These Halloween Cookies are so much fun! Make Witch Hats, Frankenstein, Pumpkins, and Spider Cookies from one batch of sugar cookie dough.
It’s fun to make decorated sugar cookies for every holiday but it can be time-consuming. I have a recipe for Four Christmas Cookies From One Basic Dough that I’ve used for years and decided to make a Halloween Cookies version. Turning a single batch of dough into four kinds of cookies saves time and making them all the same shape simplifies things!
Ingredients for Halloween Cookies
Halloween Sugar Cookies
The ingredients needed to make Halloween Cookies are basic sugar cookies dough ingredients with the addition of food coloring and colored sanding sugar. Scroll down for the complete recipe with ingredient measurements.
- Butter: This recipe calls for softened butter. You want the butter to be at room temperature. If it is too cold it won’t cream well and if it is too warm the cookies will spread more.
- Shortening: I like using a combination of butter and shortening in my cookie recipes for the best results.
- Granulated Sugar: Since these are sugar cookies the only sweetener in them is granulated sugar.
- Egg: You’ll only need one large egg to make these Halloween cookies.
- Vanilla: The vanilla extract add flavor to the cookies. Use pure vanilla extract for the best results.
- Flour: We used all purpose flour to make these cookies. Scoop the flour into the measuring cups (no packing) and use the back of a knife to level it off. Using too little or too much flour will change the cookies.
- Baking Soda: The baking soda is the leavener in this cookie recipe.
- Salt: A little salt brings out the flavor in the cookies.
- Food Coloring: I used gel paste food coloring to make these Halloween cookies because it gives the most vibrant colors with only a small amount of food coloring.
- Sanding Sugar: Colored sanding sugar, also known as sparkling sugar or sugar sprinkles, is used to flatten the cookies and add a little sparkle to the tops.
Decorations for Halloween Cookies
In addition to the sugar cookie ingredients, you’ll also need a few decorations to put on the cookies to complete the look!
- Pumpkin Sugar Cookies: The soft caramels are used for the stems on the pumpkin sugar cookies and the green candy melts are used to make the vines.
- Witch Hats Cookies: Orange candy melts and the Hershey’s kisses are used to decorate the witch’s hats.
- Spider Cookies: For the spider cookies, you’ll need eyeball sprinkles for eyes and pretzel pieces for legs.
- Frankenstein Cookies: You’ll also use eyeball sprinkles for the Frankenstein cookies as well as mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and melted chocolate chips.
How To Make Halloween Cookies
Prepare the sugar cookie dough as you normally would. Then, divide the dough into four bowls, color the dough, and bake the cookies. Scroll down for the printable recipe card and complete instructions.
- Make Dough: Combine the butter and shortening. Add the granulated sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes light in color and fluffy in texture. Then, beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the dry ingredients.
- Color Dough: Divide the sugar cookie dough into four bowls. Each bowl had about 3/4 cups of dough. Add food coloring to each bowl and stir each bowl until the color is even throughout the dough.
- Form Cookies: To get evenly sized balls of dough, use a dough scoop. I used a small, #60 dough scoop which is about one tablespoon.
- Flatten Cookies: Moisten the bottom of a glass, dip it in sanding sugar in the coordinating color and use it to slightly flatten the cookie dough balls, re-dipping it in the sanding sugar each time.
- Bake Cookies: After baking the Halloween cookies and use the instructions below to decorate each color to make different things.
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Use orange food coloring to tint the bowl of pumpkin sugar cookie dough. Scoop the balls of dough and use orange sanding sugar to flatten them slightly. After baking the pumpkin sugar cookies, allow them to cool completely before decorating them.
Once the pumpkin sugar cookies are cool, press a soft caramel onto the top of each cookie and bend it slightly at the top. Melt the green candy melts in the microwave and pipe little vines on each one.
Witch Hats Cookies
Tint the second bowl of dough purple to make witch’s hats. Scoop the dough and use purple sanding sugar to slightly flatten the cookies.
Right after removing the cookies from the oven press an orange candy melt into the center of each cookie. Once it softens, press a Hershey’s Kiss into each candy melt.
To make the spider cookies, use black food coloring to tint a bowl of dough. Scoop balls of dough and use black sanding sugar to slightly flatten them.
Immediately after baking the cookies, press eyeball sprinkles and eight pretzel pieces for legs into each cookie while they are still soft.
To make the Frankenstein cookies, tint the cookie dough with green food coloring. Scoop the cookie dough balls and use green sanding sugar to slightly flatten the cookies.
Right after baking the Frankenstein cookies, while they are still warm, press halves of mini peanut butter cups and eyeball sprinkles into the cookies. Once they’ve cooled, melt the chocolate chips and pipe a mouth and hair onto each monster cookie.
Halloween Cookies Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make just one or two kinds of Halloween cookies by tinting more of the dough the chose color. You’ll also need more decorations for the type of cookie(s) you choose.
You could use this cookie dough to make plain sugar cookies and decorate them with buttercream frosting. Add M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces to the dough for a little crunch. Other ideas include mummies, skulls, candy corn, ghosts, and spider webs.
Prepare the cookie dough as directed in the recipe but rather than placing the pans of cookies in the oven place them in the freezer for a couple of hours until hardened. Then, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer until ready to use.
Want more Halloween recipes? Try these next:
Three ingredient Halloween Oreo Fudge is easy enough to make last-minute and so much fun to serve on a dessert tray.
These family-friendly Halloween Drinks are so much fun! Let the kids decorate the cups and choose their favorite syrups.
Halloween Candy Bar Pretzel Bites are easy to make with mini candy bars sandwiched between pretzels. A spooky treat that is perfect for Halloween parties!
- ⅓ cups butter softened
- ⅓ cups shortening
- 1 cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ⅔ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- food coloring orange, purple, black, and green
- 8 tablespoon sanding sugar 2 tablespoon each of orange, purple, black, and green
Halloween Cookie Decorations
- 9 soft caramels pumpkins
- ¼ cup green candy melts melted (pumpkins)
- 36 eyeball sprinkles spiders and Frankenstein
- 72 pretzel pieces 8 legs for each spider
- 9 orange candy melts witch’s hats
- 9 Hershey’s Kisses witch’s hats
- 9 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups sliced in half (Frankenstein)
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips melted (spiders and Frankenstein)
Basic Sugar Cookie Dough:
- Combine the butter and shortening. Then, cream with the granulated sugar until light in color and fluffier in texture about 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Divide the dough into four bowls, about 3/4 cup of dough in each bowl.
- Add food coloring to each bowl (orange for pumpkins, purple for witch hats, black for spiders, and green for Frankenstein) and stir to combine.
- Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough onto parchment-covered baking sheets.
- Put each color of sanding sugar into a separate bowl. Moisten the bottom of a glass, dip it in the sanding sugar that is the same color as the dough and flatten the cookie dough balls slightly redipping for each cookie dough ball.
- Bake at 375˚F for 6-8 minutes. Follow the instructions below for each type of Halloween cookie. Some need to cool and some need to be decorated while still hot.
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies:
- Allow the pumpkin sugar cookies to cool completely.
- Press a caramel onto the top of each pumpkin sugar cookie for a stem, giving it a slight bend at the top.
- Use the melted green candy melts to make spirals at the base of the stems.
Witch Hats Sugar Cookies:
- Right after removing them from the oven, while the cookies are still warm, press an orange candy melt into the center of each one.
- Once the orange candy melt has softened, press a Hershey’s Kiss into each one.
- Right after removing them from the oven, while the cookies are still warm, press two eyeball sprinkles into each of the cookies, near the edge, for eyes. Then, press eight pretzel pieces into the edges of each cookie for legs.
- Right after removing them from the oven, while the cookies are still warm, press eyeball sprinkles into the center of each cookie for eyes. Then, press mini peanut butter cup halves into the sides for ears.
- Once the cookies have cooled, use melted chocolate chips to pipe a mouth and eyes onto each cookie.
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