EatSavvy Blog

Jan Scott
October 17, 2014
Jan Scott
Skeleton Cookies
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As my kids ponder costume options, I’ve gone ahead and made dark chocolate skeleton cookies, sealed in the freezer and ready for sharing with family and friends at our annual trick-or-treat extravaganza.

While candy consumption in our household is definitely at an all-time high in October, I try to balance it out with some slightly healthier sweet options, hoping the boys will reach for these homemade goodies in lieu of the ones in their stash once the big night has come and gone.

Made with whole grains, minimal sugar and seasonal spices, I often find that the cute cut-out shapes offer more mass appeal than the Smarties or Mars Bars, which are available all year long.

To make these goodies, you’ll need a few cookie cutters and a small squeeze bottle with a narrow tip, plus some standard pantry ingredients you’re likely to have on hand.

Do you have a favourite treat to make this time of year?

Dark Chocolate Skeleton Cookies (adapted from Cooking Light)

You’ll Need

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (or cane sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ cup dark cocoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt


For the Icing:

  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp meringue powder
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


Prep and Cook

  1. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg and mix to combine.
  2. Combine flours, cocoa, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk well. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until the flour is incorporated.
  3. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the work surface and empty the contents of the bowl out. Form the dough into a circle, about 1-inch thick, and wrap it up tightly. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut out shapes using a 3-inch gingerbread men cookie cutter. Arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  5. To prepare the icing, combine the water and meringue powder in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and stir until smooth.
  6. Pour the icing into a small squeeze bottle and pipe designs onto the cookies.

 

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
Comments | Tagged under recipes, snacks, cookies
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What Children Around the World Eat for Breakfast
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Many, many years ago, my husband dated someone from South America. Her family had several different food habits, one of which included eating a side dish of rice with every meal—even spaghetti, pizza, and any other carb-heavy dinner. To this day, my husband still loves rice, and so do my boys, and while we eat it often, it never accompanies a carbohydrate-laden meal. However it does frequently make an appearance on our breakfast table.

One of my family’s favourite morning meals is leftover rice cooked with scrambled eggs and served with a side of hot sauce. A little unusual to be sure, but stick-to-your-ribs filling. To make it, I swirl some olive oil in a hot pan, add the rice and cook it until warmed through and lightly golden in colour, then I add half a dozen beaten eggs and toss it all together to create a rice and egg scramble. It takes less than 10 minutes and everyone comes to the kitchen happy and hungry when they see what I’m cooking.

I tell you this because last week The New York Times published a piece on what children around the world eat for breakfast, and it’s a fascinating look at the differences in breakfasts around the globe. While we’re accustomed to eating eggs, bagels, cold cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, and coffee first thing in our day, some kids are eating millet-seed porridge, fermented soy beans, olives, dried meat, and pickled eggs.

For kids living in Latin America, sipping coffee with milk in the morning is relatively normal, and for the children in India, the day might start with steamed cake made from fermented lentils and rice. In fact, ‘the idea that children should have bland, sweet food is a very industrial presumption,’ says Krishnendu Ray, a professor of food studies at New York University who grew up in India. ‘In many parts of the world, breakfast is tepid, sour, fermented and savory.’

So, now I’m curious…what’s the most unusual thing your children eat for breakfast? Would they be happy eating more savoury lunch-like dishes first thing in the morning? Do you agree that (North) Americans lack imagination when it comes to making breakfast? If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the article, it’s really quite interesting!


Image of coffee around the world from Shutterstock.

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
Comments | Tagged under breakfast
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Welcome

Welcome to the EatSavvy Blog where you’ll find great food ideas for your family. We want to help you tackle the day-to-day monotony of what’s for breakfast? Lunch? Snack time? Thanks to our amazing food editor Jannise Scott of www.familybites.ca, we’ve got some great tips in the kitchen as well. Get inspired.

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