Halloween Cookies

Halloween Cookies
Servings: 15 Yield: about 15 large cookies and about 1-1/2 dozen small Prep 30 mins Chill 2 hours to overnight Bake 350°F 9 mins per batch


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • Chocolate Cookie Variation (recipe follows)
  • Royal Icing (recipe follows)
  • Paste food colors OR: soft gel paste food colors

Make It

1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt onto waxed paper.

2. Beat butter and sugar in bowl until smooth. Beat in egg, orange rind and juice. Add flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each addition.

3. Shape dough into ball; flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

4. To bake, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets. Roll out half of dough on floured surface to generous 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into shapes, using Halloween cookie cutters, 1-1/2- to 5-3/4-inch. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake in 350 degrees F oven for 9 minutes or until light golden around edges; cookies should not brown. Transfer cookies to rack to cool. Repeat with second half of dough and scraps.

6. Prepare Royal Icing.

Decorate cookies:

7. Using small fine-tipped paintbrush, coat cookies with thinned icing. Let stand until dry. Decorate cookies with thicker icing, piping with pastry bag fitted with writing tip.


Chocolate Variation:
  • Add 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder to flour before sifting in Step 1. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar, for total of 1 cup.
  • Silver dragees (used for eyes) are not FDA-recognized as edible. Use for decoration only; remove before eating.

Royal Icing

Servings: 3 Yield: 3 cups


  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder or powdered egg whites
  • 4 1 pound box confectioners sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water

Make It

1. Beat meringue powder or powdered egg whites, confectioners sugar, sifted, and water in bowl until peaks form, 10 minutes (makes 3 cups). Divide icing in half. To make base coat for glaze: Thin half with water, a drop at a time, until consistency of sour cream. Use thicker second half for piping. Tint icing with food colors.