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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the icing into a small squeeze bottle and pipe designs onto the cookies.
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