Spooky Tree Cookies

Tender, buttery, crisp, whole wheat, walnut shortbread cookies that are perfect for Halloween.

I can’t handle it. 

Halloween is right around the corner. 

I’m all set to dance…. around some spooky trees, that is. 

My favorite whole wheat walnut shortbreads

A delicious cookie with a cup of joe.

But, can we spookify them??

Heck yes!!!!

The best part, no fancy cookie cutters required!

For more detailed pictures on making the walnut shortbread cookies, click here 





Coarsely grind walnuts in a mini food processor or place them in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin, until they look like this. Then, make cookie dough—->

 

Roll dough, chill until firm and cut circles.

Cut circles on two ends to look like this—> 

Place one cut end over the middle part to look like this —> (re roll the other end with scraps to make more cookies). Bake

Spread melted semi-sweet chocolate over the tree top and place a candy eyeball. Let dry

 

 






Skill level – Advanced

Spooky Tree Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

about 15 candy eyeballs

Preparation:

Make cookies

1. Finely mince walnuts in a mini food processor or place them in a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin, until no pieces are larger than 1/4-inch (refer pictures). 

2. Whisk together chopped walnuts, both flours and salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes, until creamy. (Alternatively, it can be creamed with a hand held electric beater for about 30 seconds). Add yolk and vanilla, cream for another minute. Stir in the flour mixture, until thoroughly combined. Shape dough into a disc. 

4. Roll dough between two sheets of parchment, until slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough (along with parchment papers) onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (up to one day), until firm.

5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Remove dough from refrigerator, remove top parchment, cut circles with a 3-inch round cookie cutter.

7. Using the same cookie cutter, cut 2 opposite sides of the circle, making a tree trunk (refer pictures). Place one cut end over the tree trunk, to make a tree top (refer pictures). (Re roll the other cut end along with scraps to make more cookies).  

8. Using a flat spatula, gently transfer the prepared cookie dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat process to make remaining cookies. and place on the prepared baking sheet, about 1/2-inch apart.(Gather scraps together, roll again, chill and make more cookies). 

9. Place the baking sheet back in the  refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill the dough. 

7. Bake cookies in the middle rack of the oven  for about 25-30 minutes, until deep golden brown. 

8. Remove from oven and place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool completely.

To decorate

1. Place chocolate chips in a small microwavable bowl, microwave on high until 3/4th melted (about 1-1/2 minutes). Stir every 20 seconds. Remove bowl from microwave and stir until full melted.

2. Using a small spoon, spread some melted chocolate on the tree tops (do not slather too much, just enough to coat will suffice). I didn’t bother making it smooth, since I loved the way the swirled chocolate made it look more like a tree. But, you can smooth if you’d like.  (This cookie is a tender, delicious shortbread. So, always work with cookie on the counter to avoid breaking them).

3. Imediately, press a eyeball in the middle.

4. Let cookies stand at room temperature, until chocolate sets.

Makes 15 shortbread cookies


Notes:

1. Baked shortbreads (without the chocolate glaze) can be stored at room temperature, in a covered container, for several days.

2. Glazed ones will last up to a day or two in a covered container. 

(monster)

 

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