I promised my nieces Halloween Cookies. “Aunt Holly, will you bake some Halloween cookies?” No problem. “Fancy-spooky decorated ones?” Ummm… Sure kids, why not.
I used to love baking elaborately decorated sugar cookies for Christmas, but that was back when I had a large kitchen to work in with lots of counter space to roll out dough. Now I have a tiny apartment kitchen and that is just not happening. However, baking in my Mom’s large kitchen sounded fun so I filled up a bag with baking supplies and headed over to visit.
There is nothing like trying to cook in someone else’s kitchen to make you feel lost. Every two minutes I was finding myself asking something like “Mom, where’s your rolling pin?” or “Mom, where do you keep your measuring spoons?” I used to live here. I should know these things.
Using my go-to cookie cutter sugar cookie recipe and some cookie cutters, I baked up my Halloween shapes. And then I realized I didn’t have my piping bags or tips. I had remembered to bring everything from food colouring to more sprinkles than any one person should own, but I had no piping bags or tips.
How was I supposed to decorate these? I didn’t just promise them cookies. I promised them “fancy-spooky decorated” cookies. They needed to be at least decorated enough to impress the kids. I had a variety of sprinkles, candy corn, some Wilton “Candy Eyeballs”, and some frosting. Okay, let’s do this
I used a basic buttercream frosting with gel food colouring. Using the old trick of taking a Ziplock bag and cutting off the bottom corner, instead of a piping bag, I did my best to turn my basic bats, ghosts, pumpkins, and skulls into super spooky Halloween cookies.
Some icing and lots of sprinkles later and I had cookies I could feel proud of. If I had my icing bags and tips I could have made the eyes myself, but I actually like the look I got with the Wilton “Candy Eyeballs”. Everything tasted great and in the end they were “fancy-spooky” enough for the kids. Mission accomplished.
Go-To Cookie Cutter Sugar Cookies Recipe
¾ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
With an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl for about one minute or until it is light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well making sure everything is thoroughly mixed together. Add in your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) and mix until well combined.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. This will make the dough firm and help the cookies to keep their shape while baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut out cookies with cookie cutters and place on baking sheet. For best results, line baking sheets with parchment paper. Parchment paper will make it easier to remove the cookies and prevents the bottoms from getting overcooked. If the dough gets too soft while you are working with it just pop it in the freezer for a couple minutes.
Bake for 6-8 minutes. You want to pull them out before the edges start to look golden on the edges. Let them sit on the sheet for 1 to 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool. Make sure they are completely cool before frosting.