Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Sugar Cookies

It's that time of year! Time for pumpkin recipes, fall soups and chilis, and of course, decorated sugar cookies!  This was my first time using this royal icing technique.  I've seen it everywhere: beautiful cookies with a beautiful matte sheen layer of icing, decorated in every possible color.  I was lazy and only wanted to use one color (ok, two if you count the normal white).  I followed Annie's tutorial on how to flood a cookie with royal icing, but basically, you take normal royal icing, pipe it along the edge of your cookie, then let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then take some of the icing, add a little bit of water to it, until it is thinner and runs off your spoon, and then "flood" the interior of the cookie, using a toothpick to help bring the icing to the edge.

I made these cookies pretty late at night, so I didn't take any pictures of the process :(  But it's really easy to make a cool spiderweb design: before flooding the cookie, take some of the thinner icing and put it into another container.  Color it with black food coloring, and then proceed to flood the cookies with the white icing.  After flooding, while the icing is still wet, put some of the black icing into a pastry bag with a tip attached, and pipe a "target" onto the cookies (as shown in my horrible MS Paint drawing below).

Then take a toothpick and drag lines from the center of the cookie, outwards, pulling the black circles into a spider web!  Let the icing harden overnight, and you will have beautiful spiderweb cookies!

Sugar Cookies
adapted from Annie's Eats

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups flour
Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Blend in egg, vanilla, salt and flour. Chill dough until firm. Roll to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown. Frost and decorate when cool. Yields ~24 cookies.

Royal Icing
from Alton Brown

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar

In large bowl, mix the egg whites and vanilla with an electric mixer until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes.  Color if desired, and transfer to piping bags for use.



  1. um, i want to eat these. so i guess i'll have to make them. yay!

  2. sweeet. for some reason i never realized how people did the design. will make these next week for my husband's billion kiddy cousins, they've never had a halloween before :)

  3. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I featured you on my site here: http://printabelle.com/portfolio/spiderweb-cookies If you'd like a button, you can find them here: http://printabelle.com/about-2


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