When I think of "vampires", what comes to my mind is still the cliche depiction of the mythical figure, you know with the prominent widow's peaks and sharp, visible fangs... rather than the oh so popular Twilight vampires.
So after many trials and searches, I have finally found the perfect sugar cookie recipe! It has a nice, chewy texture and a flavor just sweet enough that a icing can still be used. Plus, all the cookie cut outs stay the same size as they bake. As for the icing, though royal icing makes gorgeous designs, I'm not too partial to how it tastes. But luckily the icing I'm about to share with you is both appealing for designs and tastes delicious!
1 3/4 stick butter (200g) @ room temperature
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar (200g)
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cups flour (400g)
Cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the egg until combined. Add the flour and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Once chilled, take out the dough and knead slightly. Roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. I take a fourth of the dough and place it between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. To ensure an even thickness, I place two 1/4 inch thick magazines on either side of the dough lump (above the top sheet of plastic wrap) and then roll my pin over the dough and the magazines. Then use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and with a spatula or some sort of knife, loosen the cut outs from the plastic wrap and place onto baking trays lined with parchment paper.
Try to place similar sized cookies on the same trays to ensure even browning in the oven. Once the tray is filled, place the entire sheet of cookies into the refrigerator for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the cookies are chilled, bake them for 8-12 minutes until their edges begin to turn golden brown. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.
*Edited 12/16/09 with English measurements
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
assorted food coloring
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
NOTE: Other extract flavors can be used in place of almond extract if desired, i.e. orange, mint, lemon...
Mix the powdered sugar and milk until no longer lumpy. Add the corn syrup and extract and beat until smooth. If the icing is too thick, beat in some more corn syrup until desired consistency (not too thick that it can't be spread, but not too thin that it flows over the sides of the cookie).
Separate the white icing into different bowls and add the different food colors to each bowl. Be sure to keep the other bowls covered when not in use or else the icing will begin to dry out.
White Icing (Skin)
Black Icing (Widow's Peak + Mouth)
Green Sprinkles (Eyes)
White Sprinkles (Fangs)
Red Sprinkles (Blood)
Before baking, use a circle cookie cutter to cut out your vampires. After your cookies are baked and cool, you are ready to decorate. Start with your white icing. Drop some of the white icing onto your cookie and with your spoon, spread the icing so that it follows the circle, except leave a wedge of empty space for the widow's peak. Repeat with your other cookies.
Next, drop a small amount of black icing into that empty wedge and carefully spread it out to cover the entire wedge. Repeat. Then, with your fingers or clean tweezers, grab your green sprinkles and plop them an equal distance apart a little more than halfway up your cookie (I contemplated having red eyes, but I though green eyes would be cuter, haha), pushing them into the icing so they stick. Then add two white sprinkles for the tops of the fangs and underneath, red sprinkles for the bloody, bottom halves of the fangs.
Finally, the smile. Place a small bit of black icing into the corner of a sandwich bag. Cut a very small hole into that corner with scissors. Try squeezing some out onto a plate or another test surface to see if the thickness of the line is what you desire. Then carefully trace a smile, connecting the two white sprinkles together. You're done! Now make sure the icing is totally dry before stacking the cookies together.
Here's a sneak peak of the monsters in next time's posts :D...