Totoro Black Sesame Cookies: Halloween Edition

Kicking off Totoro Week with a little Halloween inspiration! I've always loved black sesame in sweets, and these cookies are no exception. And yes - Totoro Week is a thing. My creative Insta pals Steph (I Am a Food Blog) and Lyndsay (Coco Cake Land) dreamed up this totoro-lly awesome week, which occurs on the last week of October. Join in on the fun with the hashtag #TotoroWeek on Instagram. 

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BLACK SESAME COOKIES
Makes 38 mini Totoro cookies

Ingredients

  • 230g butter (room temperature)
  •  1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup black sesame powder

Decoration

  • Royal icing
  • Gel food colouring
  • Piping bags

Directions
1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla until incorporated, then gradually add in sifted flour and black sesame powder mixing on low speed until just combined. Shape into 2 discs, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. When dough has chilled, pre-heat oven to 175˚C. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper, and cut out using a Totoro shaped cookie cutter. Transfer onto a lined baking tray, and place in freezer for 10 minutes before baking.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or when edges begin to slightly brown. Cool completely before decorating.

4. While the cookies are cooling, dye the icing with gel based food colouring. Some of the colours will need to be thicker consistency than others. Below is a guide.
Flooding consistency icing: grey, white, orange, green.
Stiff consistency icing: black, orange, yellow, brown.

5. Decorate! See below for the step-by-step for each design.
Note: If you don't like your cookies too sweet, you can skip the step of the grey icing base, and also use matcha cookies as the base for Frankenstein Totoro.

ADD STEPS

Pumpkin Totoro
1. Pipe the top half of the cookie with grey icing. Dry for 30 minutes.
*NOTE: For the pumpkin 'hat', shape dough into a small ball and stick to cookie before baking. 
2. Add pumpkin base with orange icing, and white base for the eyes.  
3. Using a thicker consistency orange icing, add on the pumpkin details. Pipe on facial features with black icing.
4. Add a little brown stalk onto the pumpkin hat, and a face to the pumpkin.

ADD STEPS

Witch Totoro
1. Pipe the Totoro base with grey icing. Dry for 30 minutes.
*NOTE: For witch hat, use a small triangle cookie cutter to cut out the hat, then stick to the cookie before baking.
2. Add the hat, eyes and belly. Pipe on the top of the broom with thick consistency icing for the texture of straw. 
3. Add on broom stick and facial details. 
4. Pipe the triangles on Totoro's belly, and the strip on the hat. 

ADD STEPS

Frankenstein Totoro
1. Pipe the base of the cookie with green icing. Dry for 30 minutes.
2. Add white base for the eyes and belly. Wait for outer layer of icing to dry.
3. Pipe triangles on the belly, and facial details. 
4. Add small scar marks with black royal icing. 

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Mummy Totoro
1. Pipe the base of the cookie with grey icing. Dry for 30 minutes.
2. Add white base for the eyes, and a few white strips.   
3. Pipe on the facial details with black icing, and add extra white strips of icing.
4. Add final touches of strips, some layering over the previous ones.

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ROUND UP FROM THIS YEAR
Lyndsay made this adorable Matcha Frankenstein Totoro Cake!  Definitely a matcha made in heaven!

Em made Tamagoyaki Totoros in a rice cooker! Um what? Tamagoyaki is one of my all time favs, so I will definitely be trying these out.

Syl's divine Totoro rice krispie treats have me salivating (though I don't know if I could bear to eat these cuties)! 

Sushi AND Totoro? Yes please! These Totoro Inari by Steph honestly just make me so happy :)

Oh my ghourd, how magic are these Totoro Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Soot Sprite Chocolate Sparkle Cookies - These sweet little morsels are just too sweet. Steph, you smart cookie!

If you make anything Totoro related, or try out any of our recipes, don't forget to use the hashtag #TotoroWeek to show us your creations!

XOX
VIckie

Ama-sting Honey Shortbread Cookies

The first time I made these honeycomb shortbread cookies was over 2 years ago, not long after I began documenting my baking journey on Instagram. Despite the simplicity, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are still one of my favourite creations to date, which is why I want to share the recipe with you all! For someone who usually isn’t a fan of honey, let me assure you - these are worth the buzz. 

HONEY SHORTBREAD COOKIES
Makes 40 small cookies

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 165g butter (at room temperature)
  •  1/4 cup brown sugar
  •  1 Tablespoon honey

    Royal Icing
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Pavlova Magic/meringue powder
  • 5+ Tablespoons hot water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or any other flavouring)
  • Yellow gel food colouring

Directions
1. To make cookies: Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then add honey until just combined. Gradually add in flour and beat on low until dough forms and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Form dough into a disc, and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. 

2. When the dough has chilled, preheat oven to 175ºC and line baking trays with parchment paper. Lightly sprinkle clean surface with flour, and roll out cookie dough to approximately 3/4cm in thickness. Using a small hexagon cookie cutter, cut dough to resemble honeycomb. Place in freezer to chill for 10 minutes before baking.
Optional: You can also cut out mini bee cookies for decoration. Alternatively, store bought or homemade royal icing bees work just as well.

3. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or when edges begin to brown. This will be dependant on size and thickness of cookies, so keep an eye out! Leave them on the tray until warm to touch, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating. 

4. To decorate: While the cookies are cooling, start on the royal icing. Mix the meringue powder and hot water in a large bowl on low speed until the powder has dissolved. Gradually add the icing sugar, and mix on low until combined; then add the flavouring. Beat on medium speed for around 5 minutes, or when the icing is thick and extremely white in colour. 

5. Divide the royal icing into 3 bowls, and dye them 3 different shades of yellow. You may need to add more water for a thinner consistency. Have a look at this guide by Sweet Sugar Belle for more information on icing consistency. Transfer icing into piping bags, then carefully outline and flood the cookies one at a time. Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles or smooth out icing if necessary. Enjoy them as they are, or leave them out to dry overnight for the royal icing to completely set!

Lots of honey coated love,
Vickie xo

Looking Sharp

Aloe world!
I thought I would kick off this blog with one of my favourite cookie creations from this year. For those of you who aren't aware, I've been writing guest posts over at Brit + Co for the last few months. Included is the how-to for these vanilla bean cacti cookies, which may just prickle your fancy!

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Print by  Honey and the Hive .

As this blog unfolds, I hope to inspire some of you along the way, and make you smile a little! 
Now don’t be a prick, share the cookie love ;) Head on over here for the full tutorial.

Lots of suc-cute-lent love,
Vickie x