Gingerbread Bat Cookies

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Gingerbread isn't just for the winter holidays. Celebrate fall—or vampire themed parties in any season—with these frosted bat cookies. Looking for more baked goodies? These polka dot cookies will never go out of style.
Makes 30 bats
For the gingerbread
100 g (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
75 g (2 1/2 oz) treacle
75 g (2 1/2 oz) golden syrup
75 g (2 1/2 oz/ 2⁄5 cup) dark
brown soft sugar
450 g (1 lb/ a little over 3 cups) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground black pepper
1 large (US – extra large) egg yolk
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
For the decoration
250 g (9 oz) Instant Royal Icing
2–3 tablespoons water
a few drops of black food colouring

Step 1

To make the gingerbread, heat the butter, treacle, golden syrup and sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and all of the ingredients are well combined. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Into a clean bowl sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper, and stir to combine. Once the butter mixture has cooled, add the egg yolk and fresh ginger to it, mixing well. Then, fold in the flour mixture to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead briefly until smooth.
Split into two discs and wrap each one with clingfilm. Chill them in the fridge for at least two hours to allow the dough to rest.

Step 2

Once your dough is fully chilled, preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Put one disc in the freezer while you roll out the dough of the other disc to 4–5 mm (1/4 in) thick on a floured surface. Cut out bat shapes using a cookie cutter, or make your own cardboard template and use a sharp knife to cut around it. Transfer your bats to the baking trays and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. Bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes, or until the edges of the shapes are firm. Fully cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Step 3

Using a food processor with the whisk attachment, whisk the Instant Royal Icing sugar with the water for five minutes to create a smooth paste that is thick enough to pipe with. Place a small amount of the white icing in a bowl for the bat eyes. Cover and set aside.

Step 4

Add the black food coloring to the remaining icing and mix well in the with a spatula. Transfer the black icing to a piping bag and snip a small amount off the end. Pipe a black outline on all of the bat shapes. Reserve a small amount of the remaining black icing in the bag for the bat eyes.
Thin out the remaining black icing with some more water to give it a runnier consistency, then, with a teaspoon, use it to fill in the bat outlines. Allow the icing on your gingerbread bats to set for at least two hours, then ice the bat eyes using the remaining white and black icing. Store in a tin or an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Step 5

This recipe is excerpted with permission from
"trEATs: Delicious Food Gifts to Make at Home"
by April Carter and published by Hardie Grant Books.

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