This is my Halloween bat themed version, of savoury biscuits that originate from my husband’s homeland – Turkey. Known as Tuzlu Kurabiye, it literally translates as salty biscuit. Halloween Savoury Bat Cookies (biscuits), are perfect for pairing with your favourite cheese, or dip, but equally good snacked on alone. They are very moreish…. you won’t be disappointed.
**Original recipe 5/10/18, Recipe Card Oct 2021, new photos 25/10/22
Biscuits Or Cookies?
For our American readers, UK biscuits are our name for cookies and not to be confused with American biscuits. If you want to read more on the different names used in different countries, see my article Differences Between UK & US Baking Ingredients
Money Saving Option
The original recipe from 2018, used Margarine or in more recent times, Baking Spread. That is made up of vegetable fats & the best equivalent in the states seems to be, (with a relatively high fat percentage) was Country Crock ‘Unsalted Baking Sticks’, with 79% of such fats.
So if making a lot of cookies for the holidays, & with the cost of butter increasing all the time, this is a money saving option, that has been tested and guaranteed to work.
However, not using butter, the chilling time is much longer & why I changed the recipe to butter. They do still work great without butter, but just be prepared for chilling the rolled-out dough for about 3 hours or even overnight. Same goes for before baking the biscuits. A longer chilling time will be required then also. And freezing to speed up the chilling, doesn’t seem to work as well when not butter based dough.
Process At A Glance
These savoury biscuits are super simple to make and ideal to make with kids. The process is like any other biscuit or cookie recipe. With no technical knowledge or equipment required.
Simply prepare the dough in a stand or hand-mixer, roll out and then chill the dough. This is an essential part of this recipe. Then simply cut out the cookies, chill again & top with egg wash and seeds, before baking.
So what are the ingredients in these savoury bat biscuits/cookie?
Well we mentioned butter already & not a large proportion either for about 4 dozen biscuits. In baking you should always use unsalted butter, as salted contains a higher percentage of water than unsalted and this can affect some bakes. Also different brands have a different amount of salt in them, so can be hard to judge how much extra salt to add if the recipe calls for salt also.
But if you need to use salted, omit the teaspoon of salt. If after trying them, you want them a bit more salty add about ⅛ tsp or even just add crushed sea salt with the seed toppings.
You can use any other neutral tasting oil in place of vegetable oil.
Apple Cider Vinegar can also be used and since it is only a very small amount, and for reaction with the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), regular vinegar would also work.
Bicarbonate Of Soda
Another name for Bicarbonate of Soda, is Baking Soda, and you can either weigh it or use measuring spoons.
Egg yolk is used in the biscuit dough and the whites (with a little milk), as an egg wash & for adding the seeds. Any size of egg is fine, but if very small you might not have enough egg white for brushing on top of all the biscuits. But you can always whisk another small whole egg at the end if you run out.
The equivalent to Icing Sugar, is Powdered Sugar. US Confectioners’ Sugar can also be used for this particular recipe, but note that this also has corn starch (cornflour) added.
If you only have caster sugar (extra/super fine sugar, Bakers’ sugar) you could substitute with 1¾ tsp of this instead, and beat with the butter at step 1.
The equivalent of UK Plain Flour is US All Purpose flour (A.P.). For this recipe, the amount is an approximate, and added gradually until a smooth cookie dough comes together (more details on recipe).
Seeds For The Topping
The left-over egg white is combined with a little milk, to brush on top of the cookies, and for adding your seeds of choice.
Sesame Seeds are a popular choice, and you can add as is, or even pre-toast them if you like. The black seeds in the photos are Turkish seeds called – Çörek Otu. Nigella Seeds is another name for them (not the same as black sesame seeds although they would be good too). Which reminds me, that US ‘Everything But The Bagel’ seasoning could also be used. Other options are flax seed, poppy seeds, chai seeds, pumpkin seeds, anything you enjoy.
Cookie Cutter To Use
I used a bat cookie cutter, that was 11cm x 5cm (4⅓ ” x 2″) at it widest length & width. You can of course use any cutters or sizes you like, just be aware of baking them for a shorter or longer time. I would not advise using stamp/push-out cookie cutters as the dough is very delicate and would stick to it.
See my photo above where I used various Autumn/Fall shaped cookie cutters.
This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies, but depends on the size of your cutters. Just be sure to use up all of the dough.
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Ideas For A Quick Dip
Eat these savoury biscuits as they are, with cheese, or with some dip. Aldi Caramelised Onion Hummus is a favourite of mine.
For the dark & moody bat photos, I quickly put together a suitably Halloween coloured dip, just from some mayonnaise, ketchup & Sriracha sauce. You could also make one using mustard or curry sauce/powder and mix into mayonnaise, with a touch of ketchup if you want an orange colour.
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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: beginner, super simple
Cheese version of these Turkish savoury biscuits/cookies above.
