I don’t know about you, but Halloween seems to have crept up on me this year. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been unseasonably mild that it hasn’t felt like late October, but I knew I had to make something to take to a friend’s Halloween Party that she was kindly organising for all our wee ones. I knew that my Dinosaur Biscuits always went down well with our group of children, so I thought I’d use that as a basis for some Halloween versions. The basic chocolate biscuit recipe can be found on the link above, it’s from a wonderful book called Brilliant Biscuits by Pamela Giles. It’s the only biscuit recipe I use, and it’s fool-proof. It will now be my icing biscuits go-to bible too! Once you have baked the biscuits, leave them to cool completely before icing. Pamela says in her book that you shouldn’t ice on the same day as baking so I kept my biscuits in a tin overnight and then made up my icing.
INGREDIENTS (enough for 30-40 biscuits)
900g / 2lb Instant Royal Icing Sugar
180ml / 6fl oz Water
1. Place the Icing Sugar and 150ml / 5fl oz of the water into a large bowl and mix slowly (if you are doing this in a mixer, cover the bowl prior to switching on, as the icing sugar will go EVERYWHERE!). Add the remaining water, tiny bit by bit until you get the right consistency (please note that you may not need all the water)
2. For line icing, it should be the consistency of toothpaste, for filling icing it should be like a pourable thick custard. Make your line icing first, you can then add a little more water for your filling icing.
Hints and Tips on Icing
– If you want your biscuit to be completely covered in icing, then it needs to be outlined and then filled. I did this for my ghost biscuits and they turned out pretty good for my first attempt! Line your biscuit first, then wait to dry before filling with icing.
– Use a wooden coffee stirrer or something similar to spread the icing into the corners and to help smooth over any little gaps you may have.
– Use the icing straight away, so that a skin doesn’t form.
– I used a small squeezy bottle for doing the filling icing as it was easier to handle, and I found that you then didn’t have to stop to squeeze the icing down, like you would with a piping bag.
GHOST BISCUITS (I used a tulip shaped cutter)
Once you have the right consistency for line icing, scoop some into a piping bag, and cut a tiny hole straight across the bottom of the bag. You can check it’s the right size by squeezing some out before you get going.
- You want to just hover the icing bag over your biscuit and squeeze gently, letting the icing come out. Gently lift the bag up and follow the shape of the biscuit. Don’t do what I did on my first attempt, and try to “draw” the outline. You’ll end up with broken lines and look very messy.
- By the time you’ve got to the end of the last biscuit, you should be able to start filling the first one. Check to see that the icing has dried over, and that there are no gaps, as the filling icing will run out any gaps.
- Pour your filling icing into a squeezy bottle or icing bag and then squeeze onto the biscuit. You’ll need more icing than you think on each one as you want a thick, even covering. Now use your wooden coffee stirrer and spread the icing into any little corners and gaps. Give the biscuit a little shoogle (Scottish for Shake!) so that you create a perfectly smooth surface.
- Leave to dry completely before adding on the eyes and mouth of your ghost. I used an edible ink pen, but you could also use some icing with black gel colouring. (Gel or paste is far better than the liquid as it gives a far more intense colour, especially for something like black)
MUMMIES COOKIES (using a gingerbread man cutter)
- Cut up some dried cranberries and place onto the biscuit to make the eyes before baking.
- Place some kitchen roll under your cooling rack to catch any drops of icing sugar.
- Once cooled, use lining icing and pour into a squeezy bottle or piping bag and run lines over your biscuit, ensuring you let the icing drop off the side of the biscuit before starting another line. Give your biscuit plenty room around it so that other biscuits don’t catch any trailing icing.
Bats (using a bat cutter – bet you didn’t see that coming!)
These won’t take as long to bake, 8-10 minutes at the most
It’s also great fun for kids to get involved with! Wee Food Adventurer loved cutting out the shapes, and took a real shine to the bat biscuits!
Have a great Halloween!
Melanie, Food Adventurer