A few years ago I made Trick Or Treat Cookies for Halloween and back then I noted that I’d love to do an all-coffin version. And look! It only took me three years!
I decided to imprint the tops with wood grain using a mat meant to imprint on clay, something I first spotted on Martha Stewart (video, there with Jeff Daniels on an April Fools episode). Doing a little research I found Haniela’s (video) has also created these, and her instructions are wonderful. She’s got a lot of great videos for Halloween baked goods, check out this Monster Eye Cake.
I bought my wood grain mat from a local pottery supply store, it’s the wood grain mat sold by Chinese Clay Art. There is a larger wood grain impression mat for fondant on Amazon. (I would have bought that one if I’d had time, also note: affiliate links.)
When you’re cutting out the cookies roll to 1/4″ thick. Roll the dough between two layers of parchment paper, this will keep the chocolate cookies nice and dark. I have a tiny kitchen so I roll dough on my dining room table using a medium sized Roul’pat. It’s pricey but I adore it, it grips the table and the parchment nicely so things don’t slide around, it gives me plenty of space to work on and I can roll it up to store away.
You’ll need one woodgrain top, one flat bottom and two layers of hollow sides for each cookie. I made these with two hollow layers in the middle, instead of the single layer from my original Trick or Treat Cookies, to allow for more room for candy. I used round cutters to cut out the insides because it was far easier than trying to trim out the middles and laziness ruled that day.
I used dark chocolate candy melts to use as glue because it sets faster, but if you have the time real chocolate would taste better. Use a plastic bag with a very small corner snipped off, no need to get out piping tips or a decorating pen for this one.
Gathering candies to go inside was a lot of fun, I wandered around a particularly well stocked candy shop long enough for the employees to get curious and start suggesting spooky candy for me. Here I have:
- Autumn colors mini gummy worms
- chocolate coated popping candy (There are also apparently Chocolate Pop Rocks out there somewhere!)
- dark chocolate crisp pearls (These come in other flavors and are insanely good sprinkled on ice cream.)
- gray colored Milkies (silver M&M style candies.)
- walnuts coated in chocolate and rolled in cinnamon, which look dusty and spooky but taste amazing
- Wilton candy eyeballs (They also make a red veined version.)
- Wilton skull and bones sprinkles
I wish I had bought the salted licorice black cats because it would make for an interesting good/bad surprise depending on who gets it inside their cookie. I’m pro licorice myself. The wrapped chocolate eyeballs shown here didn’t actually fit in the cookies so let’s all just ignore them. La la la. (Note: affiliate links above.)
Here is the best thing I learned from doing this project: clay art or pottery supply stores are excellent places to get interesting baking supplies. Wandering around Seattle Pottery Supply I saw a whole bunch of tools meant for fondant or baking and I was stunned by the amount of plunger cutters
that allow you to make teeny tiny cookies. Next time I have some creating baking in mind I’m planning to head to the pottery supply store first.
Click more for the recipe:
Chocolate Cut-out Cookie Recipe
This dough takes like brownies and it keeps it’s shape really well. It was adapted from Haniela’s.
- 2 sticks (226 grams) room temperature butter
- 1/2 cup (140 grams) brown sugar
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2/3 cup (70 grams) cocoa powder
- 3 cups (450 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Put sugars and butter in your mixing bowl.
Combine the eggs and vanilla and beat just until mixed.
Put the flour, salt and baking powder in a larger bowl and stir or sift to combine.
Beat the butter and sugar until it is fluffy.
Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture slowly.
On low speed add the cocoa powder to the mixer bowl until it’s all well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl in three or four additions, using low speed.
Scrape the dough onto a cutting board and knead to get rid of any flour streaks until the dough is a uniform dark brown color.
Divide the dough into three pieces, flatten each slightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up to overnight.
Roll the dough between two layers of parchment to 1/4″ thick.
Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes depending on the size. (The narrower center pieces will bake much faster.)
This image is here for use on Pinterest. Pin it if you’d like but, you know, no pressure: