Many of you may be wondering if we celebrate Halloween in Italy… A few years ago, Halloween was something completely foreign to us. The closest kind of celebration we had (in which everybody dressed up and wore a mask) was, and still is, “Carnevale” which is a festivity very similar to the Brazilian Carnival celebrated in February. Thanks to the media and the globalization in Italy, we now celebrate Halloween (in addition of Carnevale, of course!) but we still have plenty to learn from Americans about how to decorate our houses and yards for this spooky celebration. Now that I live here, I could not resist to the temptation of making some Halloween treats, and for the occasion, I used an easy and fast Italian recipe (in Italy it is used mostly for Christmas cookies)- so easy that my 4 year-old daughter could help me!
INGREDIENTS for about 40 ghosts
1 stick of butter
1 pinch sea salt
5 oz. sugar
few drops lemon flavoring (or some lemon zest)
a pinch of baking soda mixed with 1/2 tbs of apple vinegar
1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
FOR THE FROSTING: 2 tbs. water and 1 tbs powdered sugar
In a bowl, mix very quickly together the flour, butter, sugar, lemon flavoring, the sea salt and the baking soda (already mixed with the vinegar). USE YOUR HANDS ;-).
You should obtain a ball like this:
Put the pastry in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour.
Then roll out the dough on a floured board and cut it with a ghost shape.
Bake at 365 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, until they appear lightly golden.
Make the icing by dissolving the powdered sugar in the water.
Pour the icing on the cookies and allow it to dry. Paint the eyes and mouth with a black decorating pen or sparkle gel. For the black cats, I used the same recipe and steps but instead of white sugar in the cookies, I used brown sugar and instead of the lemon flavoring I used the almond extract. To decorate the cats, I also colored the icing with few drops of black food color. For the eyes, nose and whiskers I used a decorating pen and a tube of ready-to-use colored icing. HAVE FUN! LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
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