Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday - Halloween Cookies

This awesome tutorial comes has been created for Kiwicakes by Lisa at The Whole Cake & Caboodle

Step1 These are the cutters I used but you can use similar substitutes. The round shape is a 5.5cm circle from the round nesting cookie cutters set. The bat and ghost are from the Halloween mini cookie cutter set. The tombstone is actually the centre of the handbag cookie cutter which comes in two pieces but you could use a small rectangle shape also. The square can be substituted for rounds, rectangles, or any shape you like or hand cut something if needed. Bake the amount you need. Everything is baked exactly as its cut by the cookie cutter - except the round shape which has a small portion cut off the base, with a knife to allow it to stand. There is no exact amount that you need to trim but about 1 cm up from the base of the circle works well

Step 2 Make a sugar syrup at a ratio of half sugar/half water. I used 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup of sugar which will give you more than enough for dozens of complete cookies. This was then microwaved for about 2-3 minutes (or until boiled and dissolved), you may need to stir this during this time to mix in the sugar. If you wish you can also use piping gel as a glue

Step 3 Cover the moon and ghosts with white fondant rolled to the thickness you desire. I use thickness guides to ensure its even but you can always use kebab sticks or ice block sticks as well (new ones of course!) 

To adhere the fondant to the cookie brush the cookie lightly with sugar syrup. You should see a glisten as it sits on the surface.

Step 4 Once you have covered the moons turn them over and trim off the excess fondant from the base

Step 5 Mix a small amount of black into some white fondant lightly in a pulling twisting motion. This makes it mottled and gives a marbled effect to use on the tombstones

Step 6 Cut out required amount of tombstones, you can use the jagged edges of the rolled fondant to give a worn look to the tombstones or add your own cuts

Step 7 Either leave blank the tombstones blank or write words or names on with a food pen.Or stamp the tombstones with letters to spell out "HELP" or "RIP" or whatever takes your fancy. The press set I used here is the tiny alphabet message press set and you need to remember to put each one in backwards as shown so that it stamps correctly

Step 8 Using the sugar syrup glue ghost cookies to tombstones either in front, or behind, or in whatever position takes your fancy. Support them for an hour and they will stick well together. This can be done while you are making the rest of the cookies.

Step 9 Dust the edges of the moons if you desire. I used a smidgeon of black dust and a mix of a thin coat of yellow and then a touch of blue. Some were dusted also with a pearl white for shimmer.

Step 10 Glue bats to the moons in a pleasing position and glue black fondant to them. They look just as good plain or you can add detail as follows. Eyes can be marked on the bats with the end of a paintbrush as can the mouths on the ghosts. The bats eyes can then be further filled with small white fondant balls or piped with white royal icing. The wings of the bat were also marked to give more detail. You can also handpaint smaller bat shapes to give the illusion of a group in flight

Step 11 Eyeballs can be dotted in on both the bats and ghosts using a marker pen or a spot of black gel colouring on the tend of a toothpick. This gives a nice dot shape. You need to let the royal icing dry first in the bats eyes before marking the eyeball/pupil

Step 12 Take your base cookie and some fondant. Any colour can be used but I have used chocolate brown both for the taste and to simulate dirt. You need enough to provide a base for either the moon or tombstone cookie to sit in so judge according to the size of that cookie. Of course you can always use more and cover the whole cookie if you wish! Glue this in a blob to the cookie It needs to have a little depth of about 0.5-1.0 cm for support depending upon how much fondant you want to use.

Step 13 Take your tombstone or moon cookie and press the base into the chocolate fondant. This creates a pattern of the shape where your cookie will sit. Indent this with a tool to create a deeper trench almost to the base of the cookie for the moon or tombstone to sit in like so

Step 14 Use a touch of sugar glue in the trench (don't drown it though!!) and push the required cookie in. It should sit straight and be well supported but if it doesn’t feel secure or wobbles then gently push the fondant at the front and back up against the cookie or add some extra fondant balls to create a higher ground support. Glue all your cookies together in groups you are happy with. There should be room for at least two items on one base cookie if needed

Step 15 Mix up some green royal icing or you can use butter cream if you wish. I have used a leaf green gel colour with a few drops of brown to make it more khaki coloured, but use whatever colour you wish. A lime green looks very Halloween like!

Step 16 Randomly pipe grass using a small grass tip over the base cookie. It doesn't need to cover the whole cookie and doesn't need to cover the chocolate fondant either. Make long tufts in places or just small patches scattered. The royal icing when dry will help to further support the upright cookie if it is against this but isn't overly necessary as the chocolate fondant will give it more than enough support when dry. I made some zombie hands out of some fondant to break through the ground. I also scattered a few bones sprinkles.

Step 17 Use small cookies in amongst finished 3 dimensional scenes to create a great Halloween display, have a frightfully fun time.

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