So Halloween might look a little different this year. To me, that makes it the best year to start some new traditions with the family at home! When I think of any holiday tradition with my family it almost always involves food. To help with some ideas and recipes to try this year I wanted to make some new ones that are quick and easy so that anyone can do them and you can bring the kids (if you have any) into the kitchen as well to make some delicious treats.
This first treat I have is super easy too. It's a simple drop cookie that has some fun and spooky flare with the help of a couple key ingredients. At the end of the day you can use standard cocoa powder in this recipe and get a dark brown color that will still be awesome and fun with the ghoulish candies. A secret that I use to get really dark black cookies though is a different kind of cocoa powder, black cocoa. Black cocoa isn't super scary to use. It's similar to standard cocoa powder but has been Dutch-processed even further to make it super mellow in flavor and extra dark in color. This type of cocoa is used in the everyday treat of Oreos! So you've most likely already had it before. Since it is mellower in flavor you will want to use some standard cocoa powder in the recipe so that you get a nice chocolatey flavor. Use about 1/3 cocoa powder with black cocoa to get a great color and flavor!
If black cocoa powder isn't something you want to buy there is also activated charcoal. You may have seen or even tried the pill form at the drug store. Activated charcoal is typically made from coconut husks or another woody material. It's used as a detoxing material to reduce the absorption of toxins in foods. Recently there have been articles saying it's being over used but you don't need a lot for this recipe. Adding just a tablespoon to the dry ingredients will add a nice super dark look to these cookies as well. Considering this makes multiple cookies this little amount shouldn't harm you at all. If you are on a specific medication though, maybe skip the charcoal. I've also read that it can pull some medications from the body and make it pointless so make sure to be safe for you to consume if you have a specific medical condition. I've used activated charcoal many times to get a nice black color so I have a container of the powdered form, but if you just need a little for a recipe you can also buy the pills and break a few open to get the little bit you need for this recipe.
The last way to get a little darker color is black food coloring. I try to avoid food coloring when I need dark colors since it can easily stain and you typically need a lot to get deep, dark results. Even if you don't use any of these ingredients to get black cookies, the recipe is still delicious and will add a fun snack to have around for this spooky month. Check out the recipe below and leave a comment if you try them at home this year!
Ghoulish Blackout Cookies
270g All Purpose Flour
60g Cocoa Powder (20g regular 40g black cocoa)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tbsp Activated Charcoal, optional
225g Unsalted Butter, soft
150g Granulated Sugar
160g Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 ea. Eggs
280g Ghoulish Candies (I used MnM's Halloween blend)
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder(s), baking soda, and activated charcoal if using. Set aside.
In a new bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
Add the eggs one at a time, beat fully between each.
Add the vanilla and beat slightly. Add black food coloring here if using.
Add the flour mixture and beat until mostly combined but not fully mixed in.
Add about half the candies and mix in by hand. If you use a mixer you may end up crushing them and loosing the desired look.
Scoop into 2 tablespoons sized balls and press 2-4 more candies into the top.
Freeze dough for 2 hours minimum.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake 6 cookies to a pan for 9-10 minutes.