Spooky dark chocolate shortbread cookie candles with bloody vanilla icing dripping down!!
Happy Halloween everyone! Or is it too early? Not too early to think of Halloween goodies!
These cookies might look complicated but not as hard as might think! The dough comes together with just one bowl and a wooden spatula. Stir butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add flour and cocoa powder, stir thoroughly. You can switch to your trusty hands for the final mixing. Mix enough to get a ball. Pinch 2 tablespoons measure balls and roll them into 3-inch logs. Don’t worry if they have a few cracks. It gives a rustic look to the candles. They are in a graveyard after all! I sliced off the ends of the log, because candles have neatly cut ends. Insert a sliced almond on one of the end, to make the flame. Place prepared cookies on a baking sheet and refrigerate until hard, for several hours. Bake and cool completely.
To make icing, stir together all ingredients. Two things that you want to give importance is the thickness of the icing and the color.
For thickness, we want the icing to drip down slightly but not all the way, to give the melted candle look. To test consistency, drizzle few drops on a small plate and turn the plate upright to test. Add water (just a few drops at a time) to make it thinner or more confectioners sugar to make it thicker.
For color, I used Wilton red food gel color. Keep stirring enough gel until you have what you are looking for. I added a drop of brown to give more blood like color, instead of just red.
Transfer icing to a ziplock bag, seal and snip off one end to make a small hole. Hold one cookie with your hand and drizzle icing around the almond slice, allowing excess to drip down, to create the melted candle look. Place cookie upright to dry. Continue with remaining cookies.
To make a bed for the cookies to stand upright, fill a cake pan or any other pan with dry beans / coffee beans / dry rice and insert each cookie. Let dry completely until icing hardens.
Bleeding Candle Cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons dutch process cocoa powder
18 sliced almonds
1 cup confectioners sugar
4 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
red food color, as required
1-2 drops brown color (optional)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes until creamy.
Stir in flour and cocoa powder until well combined. Mix with hand to form a dough.
Pinch 2 tablepoons measure dough and roll them into a 3-inch log and place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1-inch apart.
Optional step-slice about 1/4-inch off both the ends, so it will look more like a candle.
Insert one almond slice on one end of each log. Place pan in the refrigerator for several hours – overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely.
To make icing,
Stir together confectioners sugar, water and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Stir enough red food color to get a dark red color. A dash of brown gave a more blood like color (this is optional).
The consistency that we want is that for the icing to drip slowly and harden, but not drip all the way. Add more water if thick or more confectioners sugar if thin.
Transfer icing into a quart size ziplock bag, seal and snip off a tiny hole in one corner. Drizzle some icing around the almond and allow the excess to drip down, to create melted candle look. Place cookies upright for the icing to harden.
Makes 18 cookies