With Christmas right around the corner, the ever popular cookie party is popping up in many homes. Tim Burton and Henry Selick’s classic stop motion film Nightmare Before Christmas felt like a perfect place to start for a different style of cookie party. Both strange and adorable, the film and these snacks will delight your guests, and they are easy to make!
What’s This?!: A Cocktail
You will Need:
- A Cocktail shaker
- A cocktail glass of your choice
- Can of 7-up, Sprite or other Lemon Lime Soda
- Cranberry Juice
- Sweet and Sour Mix
- Blue Curacao
- Colored sugar for the rim of the glass (optional)
- Cranberries (optional)
Line rim of the glasses with the colored sugar by dipping the rim in a plate of water and then immediately dipping the glass into a plate of sugar. In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in 3 oz vodka, 1 1/2 oz of cranberry juice, 1/2 oz blue curacao, 1/2 oz sweet and sour mix, half a can of lemon lime soda. Shake the concoction and strain into prepared glasses. Add cranberries for garnish.
This Year Candycanes will be Ours!
You Will Need:
- Peppermint Sticks or Candy Canes
- Melting chocolate such as Candiquik or Wilton (we used Candiquick). Both white and milk chocolate
- gel food coloring (available in the baking section of craft stores and baking suppliers)
Microwave the chocolate per instructions on the package. This will guide you far better than we can from here. Dip peppermint sticks in the chocolate so that part of the top of the stick still shows. Set aside to cool and harden. Melt white chocolate and use the gel food coloring (a little goes a long way) to color it. Using the toothpicks, drizzle the colored chocolate over the dipped peppermint sticks to make designs. You will have a candy descending into the maddness of Jack’s dreams.
Crooked Candy Cookies
You Will Need:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (or flavoring of your choice)
- 1/4 tsp red food coloring (or coloring of your choice)
- Wax paper
- Cookie Sheet
Cream the butter and sugar together, preferably with a hand mixer. Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Slowly mix in to the sugary mix to form a soft dough. Divide the dough in half and set one half aside. Add flavoring and food color to the other half. Using two pieces of wax paper flatten out one half of the dough. Repeat with the color. Lay these pieces on top of each other. Using a piece of wax paper, roll the dough into a tube like a peppermint candy. Roll the tube until it lengthens and is about 1 inch thick. Place in the fridge until firm. We found two hours was enough, but the dough can last up to overnight if you want to do this right before the party.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the dough and cut into thin slices. Place these onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until baked but not burned. Cool and eat. We made both lemon and peppermint batches. Neither lasted very long before being consumed.
What Holiday Cookie Party would be complete without the infamous gingerbread man. With a little art skill on the decorating front, you can make a magical Nightmare Before Christmas Scene (or if you have my skill, you can make a mess).
You Will Need:
- Cookie Sheets
- Wax paper for cookie sheets
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup (two sticks) of softened butter
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbs milk (you can use almond, soy or coconut milk in its place if that’s your thing)
- 3 1/4 cup flour, plus extra to dust when rolling out the dough
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Cookie Cutters
- Baking Sheet
- Rolling pin
Cream the butters and sugars together. Add the egg, molasses and milk. Mix flour and other ingredients together and slowly mix into the sugar combination to create a sticky dough. Cover and place in the fridge for at least one hour. Dump dough on to floured surface and roll out dough. Use the cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Place shapes on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-8 minutes. Cool and then decorate with the icing below, or your preferred icing.
Be warned, this is a recipe for good tasting icing, but it is a pain and a half to deal with. For stiffer icing, add a cup more powdered sugar.
You Will Need:
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 6 Tbs milk
- 6 Tbs light cornsyrup
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract or clear vanilla extract
- Plastic sandwich bag (or cake decorating equipment if you’re fancy)
- Food coloring
Mix powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. A mixer or whisk helps a great deal. Add
in the corn syrup and flavoring. Mix until shiny and smooth. It should fall off the beater or whisk easily. Place in a plastic bag and cut a small corner off the bottom. For different colors, place a few drops of food coloring in with the frosting and swish it around in an uncut sandwich bag. Warning, this icing is really runny and is good for filling in large spaces. As specified above, the thicker the icing you want, the more powdered sugar you should add. Decorate the cookies and let them dry.
Jack’s Naughty List:
- Pricing on this “meal” was difficult as I’m an avid baker and most of this stuff was already in my house. If you’re not used to baking, you will find yourself buying sugar, eggs, butter, flour etc.
- The icing is the bane of my existence. All the decorations for the Gingerdead men were done by the ever talented and always majestic Lisa Weaver. Mine all looked like smudges. I guess what I’m saying here is results are not typical with those, but the pinwheel cookies are really hard to screw up.
- This is a lot of sugar and should not be eaten in one sitting.
- One minute of film for Nightmare Before Christmas took a week.
- Only 4 people carved all of the different characters for the film
- Jack had over 400 different heads and Sally had different masks for each expression because her red hair was too hard to duplicate for multiple models.
From all of us here at The Cantina Scene, Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Fright!
The Cantina Scene is a monthly column written by Victoria Irwin featuring a nerd themed meal that you can pass off to your non -nerdy friends and family. All meals are designed to be done inexpensively, so you’re not breaking the bank. We would love to hear your ideas for themes, recipes, and plans to take over the world. Email [email protected]