I love holidays. Any excuse to indulge in sugary confections and partake in somewhat silly traditions (see above jack-o-lantern) is okay in my book! With the temperatures dropping rapidly, whipping up a warm batch of cookies is always a nice distraction.
To be honest, baking is definitely not my forte — I’m just not one for following directions — but I can never resist the lure of cutesy decorated sugar cookies. Mr. R and I make them every year at Christmas, but this year, inspired by this blog post, I decided to make some for Halloween as well.
I picked up pumpkin and ghost cookie cutters, and then used a biscuit cutter to make circles.
I used this method of making and decorating with royal icing. I have tried numerous royal icing recipes and this one has been the most successful for me. You just have to be careful not to add too much water (as you can see from the sloppy leaves on the pumpkins below!) I don’t have any special decorating equipment; I just used a plastic bag with a hole cut in the corner and some plastic squeeze bottles. I am not the most artistically inclined person, so maybe investing in a real icing bag with piping tips would help? Maybe some day.
Well given the number of Alton Brown recipes I post in this blog, I suppose I have revealed myself as an avid follower of Good Eats. Watching his latest Halloween episode the other night, I was astonished to see him MAKE candy corn! I didn’t even know that was possible! Obviously, I had to try it.
Here is the recipe. I have never ventured into the art of making candy before. But this looked simple enough. Heat some sugar to 230 degrees, and add yet more sugar to make a candy “dough.”
The reality was a bit harder than he made it seem on the show. The dough quickly hardened and was difficult to work with toward the end. I am not sure if something went wrong in the prep, or if that is how it is supposed to be.
Either way, I thought the candy corn was delicious — a bit harder and chewier than store-bought, but it had a lovely flavor that certainly surpassed that of the soy protein, “confectioner’s glaze” (what on earth is that??), dextrose, artificial flavor, and titanium dioxide that comprise your average candy corn.
Well I may have a stomach ache tomorrow after all these sweets, but it will be so worth it. I hope that everyone is enjoying a safe and happy Halloween!