I've seen this type of cookie around for a few years and have always thought about making them but never actually did. I figured an upcoming Halloween party that I will be attending would be the great time to test out some new treats! I started out with a basic sugar cookie recipe but made sure it was one that the dough would not rise or spread very much. I wanted it to be obvious that the cut out was supposed to be a pumpkin so I could not risk the dough expanding and distorting the image.
The ingredients you will need are...
- 1 1/2 cups of butter or margerine
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp orange food colouring
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- candy and sprinkles of your choice, just make sure they are small enough to fit inside the cookies
Step 1: Preparing the Cookie Dough
First, cream together the sugar and butter/margarine. Next, add the eggs one by one mixing in between along with the food colouring and vanilla extract. Sift together all of the dry ingredients and them combine with the butter mixture. Divide the dough in half, wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
Step 2: Cutting the Cookies
Since this was my first time making this type of cookie I wanted to go for a simple shape. This pumpkin cutter worked perfect. I didn't use a cutter that was overly big since each cookie will really be about two and a half regular cookies in total. When cutting your dough remember each final product needs 3 pieces, two whole cookies and one hollowed out one. I started out cutting one large circle in my "middle" cookie but quickly realized that it made the top and bottom. I then switched to a smaller circle cutter and cut an overlapping design, it almost has an apple shape. I baked the cookies at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Looking back, I might cut down on the bake time. I was a little nervous the cookies would be too soft and decided it might be better to slightly overcook.
Step 3: Royal Icing
The cookies are all held together with royal icing and the jack-o-lantern faces are piped with it as well. To make this icing mix together 3 cups of icing sugar, 1 tsp of cream of tartar, 1 tsp of vanilla and water. I mixed all of the dry ingredients together then slowly drizzled in water until I had a thick consistency. Divide the icing into three bowls and dye one each orange, black and green. Place the icing in piping bag with small tips.
Step 4: Assembling the Cookies
Start the assembly process with a full pumpkin, pipe along the outer edge with the orange icing. Place a hollowed out cookies on top and gently press down to make sure the two stick together well. Now it is time to fill the cookies, I used Halloween themed Smarties and sprinkles. Fill up the cavity but be sure it stays below the top edge. Next, pipe along the outer edge of the hollowed out cookie then secure the second full pumpkin to the top. Repeat this process with all of the cookies. Decorate the cookies as you wish, I went with a classic pumpkin design. This type of cookie could be done in many shapes, colours and themes, get creative! :)