Sunday, December 4, 2016

25 Days of Creepy Christmas - Zombie Christmas Cookies


Christmas is the time of the year for baking Christmas cookies, but who says they all have to be cute snowmen, Santa Clauses and Christmas trees? Zombies are what is in for Creepy Christmas! And you can make two different kinds! We have a recipe here for Molasses Gingerbread Cookies and Cut-out Sugar Cookies. You use a gingerbread man cookie cutter for the basic shape. Then cut off legs with a jagged flare, nip off bits of head and crank the limbs and heads at odd angles. After baking, use the icing to add details like torn clothes, exposed ribs, blood, pus...brains!

Decorating Icing

 ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
    6¾ cups confectioner’s sugar, whisked before measuring (plus extra as needed)
    ⅓ cup whole milk (plus extra as needed)
    1½ teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add remaining sugar, milk and vanilla and beat on high speed until silky smooth. If the frosting is too thin, add a bit more confectioners sugar, if too thick, thin with a little milk.  Frosting is now ready to use and is best if used immediately, although it may be refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 days. (Bring to room temperature and re-beat after storing).

Molasses Gingerbread Cookies

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    4 teaspoons ground ginger
    4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
    1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses


1.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
2.  Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Divide dough into 3 portions, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.
4.  Cut out desired shapes. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.
5.  Bake cookies for 6 minutes. Remove sheets from oven, and tap them firmly on counter to flatten cookies. Return to oven, rotating sheets, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

6. Decorate with icing using a plain tip like Ateco #0 or #1. Or you can use the pre-made decorators icing in the tubes at the grocery store. Pipe designs on cookies. Let cookies stand at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours (preferably overnight).

Sugar Cookies

1 c. butter, softened
    1½ c. sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    3 c. all-purpose flour
    ½ tsp. baking powder
    ½ tsp. salt


1.  In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In separate large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in egs and vanilla until mixed, then beat in flour mixture just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove1 piece of dough from refrigerator. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough until slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. With floured 3-inch to 4-inch cookie cutters, cut dough into as many cookies as possible; reserve trimmings. Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on two ungreased large cookie sheets.

3.  Bake until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower oven racks halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

4.  Decorate with icing!

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