- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2003

These tasty butter cookies, cut into pumpkins and other, scarier, Halloween shapes of your choice, make festive treats for trick-or-treaters. Their charmingly weird look can also be decoration for a Halloween cookie tree.

The cookies are featured in “Holiday Pumpkins” (Ten Speed Press). It is a creative and colorful collection of recipes, gifts and decorations by Georgeanne Brennan, an esteemed food and garden writer who divides her time between Northern California and France, and Jennifer Barry, the designer of the elegant book, which is illustrated with color photography by Penina.

Chapters cover recipes and crafts for harvest time, Halloween and Thanksgiving. The recipes include soups, stews, salads, grills, desserts, breads and muffins. The crafts sections, including one specifically for children, cover making a variety of centerpieces, wreaths and trick-or-treat baskets and a Halloween cookie tree.

So plan to bite into a black bat with goggling little silver-ball eyes, or a white-iced ghostie, or a cute pumpkin-color, pumpkin-shaped cookie — or whatever the family favorites are. Making them is easy and fun.

Halloween cookies

This recipe is from “Holiday Pumpkins.”

13/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

teaspoon baking powder

teaspoon salt

⅔ cup butter at room temperature

cup granulated sugar

1 egg

FROSTING:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

4 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed

Food coloring as desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift the flour together with the baking powder and salt onto a piece of wax paper. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then add the flour mixture in thirds, each time stirring until the dough is smooth.

On a lightly floured board, roll the dough to a thickness of ⅛ inch. Cut into desired cookie shapes, and put them on an ungreased baking sheet. If you are making cookies to hang on a cookie tree, use an ice pick to make a -inch-diameter hole in each one. Gather up the scraps of dough, and roll them out again until all the dough is used.

Bake until lightly browned on the bottom and pale golden on top, 6 to 8 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks.

To make the frosting: Put the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl, and stir in milk until a stiff but spreadable paste forms. Although it may seem overly stiff, too much milk will make an unworkable frosting. If more milk is necessary, add only teaspoon at a time.

Divide the frosting among separate bowls; color as desired. To make an almost black frosting, use equal amounts of red and green food coloring. Frost either warm or cooled cookies. If the cookies are warm, the frosting will spread more easily. Makes about 36 cookies.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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