7. Preheat oven to 425degrees
  8. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute.
  9. Form into a ball.
  10. Using a sharp knife cut ball in half.
  11. Take first half and cut in half again so you have 2 smaller sections
  12. Cut each section in half to make 4 sections
  13. Repeat with second half. You should end up with 8 sections of dough.
  14. Roll each section into a 25” rope. Make rope thickness as even as possible. Take end of rope and hold away from you, twist together about 3” from each end. You should have a circle on the bottom part of rope that is closer to you. Separate the ends and bring towards you, gently pinch either end into the circle part close to you.
  15. Form all sections into pretzel shapes.
  16. Whisk egg and water together in a shallow bowl.
  17. Dip both sides of each pretzel into egg wash.
  18. Arrange pretzels onto a baking sheets covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  19. Bake 10 minutes, rotating baking sheets half way thru cooking time.
  20. Melt butter and brush onto each pretzel then sprinkle with sea salt.
  21. Bake another 5 minutes.
  22. Remove from oven and cool on racks.
  23. Serve immediately or store in ziplock bags at room temp for 3 days. Pretzels can be frozen up to 3 months.
CINNAMON SUGAR PRETZELS
  1. Make the pretzels using Basic Pretzel recipe but omit coarse sea salt.
  2. Instead mix 2 tbs ground cinnamon with 1 tbs sugar.
  3. When pretzels come out of the oven brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cool and serve.
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SNOWBALL COOKIES

SNOWBALL COOKIES

Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Greek Kourabies, Melting Moments, Meltaways, or Snowball Cookies; whatever you call them these little balls of sweetness are delicious.

Traditionally made with chopped nuts these sugar coated morsels melt in your mouth. They’re the perfect cookies to serve at tea time, snack time, or anytime.

I’ve always loved these cookies and include them in my holiday baking. But I prefer them without nuts, so when I make them I simply omit them.

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients

1 cup butter softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts if desired
Powdered sugar for coating

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Fit standing mixer with paddle attachment
  3. Mix butter and sugar together until creamy
  4. Mix in vanilla extract
  5. Add in flour and nuts (if using nuts) and mix until soft dough balls form
  6. Using a 1” cookie scooper or tablespoon form 1” dough balls
  7. Place balls on ungreased baking sheet or one covered with parchment paper or silicone mat
  8. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until balls are set but before they turn brown
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes
  10. Place about 1 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl
  11. Roll each cookie in sugar then place on a cooling rack
  12. Cool completely then roll in sugar again
  13. Store cookies in airtight containers

 

 

SNOWBALL COOKIES
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SNOWBALL COOKIES
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SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS

SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS

Ginger Snaps are a family favorite. These old fashioned Ginger Snaps are nothing like the boxed cookies you’ll find in many stores during the holidays. Those boxed cookies are crunchy and taste pretty much like store bought gingerbread.

If you’ve never tried homemade old fashioned ginger snaps, then you’ve never truly had ginger snaps. These home made cookies sparkle with a dusting of sugar, they’re lightly crisp on the outside and slightly chewy in the center. And they’re oh so delicious!

My Christmas baking wouldn’t be complete without these yummy Ginger Snaps. I usually make 3 batches; 2 for gifting and 1 for our cookie jar. Let me tell you, the cookie jar empties out pretty quickly!

Here’s the recipe for Savvy Nana’s Old Fashioned Ginger Snaps. Be sure you make a couple of batches because I guarantee they’ll disappear in a blink of and eye!

By the way they’ll fill the house with a wonderful Christmas aroma while they’re in the oven!

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsulphered molasses
2 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sugar topping – mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon together to make this topping

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Fit standing mixer with a paddle attachment
  3. Place sugar, shortening, salt, and baking soda into the mixing bowl and mix until smooth and creamy
  4. Add egg and mix until well blended
  5. Add molasses and mix until well blended
  6. In a separate bowl mix flour and spices together and add dry mixture to shortening mixture
  7. Blend well
  8. Using a 1” cookie scooper or tablespoon make 1” dough balls.
  9. Drop each ball into sugar topping and roll in the mixture until well coated
  10. Place sugared ball on a parchment or silicone mat covered baking sheet about 1” apart
  11. Bake for 10 minutes
  12. Remove from oven and let cool for 4-5 minutes
  13. Using a spatula carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely
  14. Store in airtight containers
SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS
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SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS
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