Creeping It Real With These Tea-Licious Frankenstein Halloween Cookies Recipe
Halloween is just around the corner, and what’s better than creeping it real with some tea-rrific matcha Frankenstein cookies. These may look like a pain in the neck to make, but they are actually quite simple — you may just need some patience! Take these babies to your next Halloween party, but let me warn you… your friends may go a little nuts. Who would have thought Frankenstein and green tea would be a matcha made in heaven?
Makes approximately 40 x 1.5-inch square cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons unsweetened green tea powder (matcha)
- 230 grams (a hair over 1 cup) softened unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- black and white royal or cookie icing
- white chocolate melts and matcha powder (optional)
- heart or bone sprinkles (optional)
1. To make cookies: Sift matcha and flour in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy; then add vanilla until incorporated. Gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined, then shape into two evenly sized discs and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Note: Depending on personal preference, feel free to add more or less matcha to the dough.
2. When dough has chilled, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking tray with parchment paper. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into squares. Transfer onto baking tray and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking.
3. Bake for approximately 14-16 minutes, or when edges begin to brown. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
4. To decorate: Using store bought or homemade cookie/royal icing, pipe on the eyes with white icing, then add the hair, scars and facial details with black icing. You can use a thin piping tip, or just cut a small hole at the end of your Ziplock or piping bag.
Optional: Add nuts and bolts on the side of Frankenstein’s face to give him a little more character. Using heart or bone sprinkles, cut off the end with a sharp knife. Stick them onto the cookies with melted chocolate and paint with silver edible paint for extra detailing.
5. As an option to sweeten the cookies, dip the back of the cookies in chocolate. As an example, you can use chocolate melts with a bit of matcha powder mixed in. Other flavours and types of chocolate would work too!
Remember to chill in the freezer before baking. This will minimise spreading and keep the cookies in shape.Leave cookies to cool completely before decorating!
And the decorating begins! Start off by piping the eyes with white royal icing, then add the hair, scars and facial details with black icing. How simple is that?Pipe away! Don’t be afraid to add different variations to the adorable faces!
Not your typical Frankenstein, but aren’t they cute?
To add more sweetness to the cookies, dip the back in melted chocolate. This can be as simple as chocolate melts with a touch of matcha powder mixed in. You can, of course, use any type of flavor and chocolate you prefer.
Optional: Add nuts and bolts on the side of Frankenstein’s face to give him a little more character. Using heart or bone sprinkles, cut off the end with a sharp knife. Stick them onto the cookies with melted chocolate and paint with silver edible paint as the finishing touch.
And that’s it! Now you have an army of delicious and almost-too-cute-to-eat Frankenstein cookies.
Frankenstein and green tea seem to be the perfect matcha!
Isn’t he such a cu-tea?
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Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com