A Halloween party & Sugar Skull Biscuits {with egg free royal icing}

Well, Summer is definitely over for another year.

I’ve desperately been trying to hold on to it — refusing to wear proper shoes in favour of my flip flops — but, try as I might, autumn is upon us once more.

The leaves are already beginning to change colour, the air smells fresher and I *might* (OK, I actually did) put the heating on the other night because I was so cold).

So autumn — let’s not dwell on the onset of winter and cherish the here and now.

Let’s think of things about autumn that we do like.

Crunchy leaves that just beg to be jumped in. Tick.

Wearing cosy socks and snuggling on the sofa under an emergency blanket (anyone else have one of those by the way?).

Colourful opaque tights and chunky knits? Lovely.

And Halloween.

Aaah Halloween. Anything that gives a valid excuse for a party is good for me. I’m there with bells on or — in this instance — a witches hat ;)

So to cheer myself up about the passing of summer, I’ve been busying myself and preparing  for a Halloween party. Not 100% sure of the theme yet but I’ve had my head turned by Day Of The Dead themed decorations.

I love that it’s a little bit glam — less gruesome, more pretty — and I’m especially loving the sugar skull designs that seem to be popping up everywhere.

sugar skull inspiration
All of the above available to buy from Party Delights

I’ve found so many fabulous props online (from the same place I got all the boy’s pirate party decorations from)  but to add to the theme — even though it’s a month away— I decided to get my baking hat on and have a go at making some Sugar Skull iced biscuits.

sugar skull biscuits

I found a biscuit recipe courtesy of The Biscuiteers (you can read the original recipe here) — super easy to make and they taste delicious.

How to make spiced Sugar Skull biscuits

You will need:
200g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice
50g dark muscovado sugar
100g salted butter softened and diced
50g black treacle

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3 before you begin making your biscuits or when ready to cook. I made 14 skulls — plus a tester biscuit!

Sift the flour, baking powder and all the spices into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.

Add the butter. Using just the tips of your fingers, rub the ingredients together until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.

When all the butter is evenly mixed in, make a well in the centre and add the treacle. Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough, combining lightly until it has an even colour with not too many streaks of treacle (I did this bit in the Kitchenaid to avoid handling it). Lightly form into a ball.

Divide into two and squash it into two even-sized flattish discs.

Place one disc of dough on a sheet of baking parchment. Begin by gently squashing the dough down with the rolling pin or your hands, cover with a second sheet of parchment then use the rolling pin to roll properly. If the top sheet crinkles, just peel it off, smooth it down gently and start rolling again. Gently roll the dough until it is 5mm thick all over.

Transfer the sheet of rolled dough, still sandwiched between its parchment, to a baking tray and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20-30 minutes before cutting. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.

Using your cutter — I bought mine from here plus some disposable piping bags for icing — cut out the biscuits as close together as possible, lifting each one on to a parchment-covered baking tray and making sure that they are not too close together, as the dough will spread a little on baking.

Evenly space the trays in the oven and cook for 12-16 minutes, depending on your oven. Keep a close eye on the first couple of batches you cook until you get used to the recipes and your oven*.

This was good advice for me — mine cooked in just 10 minutes in our AGA. In fact, a couple of the edges were a little charred — have already made a note for next time!

As Bertie is allergic to egg, I made royal icing using Aquafaba.

This is basically the water than you get in a can of chickpeas or butterbeans. It has the same consistency as egg white and worked an absolute treat!

biscuits4

How to make egg free Royal Icing

You will need:
8 tbsp of canned legume water (the water drained from a can of butterbeans/chickpeas/cannelloni beans — choose the unsalted variety)

500g of sifted icing sugar

How to make sugar skull biscuits

Beat the water (I used butterbean) with an electric whisk or mixer until it goes frothy.

Then add the icing sugar spoon by spoon, on a high speed until you have the desired consistency.

I added my black food colouring paste at this stage and gave it another good mixing.

How to make sugar skull biscuits

Over the past few years, I’ve watched SO many YouTube videos on how to line and flood iced biscuits but, up until now, have never had a go.

Needless to say, I think all the hours of watching other people may have rubbed off a little bit! I was a bit wobbly — certainly not up to the standard of the amazing YouTubers — but I really, really enjoyed it.

I think I may have found a new favourite hobby ;)

*husband runs away and hides*

How to make sugar skull biscuits

How to make sugar skull biscuits

Following lots of differing advice from the experts, I made my lining icing the consistency of toothpaste. The above icing recipe was perfect for this.

I piped a line around the edge of the biscuit first — then left it to dry for 10 minutes — then to flood the background of the biscuits, I watered the icing down a little, using a couple of teaspoonfuls of the Aquafaba. This made it much easier to work with as it was much looser — almost like the consistency of single cream.

When the backgrounds were dry (leave these overnight if you have time) you can start piping the patterns on the top.

I loved this bit.

Put as many squiggles and patterns on each skull as you dare! I didn’t follow any particular template but have been pinning sugar skulls to my Halloween party Pinterest board like a crazy woman, so most of the inspiration came from there!

Ta-daah! Sugar Skull Biscuits — done.

How to make sugar skull biscuits

How to make sugar skull biscuits
My sugar skull biscuits — or ‘most’ of them (I ate quite a few) ;)

Pin ‘how to make sugar skull biscuits’ for later…

 

pinterest_how_to_make_sugar_skull_cookies

Linking up with the lovely Le Coin De Mel for Free From Fridays

About Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

42 thoughts on “A Halloween party & Sugar Skull Biscuits {with egg free royal icing}

  1. Love the skull cookie idea! I just ordered up a black icing pen online so a bit of a cheat but thought I’d do some biscuits with green icing and spiders crawling over the top this year for Halloween… x

  2. These are seriously cool, Caro. I’m totally with you on the sugar skull design – not too scary but also very, very pretty. Biscuit/cake decorating has never been a strong point of mine but I’m tempted to give these a go. You’ve made it look so easy! :) #HomeETC.

  3. Oooh I love these! Day of the dead is everywhere this season isn’t it! I am working on a day of the dead crocheted skull. #homeetc

  4. Wow! Those biscuits look absolutely fantastic. I wish I had the patience! Absolutely love the gold skull decoration, although I’m not a huge Halloween lover.
    #HomeEtc

  5. These are ace Caro!! I have always wanted to try icing biscuits thus way but I need child free time I think, usually the boys help me bake and any hopes of having heat icing goes out the window. I’m going to keep this pinned for next year, they look SO good and I love sugar skulls at Halloween xxx

  6. These biscuits look BRILLIANT! You must have such a steady hand, I love the detail they’re almost too good to eat (almost!) I love Autumn, easily my favourite time of year, and if my little arrival doesn’t arrive too late I’m hoping a Halloween themed birthday party can become a bit of a tradition! #HomeEtc xx

  7. Totally with you on tights, blanket and heating. It stills feels a bit like we are being teased with Autumn though doesn’t it! I love that you are so far ahead in your Halloween thinking. I also admire your skill in making those biscuits! They look fab and I’m liking the day of the dead theme. I keep seeing similar in the shops but didn’t realise what they were. A pretty take on things. I’m off the hook for the party this year but we still have fun decorating the house. Thanks for hosting #HomeEtc

  8. Oh my goodness, those sugar skull biscuits are so cute, Caro! They’re going on my Halloween board on Pinterest right away! I love Aquafaba: the clever people who made it mainstream ti use it as an egg replacer a couple of years ago are geniuses! Thanks for joining in with #FreeFromFridays xx

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