These spooky masterpieces were created from chewy, spicy gingerbread and creamy royal icing. Your Halloween crowd will scream for more! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ROYAL ICING:
- 8 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 6 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Paste food coloring of your choice
- In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Beat in molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-in. gingerbread boy-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on wire racks.
- For icing, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water, meringue powder and cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint with food coloring. (Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.)
- Frost and decorate cookies as desired. For mummy bandages, use basket weave pastry tip #46. For small detailed decorations, use round pastry tip #1 or #2. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Monster Cutout Cookies in Taste of Home October/November 2008, p27
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