This magnificent display of cookies and chocolate mousse is perfect if you want to wow everyone at your Halloween party. It's quite a showstopper, but you have to be willing to put in a little extra work. The cookies are adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe for Sugar Cookies and the mousse is adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe.
If you want, you can make the mousse the night before and the cookies the day of. The cookies do not take so long and the mousse has to stay in the fridge for 5 hours. —Isobel
between 15 - 30 cookies and a lot of mousse
chocolate (dark or milk, depending on your tastes)
oreo cookies without the icing, crumbled
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water with the syrup and the water. Whisk in all together until smooth and remove from heat.
In an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks. It is very important not to under-mix, if you do your mousse will be runny.
Transfer the chocolate mixture into a large bowel. One by one, beat in the egg yolks.
Now take one-dollop of egg whites and swiftly beat them into the egg and chocolate mixture. Now fold in the rest of the egg whites. You should do this in as little folds as possible and keep your grip light but firm.
Once they are all mixed in, leave the mousse in the fridge for at least 5 hours.
Tombstone Cookies and Icing
Chop up your chocolate. The point of the dark chocolate pieces are to make the grey dough look like mottled granite. Make sure the pieces are small enough that they won't poke out of the thin cookies, but big enough that they don't just melt into the dough.
Sift together the dry ingredients. In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it is soft and light colored. Add the egg, brandy, and vanilla to the butter and sugar. Beat well.
Now add the black food coloring. You will need different amounts depending on the type you have. I use gel, and use probably 1/4 teaspoon. Add the coloring until the mixture is a grey color. Remember - you are trying to imitate stone.
Slowly add the dry ingredients and the chocolate to the mixture and mix until a dough forms. Wrap and chill the dough for at least 30 min.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cookies to around 1/8 inch thick. Cut out into the shapes of tombstones. I usually just do a rectangle with a curved top, but you can get creative here. Just make sure no part of your shape is so thin it burns.
Put the shapes onto parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on racks.
Now for the icing. This is a simple royal icing. Just mix the powdered sugar and the water until you get a consistency you like. Make sure the icing isn't so watery that you can't write with it. Add in black food coloring until the icing is very dark. Using a toothpick, you can write "RIP" or other messages on the cookies.
Time to assemble your masterpiece! Get a large and shallow baking dish. Any sort of platter will work that's this shape, so use what works best for you. Decant the mousse into the dish and even it out. Now crumble a bunch of oreo cookies on top. It should look like dirt! Get your iced tombstones out and stick them into the "ground." Placement is up to you. Feel free to get creative. Maybe you can even add some gummy worms into the mud for kids to find, or little paper cut out ghosts!