Halloween sugar cookies recipe; These decorated Halloween cookies are fun to make!
I’d like to tell you that chocolate is the perfect flavor for Halloween, but the truth is, chocolate is the perfect flavor for every holiday.
And for every day, for that matter.
I was worried that Chocolate Sugar Cookies would be too boring and cliche, so I spiced them up with some adorable holiday decorations.
Well, sort of adorable. Decorating has never been the thing I’m best at.
In fact, I had to give these cookies two tries to get them right. Not only was the recipe a little off on the first try, but the decorating was… uh… pretty bad. Let’s just leave it at that.
I fixed the recipe by using shortening instead of butter. I know butter tastes awesome and all that, but it makes cut out cookies a little too soft for cutting out. Getting the recipe right makes all the difference. If you’re really interested in cut out sugar cookies, I have an in-depth tutorial about making them perfectly thick, soft, and flavorful here.
Before I get into the how-to’s of decorating these cookies, let me first introduce you to my talented friends! We decided to make this a Halloween even to remember by putting together 10 fun Halloween-inspired recipes. You can find a link to each recipe on the list below.
- Mini Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes from Chocolate Moosey
- Liquid Ghost Halloween Cocktail from Pineapple and Coconut
- Peanut Butter White Chocolate Popcorn from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Nutty Peanut Buttery Caramel Apples from Hungry Couple
- Creepy Crawly Coffee Cake from gotta get baked
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
- Baked Chocolate Donuts with Pumpkin Bourbon Glaze from Crumb
- Count Chocula Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treats from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Devil’s Wing Sauce from Magnolia Days
- Spider Web Cookie Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Let’s talk decorations for a minute.
I started with one big batch of homemade frosting. Then I split it up and made it 5 different colors. I used gel food coloring
The difficult part was dealing with the chocolate. The first thing I did was draw my shapes on a piece of wax paper. Triangles for the jack-‘o-lantern eyes, horns for the devils, and bats for the moons. Then I placed the wax paper pencil-side-down on a baking sheet.
I melted about 2 oz. of bittersweet chocolate (semi-sweet is also fine) in the microwave and spooned it into a piping bag with the smallest round tip I could find. It was a little tricky getting the hang of piping the melted chocolate, but after a minute, I got pretty good and tracing and filling the shapes I had drawn. Then I used up the rest of the chocolate by making tails for the devils, legs for the spiders, and lots and lots of eyes.
I put the whole pan in the freezer to let the chocolate set. The real trick here is that when they are frozen, and ready to be placed on the frosted cookies, as soon as you touch the chocolate with your hands, it melts. Talk about frustration. I skirted the issue by using tweezers to lift the chocolate pieces off the wax paper and place them on the cookies.
Another issue was that the spider legs and devil tails didn’t hold up very well. Some of them broke as I took them off the wax paper. Others broke after I placed them on the cookies. Still others got sort of soft and melty, and just didn’t look good. I ended up preferring to use black licorice laces for the spider legs and devil tails.
If you find the chocolate eyes to be too fussy, I have a solution for that too. Using decorating gel (find it near the birthday candles and sprinkles at the grocery store) is far easier, and results are just as good.
And if all else fails, just frost them and eat them undecorated!
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2/3 cup baking cocoa
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup milk or cream
- about 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- black licorice laces
- black decorating gel
- Cream shortening and powdered sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- Add cocoa, salt, and soda, and mix well. Add flour and mix until combined.Chill dough for 1-2 hours, or as long as overnight.
- Roll dough on a well floured surface or between layers of wax paper, to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out 2½- inch circles. Place on greased or lined baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 10-11 minutes.
- For frosting, combine all ingredients, using an electric mixer to beat until smooth and creamy. Separate even amounts of frosting into 5 separate small dishes. Color four of the dishes with black, red, orange, and yellow coloring. Leave the 5th white.
- For chocolate decorations, prepare by drawing desired shapes onto wax paper. (I drew eyes and mouths for jack-o-lanterns, bats, and horns for devils.) Place wax paper pencil-side-down on a baking sheet or cutting board.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Spoon melted chocolate into a piping bag with a very small round tip. Carefully drizzle chocolate over drawn shapes, and fill in. Make several small dots for eyes.Freeze chocolate shapes for a few minutes.
- FOR MOONS: Frost with yellow frosting, and use tweezers to place chocolate bats on top.FOR PUMPKINS: Frost with orange frosting, and use tweezers to place eyes and mouth.FOR DEVILS: Frost with red frosting, and use tweezers to place eyes and horns. Use a small length of licorice as the tail, pressing into the frosting to secure.FOR SPIDERS: Frost with black frosting. Use tweezers to place eyes. Use small lengths of licorice to make legs, four on each side, pressing into the frosting to secure.FOR MUMMIES: Use a piping bag with a large round tip to make wide, flat lines of white frosting in criss-cross patterns. Use tweezers to place chocolate eyes.For best results, keep cookies in the fridge until ready to serve. Store in an airtight container.