Halloween Sugar Cookies

I volunteered to make dessert for the Halloween party we attend every year on the Saturday before Halloween. I wanted to make decorated cookies, but I didn’t have a favorite sugar cookie recipe. Then I got an email from My Recipes for Halloween sandwich cookies with the perfect dough – buttery, not too sweet and easy to make. The only change I made to the recipe was to use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour.

I skipped making sandwich cookies in favor of decorating the tops with both vanilla and chocolate icing. I don’t often pull out the icing and get fancy. I usually make drop cookies, or even bar cookies, so I can dump all the dough in a pan and get the baking done in one batch.

I made a double batch of the dough the day before I wanted to bake and formed it into 3-inch diameter logs. After an overnight chill, I was able to slice and bake the cookies in no time. I wanted to save my energies for the decorating, which isn’t my forte. I used a ziplock bag with the corner cut off as a stand in for a real piping bag, and I cut the first hole way too big. Instead of getting another bag, I pushed all the icing to the other corner and cut that one with a smaller hole. I wanted to save time and didn’t want to waste what was probably a 2-cent bag. I should know better.

I thought I would have no problem keeping the icing in the corner away from the extra hole. No dice. I spent the whole decorating time readjusting the bag and wiping off icing that squirted out the wrong way. Then the bag was sticky and buttery on the outside, so I had trouble keeping my grip. Rich was taking pictures and I know he was biting his tongue to keep from asking me why I didn’t get another bag. He is a smart man! I can’t say I am a smart woman.

Despite my frustrations, we ended up with almost three dozen beautiful (if I say so myself!), buttery cookies with just the right amount of icing to take to our party. They were quite the success, though we brought home more than I would have liked, since I like them way too much.

I used this icing, but feel free to use your own icing, or just sprinkle sugar on the cookies before baking and skip the icing completely.

Vanilla and Chocolate Icings
From the Cook’s Life
Makes about 3 cups icing

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons milk, approximately
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Icing:
1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
¼ cup powdered sugar

Beat the butter and powdered sugar until well combined. Add 4 tablespoons milk, salt and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy. Add more milk if necessary to make a fluffy icing. Remove half of the icing to another bowl and set aside.

Add melted chocolate and ¼ cup powdered sugar to remaining icing and beat until well combined and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl once or twice.

Use icings immediately. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Download just the recipe here.

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