As you probably know, Halloween will be upon us next week.
Halloween is a combination of a number of ancient festivals, namely the Celtic festival of Samhain, All Saints Day and the Roman festival of Feralia. Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and the end of the lighter half of the year leading into the darker, winter season. It was believed that at this time of the year the boundaries between the world of the living and dead became thin and the dead could cross over causing sickness and havoc with crops. Masks and costumes were worn to disguise a person as an evil spirit in the belief that they would be left alone.
Halloween isn’t widely celebrated in Australia, however it’s becoming more popular if the amount of Halloween items for sale in shops is anything to go by and for this reason I haven’t baked anything for Halloween in the past. I wanted to change that this year, so after purchasing some cute Halloween themed cookie cutters (from the lovely people at Cake Decorating Central) I was inspired to make these chocolate jam cut out cookies using bat and ghost shaped cookie cutters.
Do you usually bake for Halloween? If so, what are your favourite things to bake?
- 185g butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of plain flour
- ⅓ cup of good quality cocoa
- ½ cup of strawberry jam
- Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celsius and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and beat until combined before sifting in the flour and cocoa.
- Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured bench and roll out to your desired thickness.
- Using a round cookie cutter cut out the cookies.
- Take half of the cookies cut out and place them on the prepared baking trays. Spread evenly with a layer of jam.
- Take a smaller cookie cutter and cut out the center of the cookie before placing it on top of the prepared bases.
- Bake for 17 to 18 minutes. Place onto a baking wrack to cool.
- You can bake the cut outs for 4 or 5 minutes depending on the size of the cut out.