From my "Down Home Cooking" recipe box comes a recipe the kids will love.
What happened to the old days, when it was okay for folks to hand out homemade cookies and offer hot chocolate to the trick-or-treaters? I guess now there are so many kids coming to our doors that it is just not practical. Also, it is wise for parents to be cautious of what is being given to their children. Well you can still have a home party for the kids in your families and close friends. Here is one great cookie recipe my kids and their friends always loved and still ask for every Halloween. One of my daughter's friends sent me a message to send him some of these cookies. He is now almost 40 years old -- he still remembers the old days when he came over every Halloween and would sneak into the pantry to find the cookie barrel!
Frosted Jack-O'-Lantern Cookies
1 cup soft butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and almond extracts
3 1/4 cup flour (sifted)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sour cream
Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat egg yolks slightly, adding vanilla and almond extracts and add to butter-sugar mix. Add sour cream, mix well, then gradually add in dry ingredients. Mix well.
Roll dough out on floured board (dough should be about 1/2" thick). Cut with a round cookie cutter (a glass works well) and place on non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 15 - 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool cookies on racks or wax paper. Frost cookies and decorate with Jack-O'-Lantern faces.
I have never followed a recipe for this frosting, so bear with me if the ratio of ingredients do not turn out right. Use your own judgment here.
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
milk (very little)
orange food coloring
1 tube of yellow frosting
1 tube of green frosting
Cream butter and sugar till smooth. Add just enough milk to make the frosting a good spreading consistency. Taste the frosting. If it is too "buttery", add more powdered sugar. When the taste is right for you, add a few drops of orange food coloring. Frost cookies with orange frosting. With green frosting add a little stem at top. With yellow frosting paint a face on the cookie. Recipe makes about three dozen cookies.
When my kids were little, orange food coloring was not yet available. Being a very creative mother, I used red and yellow to color the frosting. I usually came up with a pink frosting which was very odd for Jack-O'-Lanterns -- but, my kids loved the cookies anyway.
If cookies are not eaten up soon, or if you want to take some to a party or your child's school classroom, place them single layer in a wax paper lined gift box and put the lid on. This will prevent the frosted faces from getting messed up.
Have a great and safe Halloween!
Image of Jack-o'-Lanterns in Kobe, Japan, above is under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kobe_Mosaic17s3072.jpg
For more great holiday recipes check out these books: