Happy Hallows Eve fellow foodies! I absolutely love Halloween and wanted to whip up a fun spooky treat to celebrate with tomorrow. My first thought was to gravitate towards some classically Fall with pumpkin. But when I stumbled across these chocolate cinnamon skeleton cookies in my latest Food Network magazine I knew these were the winner. Super cute, a little spooky, and totally delicious.
Chocolate Cinnamon Skeleton Cookies
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined, about 2 minutes.
Per Food Network’s recipe: Divide the dough in half; pat each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour. After the first hour, roll out each dough disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
(Note: I did not have 3 hours to chill my dough. For my shortcut, I divided dough into two disks and pressed out the dough into about 1/4 inch thick spheres between parchment paper and froze flat for about 30 minutes).
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough into shapes using a gingerbread man cookie cutter and arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared pans. Reroll the scraps and cut out more cookies. (If the dough is too soft, freeze 10 minutes before cutting.) Once cookies are all cut out, refrigerate until firm for 15 minutes.
Bake for 15 minutes, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set but still soft. Let cool 10 minutes on the pans, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
For the icing: Beat the confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder and water in a bowl with a mixer on high speed until smooth and thick. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and snip off a corner. Pipe skulls and bones onto the cookies. Let set 30 minutes. Then to finish decorating, make the outline of the skull, eyes, nose, mouth, and bones. Then thin some icing with a little water and pipe into the outline of the skull; use a toothpick to help.
(Note: I could not find the meringue powder at my local Publix, so I used pre-made cream cheese frosting. Also, if you have a squeeze bottle, use that to pipe the frosting – it gives you much more control. And just have fun with the decorating! They are skeletons – they don’t need to be perfect!)
The mix of chocolate, cinnamon, and brown sugar gave these cookies a wonderful warm spiced chocolate taste without being overly sweet. Perfect for Halloween and the Fall season. If you’re feeling adventurous feel free to add hints of other spices like ground nutmeg, ginger, or allspice (about 1/8 – 1/4 tsp) to kick it up a notch! Yum!
Enjoy! Happy Halloween!