This year was the first time I celebrated Halloween. It was never a celebrated holiday in Malaysia or other parts of Asia and neither was it a popular holiday in the UK, countries which I spent some time in. So I never really had the opportunity to celebrate it. When I was young, I read about it in Archie comics and of course there was TV later.
Well this year my family was invited to a Halloween party and as it was potluck we were all encouraged to bring something. I decided to make some Bat Cookies. I used sugar cookies as a base and thought it might be easier to cover them with fondant instead of messing around with Royal Icing. I hadn't tried flooding or decorating cookies with royal icing before so thought I'd wait for another time to experiment.
You will need:
Ingredients for Sugar Cookies. (recipe)
First soak your skewers in water for half an hour to ensure that it doesn't burn when you put it in the oven. After soaking, dry it a bit so you won't have water dripping everywhere when you insert it into the cookie. I've done it without soaking the skewer before with no problems, but if you're concerned, the soaking helps. You aren't baking the cookie for more than 12 minutes anyway.
Follow the recipe and roll out your cookie dough to about 2/3 cm thick. You don't want it too thin as the dough will split when you insert the skewer. The cookies were quite small so I used skewers instead of the thin dowels that you can get at the baking market or some supermarkets. If the dough is too soft and won't hold it's shape, put it in the fridge and chill for 10 minutes and then try again.
Using your cookie cutter, cut out the shapes. Once you have pressed the cookie cutter down, try gently aggitating the cutter a little by moving it side to side or back and forth while pressing it firmly down onto the surface of your work table. This will help neaten the edges when you remove it from the cutter.
Next, gently insert the skewer through the center of the cookie, using your finger to feel it through to make sure it doesn't go in crooked and the skewer appearing at the back of the cookie. I'm a bit particular about these things so if I screw up, I tend to start over with a new cutout.
Next place onto the baking tray that has been lined with a baking sheet and bake according to the instructions. Make sure you leave at least 2cm of space between the cookies as they do expand a little bit. Once they are done, cool on wire racks. Now you need to prepare the fondant.
Knead your fondant to soften it and then mix the colour of your choice. We can start assembling the cookie now. Fondant dries quite easily and hardens when exposed to air. It's best to use the fondant in small portions and wrap the rest in cling film and then put it in an air tight tupperware or zip lock bag. Using a small portion, roll it out with a rolling pin for fondant (you only need the small one for this) and using the same cookie cutter, cut out the shape. Don't aggitate the fondant this time like you did with the dough. Peel it off slowly from the cutter or the table and shape the edges so it's neat. Next, you can do one of two things.
You can either use a small brush and brush some water onto the fondant then placing it on top of the cookie OR you can use some edible glue like Tylo (CMC + water) and brush it lightly onto the surface of the cookie and place the fondant on top. Both works fine although of course the Tylo gives a more secure hold and it is easier to brush the glue on the cookie than brushing the water on the fondant which is more wieldy.
Press the edges of the fondant outwards onto the cookie to get a nice neat finish. For my bat cookies, I added some 100's and 1000's for the eyes which were really a handful to do as they were so tiny and hard to get onto the fondant. I didn't have time to make some royal icing otherwise it would have looked cooler if I drew in the mouth and teeth and wings. Have fun!
Add a little ribbon for a finishing touch. More Halloweenish.