Ever wanted to make some yummy melt-in-your-mouth spritz cookies for Halloween but all your press came with (at best!) was one pumpkin disk?
Those days are over! The Impress™ Halloween cookie press disks come with 7 fun shapes so you can make adorably creepy platefuls of spiders, spooky ghosts, black cats, witch hats, batches of bats, jack-o-lanterns and of course, cute little pumpkins.
Coloring some of the cookie dough black and orange is the starting point. Add a little colored icing and candy eyes and you’ve got it!
The key to great spritz cookies is the dough. It has a particular consistency that when made right, presses smoothly, quickly and easily. Here’s our basic recipe that I used to make this batch.
Impress!™ Vanilla-Honey Spritz
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cream the butter well. Add the sugar and cream it very well again. Add the honey, then vanilla and egg; beat well. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add it slowly to the butter mixture, just until the flour is mixed in. DO NOT over-mix!
Spritz dough should be soft but not sticky. It has an almost crumbly texture that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
To make the whole Halloween set, leave some of the dough plain to make the ghosts and set aside. For the black and orange cookies, divide the remaining dough into two bowls- more for the black dough as there are four black cookies but only two orange. Always use gel food coloring- not liquid! (And not writing gel, either. That’s not food coloring!) Some grocery stores carry gel coloring but often you’ll need to shop around. It’s important because the liquid would change your dough consistency too much.
I usually use toothpicks to add coloring to my dough, then just mix it in with a knife, spoon, whatever’s handy.
(*NOTE: As of our 2019 Re-Opening our new disks are made of a solid white material, but the designs are exactly the same, and press identically. The Halloween set also now has an 8th disk, the Spooky Owl)
Now load the dough into the press barrel. Most companies suggest rolling the dough into a log, and if that works for you, do it! I like to pack it in by the spoonful, packing it in with the back of the spoon. Gets the air bubbles out well.
Then press the shapes out. Don’t worry if the first few come out oddly shaped, too fat or too skinny, that’s normal with spritz dough. Just toss those back in the bowl to be re-pressed. Try to press in an even rhythm once you get them coming out right. And don’t be afraid to press out more than one “click’ full of dough. Often it takes a little more or a little less. It takes a little finesse but once you get the hang of it it’s easy and fun. Add some orange sprinkles to the pumpkins, white sugar to the ghosts, and if you like even black sugars to the black cookies. They’re yummy either way.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. All ovens are different, so check that first batch early- at 6 or 7 minutes to gauge your baking time. Remove quickly from sheet & cool on rack.
Now to decorate!
They’re cute all on their own, but if you want to add some pizzazz to your pumpkins & give your cats some personality, add icing and candy eyes. My favorite small candy eyes are from The Baker’s Kitchen. You can purchase them online. (They come in a big box in four colors. I use them on dozens of our cookies, as we have so many critters in our disk collection.) I use the yellow eyes for the black cats.
Since I only needed a little icing to decorate, I just used canned frosting and colored it with the food coloring gel in orange, green, and purple. And being such a small decorating project I simply put decorating tips in the cutout corners of plastic sandwich bags. It’s the quick way to go if you don’t have decorating bags or are just doing a small amount.
Now pipe the green stems on the pumpkins & jack-o-lanterns, and purple and orange trim on the witch hats. For the cats, place a little icing on the back of the eyes to act as “glue”. That’s it!
Now you can impress your friends and family this Halloween! Pun intended. 😉
Scroll down for more pictures, and Happy Baking!
Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
“Get creative with your cookie press!”
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The Halloween Set: