Scare up a Sweet Treat with These Spooky Halloween Pumpkin Cookies.
I love this time of the year. Our neighborhood kids are out playing most of the time, and it is a lot of fun to treat them to fun Halloween cookies. There is something about the cooler temperatures here in NC that brings people outdoors after our hot and humid summer. These spooky Halloween Pumpkin Cookies are the perfect treat for your family or neighborhood friends.
Imagine the delight at your Halloween party when you surprise your trick or treaters to some spooky pumpkin cookies. Just wait for the squeals!
Baking for the holidays is such fun. I just ordered a set of festive cookie cutters. I want to be able to bake my way through the next few months and the cookie cutters are the perfect size and have so many holidays themes in them.
I also just got a fantastic new silicone baking mat from Chef Clever that is just itching to get a work out. I’ve used lots of baking mats in my time and I love this one. It is the perfect size, is thicker than the ones I have tried, and has circles for placing cookies as well as rulers on the edges for measuring too.
So what to make? Well my options for the Halloween cookie cutters were a bat, two sizes of pumpkins (one really big) a black cat, a haunted house, a witches hat, a ghost and a crescent moon. I know I’ll probably make them all during the next two months but for today’s treat, I chose the pumpkin shape. It’s going to end up as a double sugar Jack-O-Lantern cookie with chocolate center icing that shows through my cut outs. Fun for the kids and fun to make too!
Start by mixing your dry ingredients and whisking them together. By the way…don’t you love my duck canisters? My husband and I love to go antique hunting and I found these for a steal. He thought I had lost my mind at first but they have grown on him….
I used a stand mixer to combine my ingredients, because there are five cups of flour and it needs a deep bowl. Add the flour slowly so it will mix well.
Then wrap the dough in saran wrap and place in the fridge for an hour or overnight. It will handle and cut so much better if you make sure to do this, because of all the butter.
Start by rolling out the dough on a floured surface to a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Then cut your dough into pumpkin shapes using the cookie cutter. Use a sharp knife to lightly score the dough so that it looks like a pumpkin. Cut decorative, spooky faces on 1/2 of the cookie shapes. The openings will allow the chocolate frosting to show through when assembled and will give the cookie a fun look. I cut the top layer of cookies a bit thicker than the bottom, since I massacred the first group I tried to cut faces on. Believe me…they cut much more easily if they are thicker.
Line your cookie sheet with the silicone baking mat and place your cookie shapes on the silicone mat. These cookies are pretty big so I just spaced them out instead of using the circles.
Bake for approximately 6-8 minutes or until the cookies start to turn a light golden brown on the edges (bake longer if you want a crispier cookie). Let the cookies cool for at least 15 minutes before assembling the cookies.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare your icing. The frosting should be thick but spreadable. Place 1 plain cookie shape and spread a layer of the chocolate frosting on it.
Top it with a face cookie and press to combine. The frosting will sort of ooze up through the face holes and it gives the pumpkin the traditional Jack-O-Lantern look. I love the way these came out. You can play with the cuttings on the cookies to give each one a slightly different look. They have a bunch of emotions, from happy to perplexed to grumpy! I guess I could eat one each day to go with whatever mood hits me, but I think I really oughta save them for the kids. Maybe. Perhaps. What do you think?
If you want a bit more color, purchase a tube of Wilton sparkle gel green frosting and decorate the top stem too.Looking for more fun tips for hosting a Halloween party? Be sure to check out this article for lots of Halloween tips, recipes and spooky drink ideas.
- For the cookies:
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- For the frosting:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ cup skim milk
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- optional: green Sparkle gel for the stem
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. Using the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Mix in the eggs and pure vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture a bit at a time until well combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 400º F. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a ¼ to ½ inch thickness. Cut your dough into pumpkin shapes using the cookie cutter. Use a sharp knife to lightly score the dough so that it looks like a pumpkin. Cut decorative, spooky faces from ½ of the cookie shapes.
- Line your cookie sheet with the silicone baking mat and place your cookie shapes on the mat. Bake for approximately 6 minutes or until the cookies start to turn a light golden brown on the edges (bake longer if you want a crispier cookie). Let the cookies cool for at least 15 minutes before assembling the cookies.
- While the cookies are cooling, prepare your icing.
- Melt the butter in the microwave, then stir in the cocoa powder. Add the milk and vanilla extract, and whisk until frothy. Make sure the cocoa powder is very well dissolved. In a stand mixer with a beater attachment, work the powdered sugar into the liquids a little at a time until fully incorporated. The frosting should be thick but spreadable. If it is too runny, add more powdered sugar; if it is too stiff, add in a teaspoon of milk.
- Use immediately, or store in the fridge, then whip again until fluffy when ready to use. This will keep for several days the fridge, tightly covered.
- Spread the plain bottom pumpkin with chocolate frosting. Place the decorative pumpkin face cookie on top and squeeze so the frosting comes up through the face holes.
- If you want a bit more color, use Wilton green sparkle gel to decorate the stem area.
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