HALLOWEEN SAVOURY BAT COOKIES – Scary Savoury Snacks
- Scales or measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Large spoon
- Small measuring jug
- 2 Small Bowls (to separate eggs)
- Stand or Hand Mixer (not essential)
- Baking trays/sheets (2-3 large)
- Baking/parchment paper
- Cookie Cutters (Bats or other Halloween or Autumn/Fall shapes)
- Pastry Brush (or Small Paint/Artist brush)
- Palette knife, or butter knife
- Cooling rack
- Timer or Phone Timer
For The Cookie Dough
- 125 grams Butter, unsalted, cubed & softened a little. (1 stick + 2 tsp, 4½oz)*
- 120 ml Oil (4 fl oz, ½ cup, Vegetable oil or other neutral oil)
- 1 ½ tbsp Cider Vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar or Vinegar)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 10 grams Bicarbonate of Soda 2 scant tsps- below level, of Baking Soda)
- 1 Egg Yolk (keep white for glazing on top)
- 3 tsp Icing Sugar (powdered sugar)
- 312 grams Plain Flour (approximately) (2½ cups All Purpose Flour, 11oz approximately)
For The Topping
- 1 Egg white (from above with a splash of milk or cream)
- Seeds of choice (optional) (sesame seeds, Poppy seeds, pumpkin, sunflower, Nigella seeds, Chai seeds, Flax Seed, etc.)
* See notes & before Recipe Card, for alternative ingredients
- Start by cubing the butter while measuring it out, & leave to soften & come to room temperature. But if you forget, or are short on time, why not try this hack I reviewed? Go to How To Soften Butter In About 12 minutes Video.
- Prepare your baking sheets/trays by lining with baking/parchment paper.
Prepare The Biscuit/Cookie Dough
- When the butter is ready, (see video on how to test if butter is ready for baking), beat a little with a hand/stand mixer until soft & spreadable. Then add in the icing/powdered sugar & salt, before beating again just until incorporated. (See Photo 1 below). Next mix in the egg yolk & oil.
- Add the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to the vinegar in a small bowl, but not too small as the mixture will react and fizz. Be ready to quickly add this to the main mixing bowl & give it all a mix through. See Photo 1 above.
- Next add in the flour very gradually until you get a very thick & smooth dough coming together. I add in about 125g (1 cup) of flour at a time. You might need more or less. Different types of flour, where & how it’s milled, result in a variation in how much liquid it will absorb. Therefore there can be no exact amount of flour to add with lots of recipes. To tell if it’s the correct consistency, roll a smooth ball of the dough & flatten it with your hand. If you can do that without it falling apart or sticking to your hand, it is ready. You can also swap over to a wooden spoon/spatula or use your hands, towards the end of bringing the dough together (and save on it all being on your mixer). See Photo 2 above.
- Now cut out 2 extra large pieces of baking/parchment paper (approximately 40cm/15.5″ long). Give the dough a quick 5 second knead & form into a ball. Half the dough, flatten both into a disc & pop one half into the fridge in some paper. See Photo 3 below.
- Place one half of dough, in the centre of the 2 large sheets of baking/parchment paper. Roll out the dough until you get a thickness of at least 5 or 6mm (⅕-¼"). (*That is the height of a £1 coin plus a 1p). Pop the rolled out dough (with the bottom paper), onto a tray in your fridge & make sure it is completely flat. Then chill the dough for 30 – 45 minutes**, while you do the same for the second half of the dough. (Be sure to take a note of when you place the first rolled out dough into the fridge). See Photo 3 above.
Cut Out The Cookies
- When 30 minutes is up, you can start to cut out the cookies. Begin by dipping the bat cutter in a small bowl of flour, shake the excess & cut out as many cookies as you can. (Or use several different cutters). See Photo 4 below. Lift gently with a palette knife or butter knife, & place on the prepared baking tray/sheet & leave a little gap in-between each.
- Once the first tray/sheet is filled, place in the fridge, roll up the scraps & also place in the fridge, while you continue to cut more from the second half of the rolled dough. Take a note of the time you placed the first prepared tray in the fridge as you will be chilling for another 1 hour (or freeze for 20 – 30 minutes. See notes below). See Photo 5 below.
- Heat up the oven to 180°c/160°c fan oven/350°f/Gas Mark 4 to coincide with the end of the chilling time for the first batch of bat cookies. Just before the oven is ready, you can add some details to your bats, like eyes. Then get your egg white mixed with a splash of milk, & very delicately, brush generously onto the tops of the cookies. And finally, sprinkle or place seeds on top if desired. (See Photos 5 & 6).
Bake The Bat Cookies
- Place the first batch in the oven, for about 14-16 mins, until turning golden on top & around the edges. You want the cookies to be set, but just a little soft in the middle. (Note if your cookies are thinner than mine, you might need a bit less time). Just remember, that the cookies will continue to bake out of the oven, from residual heat coming from the baking sheet/tray. While the first batch are cooking, you can add details, egg wash & seeds to your second batch & pop back in the fridge till ready to bake. (See Photo 7 below).
- Remove the baked cookies from the oven & leave to cool on the tray/sheet for 5 mins. Meanwhile you can put the other uncooked cookies in to be baked. Then transfer very carefully to a cooling rack by using the baking/parchment paper. They are a very soft textured biscuit/cookie, so be very careful not to drop them. Leave to cool & then enjoy!
Storage & Serving
- Store in an air-tight container. I recommend cake tins for all baked goods. These will actually stay fresh tasting for about a week. Keep the used baking/parchment paper in the tin too – this has always helped me store my bakes longer.
- Eat as they are, with some of your favourite cheeses, or dip in hummus (caramelised onion is a favourite!). For the dark & moody bat photos, I quickly put together a suitably Halloween coloured dip, just from some mayonnaise, ketchup & Sriracha sauce.
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