Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan, Gas Mark 4). Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment.
Step 2: In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until creamy and well blended.
Step 3: Sift the flour and cocoa on top and carefully mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Using your hands, bring the mixture together to form a firm dough.
Step 4: Turn on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth. Divide the mixture in half. Working with one half of the dough at a time – the mixture will be quite short – roll out to a thickness of ½ cm (1/4 inch). Stamp out 8 x 8cm (3 ¼ inch) skull shapes, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Roll out the other half of dough, with the trimmings, in the same way, and cut out 10 x 7cm (2 ¾ inch) pumpkin shapes, re-rolling the dough as necessary.
Step 5: Carefully cut out eyes and mouths from half the pumpkins and half the skulls using small cutters or the tip of a sharp knife. Make them slightly bigger than looks natural because the mixture will close in on itself as it bakes. Transfer all the shapes to a baking tray and chill for 30 minutes to firm up.
Step 6: Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until firm. Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 7: To decorate, put the butter in a bowl and gradually sieve and mix the icing sugar into the butter to make a smooth, creamy icing. Mix in a few drops of Madagascan Vanilla Extract. Divide into 3 equal portions.
Step 8: Add drops of the 3 different Gel Food Colours to the 3 portions to make vibrant shades. As a guide, you will need approx. 45 drops Red, 70 drops Green, and 75 drops Orange.
Step 9: Spread a little of the icing over the uncut shortbread pumpkins and skulls and top with a cut shortbread. Press down gently to squeeze the icing carefully into the features.
Step 10: Once you've sandwiched all the cookies together, they are ready to serve and enjoy!
1 serving = 81g
|Per Serving||Per 100 g / ml|
|Fat||22.32 g||27.90 g|
|Carbohydrate||44.89 g||56.11 g|
|Protein||3.20 g||4.01 g|
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