Friday, September 14, 2012

Halloween Sugar Cookies

In the realm of holiday enjoyment, my love of Halloween is unparalleled.  I freaking love Halloween! I love the costumes, I love the decorations (I'm partial to skulls and spiders), I love the candy and the parties and the tricks and OF COURSE the treats.   This sugar cookie recipe is a staple that can be used to make holiday treats year round.  It was originally featured on Alton Brown's show Good Eats.  (Oh man, you should watch the episode, The Cookie Clause, it's brilliant.  Santa's feeling merciful!)

This recipe uses the creaming method.  If you are unfamiliar with the creaming technique Alton gives a great explanation, or you can hop over to my post on it real quick.   Creaming the butter and sugar together properly will give your cookies the perfect texture.  


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon extract (vanilla, almond, lemon...whatever you like!)
  •  Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder, set aside.  Beat together the egg, milk, and any extract you are using and set aside.  
  • Cream together the softened butter and sugar.  Beat together until the mix becomes a noticeably lighter color, bigger in volume and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the butter and sugar and mix together.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until an evenly mixed dough forms. 
  • Divide the dough in two, shape into flat squares and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Once the dough is chilled, sprinkle your work area and rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out your shapes and move to a parchment covered cookie sheet (or a greased sheet). 
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes, turning halfway through.  When the cookies begin to turn golden brown on the bottoms and edges they are finished. Cool for two minutes on the cookie sheet, then move to a wire rack.

If you like look of the smooth, shiny, hard-drying frosting that is traditionally used on sugar cookies, you can use this recipe for your frosting.  (The frosting on the white cookies was made this way, the black frosting is Betty Crocker from a tube.)

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • (optional) 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • (optional) assorted food coloring

  • Mix it all up!  If your frosting comes out to dry add more milk, if it is to watery add more sugar.  
  • Spread a thin layer on your cookies and let it air dry for a few minutes. 

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