When I was a little girl, I had three idols: She-Ra, Jem, and Rainbow Brite. In three consecutive years, from first grade through third, I agonized and obsessed over the opportunity to be any of the three for Halloween.
Fact: I was She-Ra once. In the first grade, I got my wish, and I was the Princess of Power! Sort of. Remember those vinyl hospital gown-like costumes that had the image printed on the front and tied in the back? And they had those plastic masks with the little holes in the eyes, and that slit at the mouth, that you inevitably got your tongue stuck in?? Well, that was my She-Ra costume…you can see the real thing in the fourth photo of this post from Go Lucky Duck. Perfectly acceptable, and expected, for the day. Awesome even, no?
But I was dissatisfied. I wanted it to look more like the real thing. You know…this:
I was six. The world of seams, and apparently logic, was beyond me.
Needless to say, I was the head of She-Ra, Princess of Power that year.
And the body of a white sheet with a hole cut in it. I’d share the picture proof in all it’s depressing glory, but we had a house fire a few years later… :/
That was the first of my three Halloween costume disappointments in three consecutive years, and I’ve been scheming to be She-Ra again ever since that chilly 80s Halloween.
Maybe this year is the year…
*rubbing hands together*
Here, go make these fancy spritz pumpkin cookies while google and I see what we can find.
Originally, I planned to make these cookies using my regular spritz cookie press machine thingie.
(Is it a machine? A contraption? A tool? WHAT IS IT?! I guess it’s not a machine, right? I mean, it’s not like it has independent moving parts or whatever… What constitutes a machine? I don’t even know. I guess it’s a tool? But it has lots of functions, so really it’s more like a multi-tool. Although technically, it really just has one function and lots of ways to perform that function… OMG I CAN’T STOP.)
POINT: I was going to use my spritzer thingie, but I didn’t pack it, because “I hardly ever use it anyway.” So of course, it’s needed for one of the very first recipes I make in our new home. Obviously.
You know what, though? I’m really happy I didn’t bring it, because…*patting my own back*…these turned out beautiful. I don’t even care. They did.
And they would not have been ruffly and big and beautiful like this if I’d used the spritzer doohicky.
Alright, so how did I make them? I filled a pastry bag, fitted with a Wilton 1M tip, with about a cup of cookie dough. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, I piped a sort of curvy ‘U’ – almost like a bean shape. Next, I made the exact same shape in a mirror image of the first one, with about a half inch between them, and added a third, straighter ‘U’ in the middle to complete the pumpkin. Lastly, I finished the pumpkin of by piping swirly green stems onto them (I used a Wilton #199 tip).
My cookies ended up being about 3″ by 4″, but I also made some mini cookies (about 1.5″ by 2.5″) that were just two ‘U’s joined in the center. So, you know…’W's. Double. ‘U’s.
And. I. Love. Them.
They’re my favorite. They’re like, creepy and elegant…if a ruffly white pumpkin cookie can be that.
It totally can. Yes.
Some notes on coloring, etc.:
I made a single batch, and divided it in half. Then, I took a small amount from each half to be the stems, so that got divided in half, too. Simply put, I had about 24 ounces of dough. I left 10 ounces of it plain, colored 10 ounces orange, then colored the remaining four ounces green and black (two ounces each).
I hope that makes sense.
And that’s when I pretty much became my favorite cookies ever.
I used marshmallow fondant, but royal icing or even some of the filling, colored yellow or black, would work beautifully, too.
These turned out so fun and frilly, and incredibly tasty. Spicy, buttery almond cookies, that basically melt in your mouth + rich, fluffy buttercream flavored with the same spices you find in warm chai tea = the perfect autumn cookie. Ghoulish face optional.
Spiced Almond Spritz Cookies
with Chai Spice Filling
Makes about 2 dozen 3 to 4-inch cookies, or about 1 dozen sandwiches
FOR THE COOKIES
2 1/2 cups (about 317 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 ml) almond extract
1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) vanilla extract
Food coloring, optional
FOR THE FILLING
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups (250 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
**if you want to make half the cookies with chocolate frosting, stir 1/4 cup (25 grams) of cocoa powder into half of the frosting
To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until combined. Stir in the extracts.
Add about half of the flour mixture, and stir until combined. Beat in the remaining flour mixture.
Divide and color dough as desired, then pipe onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about an inch between the cookies.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (for 3 to 4-inch cookies; smaller cookies only need 6 to 8 minutes). Transfer to a wire cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before frosting or filling.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt until combined. Add the heavy cream and whisk on high for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Stir in the vanilla. Spread onto, or sandwich between, cooled cookies.
Cookies largely adapted from All Recipes, Frosting by Darla
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