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I LOVE HALLOWEEN! I have so much fun decorating and coming up with new ideas for the holiday. This year I decided to try making brain cookies out of simple butter cookie dough, and it was a success! I recorded a quick video and put together step by step photos to show you how I shape them. I also included my butter cookie recipe blow.
The most important thing when working with butter cookie dough is to make sure the dough is cold. Once the butter in the dough starts to warm up it gets too soft to handle and you will start getting very frusttrated very quickly. I always divide my dough up into four chunks, wrap each one in wax paper and keep them in an air tight container in the fridge. When I’m ready to work I remove one chunk at a time. As soon as it starts getting soft back in the fridge it goes and the next chunk comes out. That way I always have nice cold dough to work with.
To form the brain cookies take a heaping Tablespoon of the dough (about 1 ounce) and roll it into a short log. Then cut the log in half so that you have equal portions to make each side of the brain.
Next take one of the halves and roll out into a long rope about 9 inches in length.
Now comes the shaping part. Start zig-zagging the rope back and forth about 6 times before bringing the end of the rope down along size the zig-zags. This is one half of the brain. Repeat the process for the other half.
Flip the second brain half over and place next to the first half so that the straight ropes are touching and the zig-zags are on the outside. Brush both halves with a little water or egg wash to get the dough to stick to itself (try to push the two halves together gently to get them to stick) then carefully lift the zig-zags and lay them on top of the rope for each half as shown below.
Place the brain cookie onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press down a bit to get the zig-zags to stick to ropes.
Once the cookie tray is full put in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes before baking. You can brush a little wam raspberry jam onto the cookies before serving to make them look “bloody”.
Halloween Brain Cookies
- 3 1/4 cups (14 oz) unbleached all purpose flour (spooned into a cup)
- 2 teas baking powder
- 1/4 teas salt
- 2 large eggs (3.6 oz)
- 16 Tbsp (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (7.3 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teas pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl sift together flour and baking powder. Add salt and whisk well to combine.
Place the eggs in a bowl of warm water to bring to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the softened butter for 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on low for a few seconds then beat on medium for 3 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs one at a time mixing on low for about 30-60 seconds in between each addition. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl often.
Add the flour mixture in 3-4 batches, mixing for 30-60 seconds in between each batch and scraping the sides of the bowl often.
Divide the dough into 2-4 portions, wrapping each portion in wax paper and storing in an air tight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling.
Once you are ready to roll the dough, preheat the oven to 350F. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with cookie cutters. If making brain cookies use 1 ounces of dough per cookie (half an ounce for each side of the brain). Roll each half into a 9 inch rope, then zig-zag the rope to make the brain shape. Use water or an egg wash to attach the two halves of the brain together.
Place the cookies on your parchment lined cookies sheets and chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before baking.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Allow to cool on the sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
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