Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Candy Corn Cookies

Candy Corn is perhaps one of the most popular signature sweets of the Halloween holiday.  The sweet tri-colored treat adorns candy bowls around the country and is often enjoyed right out of the bag (I have nearly finished a bag all by myself!)  I enjoy this treat as much as the next guy; however, after a few handfuls, this Halloween treat is sure to leave you with a good tooth ache and unhappy belly.  Candy Corn is created from sugar, corn syrup, wax,water, fondant, and marshmallow (Basically sugar, sugar, and more sugar!)  Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy these festive treats without the extreme sugar shock? Inspired by the classic yellow, orange, and white candies, I created a sugar cookie that looks just as adorable as the candy, but may allow you a few extra handfuls before the sugar coma sets in!

You can use a favorite recipe if you have one, for this batch I used this Sugar Cookie Recipe from Alton Brown.  The only addition I made to the recipe is a teaspoon of Vanilla Extract.  This recipe creates a pliable dough that is very easy to work with this kind of project. Mix up the dough according to the recipe directions.  Divide into three equal portions.
Add a few drops of yellow gel food coloring to the first portion. With the second portion, mix in a few drops of orange gel food coloring.  Leave the third portion plain.  I decided to add some interest to the cookie by kneading in a few teaspoons of pumpkin spice into the orange portion.
Line a standard size loaf pan with some parchment paper.
Press the plain portion of dough into the pan in an even layer.  Repeat with the orange and then the yellow dough. 
I wanted to make cookies close to the size of an actual candy corn so my layers are fairly thin.  If you want to make a large cookie, simply make a thicker layer of each color.  One batch  of this dough makes a loaf pan full of smaller cookies, double the batch if you want a larger result. Wrap the paper over the top, press firmly, and chill in the fridge for an hour or two.
Remove from pan and place onto a surface to slice the dough.  Slice the stacked dough into 1/8 to 1/4 inch sections. 
Cut triangles from each of these slices.
  Once chilled...toss all the cookies in sugar and place on a cookie sheet.
  Bake at 375 degrees until the cookies begin to get golden around the edges.  The bake time will be determined by how large you make your cookies.  Watch them carefully as it will only take a few minutes to bake these tiny cookies (especially if you like them soft!) I made another batch with a chocolate layer by kneading a generous amount of dark cocoa into a portion of the dough instead of the yellow food coloring.  Making both variations is quick and easy and creates an adorably festive presentation. Once cool, mix the cookies in a dish with some candy corn and set out the sweet and surprising poppable treat for your Halloween guests!

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