Chocolate Bats

Halloween is less than a week away, so it’s the perfect time to make these delectable chocolate bats.  They’re super easy to make and, unlike many cut-out cookies, hold together remarkably well.  Their dark chocolate color adds a little spookiness, but simply shape them differently and they are right for any occaison. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 ounces chocolate
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg

Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter and brown sugar.  Allow to cool, then add egg and mix by hand.  Pour chocolate mixture over dry ingredients and mix by hand, then chill for at least 20 minutes.  Remove from fridge and roll out over floured surface.  The dough will be a little oily.  Use cookie cutters to make shape of choice, then bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Yields about 24 cookies.

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Halloween Voodoo Cookies

Halloween is in the air.  It has always been my favorite holiday–after all, it’s hard to find a better combination than sweets, costumes and decorations. This weekend, I felt compelled to produce my first “scary” recipe: voodoo cookies.
This was perfect timing, because I have Allstate Orchestra auditions next weekend, and the competition is pretty stiff.  But if I were to make some voodoo cookies in the image of some of the other violinists, and they happened to break an arm…

Black magic aside, these are fantastic, buttery cookies. Enjoy!

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups four

Directions

Combine sugar and butter; mix well.  Add salt, egg and vanilla.  Stir in the flour in three installments.  Once the dough has come together, roll it into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.  Freeze for at least two hours, or over night if possible.

Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to thaw.  Knead a little to soften, then split it in half.  Roll out on a floured surface and press cookie cutters into dough.  Repeat until dough has run out.  Bake at 350 degrees, for 7 to 9 minutes.  Allow to cool before frosting.

For the frosting, mix one cup of powdered sugar with one egg white.  Add food coloring if desired.  Pour into a plastic bag and make a small cut in the bottom edge of the bag.  Use this to pipe frosting onto cookies as shown above.  The frosting takes around five minutes to dry.  Enjoy!

Apple Bread

 

This bread tastes like autumn. Made from the apples we picked at our local orchard, its warm, homey flavor perfectly exemplifies the season. It’s a wonderful breakfast to wake up to, but also makes an excellent dessert.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar plus 1 teaspoon for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 cups chopped apple
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Mix sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until smooth.  Add apples and nuts.  Pour into a greased and floured pan.  In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, then dust over the top of the bread.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.  Allow to cool before slicing.


  

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Autumn and Apples

I have always loved autumn. It’s a beautiful season, full of colors, smells, holidays ( Halloween is my personal favorite) and of course, baked goods.  It’s a wonderful time for food; the season brings squash and mushrooms and apples.

Every year my family takes a trip to our local apple orchard. It’s become a tradition–my dad eats apples off the tree no matter how many times my mom tells him it’s not allowed, we pick a Halloween pumpkin, we fill a basket with apples and then we go home and bake.  You can expect a few apple recipes in the next couple weeks!