New Ways to Celebrate Halloween with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

Tuesday 30th, September 2014 / 19:37 Written by
New Ways to Celebrate Halloween with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

One Sugar Cookie Recipe that Serves as the Ultimate Party Planner



As fall decorations and jack-o’-lanterns begin to grace the doorsteps of homes across America, frequent visits to costume and party stores are in order as Halloween approaches.

“Halloween was once known by the Celts as a day to bridge to the world of the dead, but is now associated with merriment and fun,” says Craig Nielsen, CEO of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc. “We at Nielsen-Massey see the holiday as a time for adults and children alike to take on new personas at costume parties and indulge in sweet treats for the evening, including our “spooktacular” cookie recipes.”

Embrace the holiday spirit and let Nielsen-Massey Vanillas assist you in planning every aspect of your Halloween celebrations by baking versatile Spooktacular Almond Sugar Cookies:

  • Serve Some Halloween Treats: Nielsen-Massey Vanillas offers multiple flavor extracts that are used in deliciously haunting recipes, such as the Spooktacular Almond Sugar Cookies, and are the perfect complement to any table of sweets. Pull out some orange or black plates to add to the festivity.
  • Extend Hospitality with Festive Party Favors: Encourage guests to bring home a small taste of their sweet and spooky evening by wrapping up their cookies and candy in cellophane and tying it with an orange ribbon to add a memorable touch.
  • Create Unforgettable Decorations: Roll out your sugar cookie dough and use pumpkins, ghosts and other spooky shapes to cut out cookies perfect for forming a haunting Halloween scene. Use frosting and other small candies to keep the cookies upright and display miniature Halloween decorations to set up a nighttime scene.

Infusing the smooth, rich flavors of vanilla into your baked goods is a timeless way to highlight one of America’s favorite holidays. The recipe for Spooktacular Almond Sugar Cookies with Almond Glaze and Almond Piping Icing, below, from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas blends the sweet, mellow notes of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract with Pure Almond Extract to create cookies that are rich yet delicate and will be your new essential for Halloween party planning.

Spooktacular Almond Sugar Cookies (Makes about 3 dozen)


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar (purchase or process granulated sugar for about 20 seconds in a food processor)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3¼ teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
2 eggs
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar (for dusting work surface)
¼ cup all-purpose flour (for dusting work surface)

Position oven rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350⁰F. Line two large, heavy light-colored baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt until blended; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar, cream, vanilla and almond extracts; beat with a handheld mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to medium-low; add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients one half at a time.

Divide dough into two even pieces, press each piece into a disk shape, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Dough should be cool and firm but easy to work with.

In a small bowl, whisk confectioners’ sugar and flour until blended; set aside. Working with one piece of dough at a time, place on a clean, dusted surface. Roll dough to about ⅛-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes and transfer with a thin offset metal spatula to prepared cookie sheets. For even baking, do not overcrowd cookies. Gather remaining dough, cover with plastic and chill. Continue with second chilled dough.

For best results, bake one sheet pan at a time until done, about 10 minutes; remove and place cookies on wire racks to cool. Decorate and store in an airtight container.

Almond Glaze and Almond Piping Icing
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract (may substitute with Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)
variety gel food colors

In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and meringue powder. Add water and almond extract, stir until smooth. Glaze cookies in desired colors and set aside to dry before piping. For the piping icing, remake the glaze recipe and add additional confectioners’ sugar, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Divide icing into small bowls; add desired gel colors. Select pastry tips, prepare pastry bags and creatively pipe icing onto glazed cookies.

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also offers a full line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are All-Natural, Allergen-Free, and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.


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