When October comes along, it's not long until we start to feel rather spooky, although to be honest, we look forward to Halloween all year. Trick or treating is a definite highlight for both of us, and so is making these delicious shortbread cookies, as well as telling scary stories on the podcast of course. That goes without saying.
This particular shortbread recipe is pretty easy to get right, as long as you weigh out all of the ingredients carefully. What makes the biscuits look so good is really all down to your cookie cutters and the time that you spend icing them after they have baked and cooled down.
We really like using special Halloween cookie cutters, where the top part is pushed down to leave impressions in the dough, like the eyes and zig-zag mouth of a pumpkin lantern face. And if you are feeling confident, then you can cut out your biscuits freehand, or print out some spooky shaped templates from the Internet.
350 grams / 12 oz of plain white flour
225 grams / 8 oz of margarine or butter
120 grams / 4 oz of white caster sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and prepare a couple of baking sheets by covering them with greaseproof paper.
Mix the margarine and sugar together, to form a cream. Sift in the flour and use a wooden spoon to mix everything together. Then, use your hands to combine your shortbread mixture, squeezing it together to form a firm pastry-like paste.
Next, roll your shortbread dough onto a floured surface, rolling to approximately 1/2 cm in thickness. Finally, cut out your cookies using some Halloween cookie cutters and place your shortbread biscuits onto the oven trays. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, checking on them after ten minutes - move them around on the trays if they are burning at the edges.
Once your Halloween shortbread has formed an even golden colour, remove the biscuits and place them onto a baking grill / cooling rack to cool down. Now it's time to get creative and decorate with the icing. We find it easiest and most convenient to buy tubes of ready-made coloured icing from the supermarket, which makes this recipe super simple, and it tastes just great.