I’ve never been a big fan of decorating for halloween but this year I’ve had the itch to make sugar cookies for every occasion so I’ll even cave for halloween. I searched for some inspiration and found these adorable bats and decided to turn my tulip cookie cutter upside down and into a ghost!
These came out so good!
I am always asked how my cookies hold their shape so well…the magic recipe from Sweetopia (below!). These cookies are not quick but they are worth the extra effort to have them hold their shape. Lots of time in the fridge and no baking powder.
2 cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (sometimes I add a little more, or swap for almond extract)
5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed using the paddle attachment. Mix until fully combined, about a minute, scrap anything from the side of the bowl and mix again for a few seconds. They says Sweetopia (and its true!) is to not overmix the butter and sugar. Extra air incorporating will make your cookies spread.
2. Add eggs and mix; scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for a few more seconds.
3. Add in liquid vanilla extract or almond extract. Mix again for a few seconds.
4. Add in flour and salt about 1/3 at a time. Mix on low so your flour doesn’t splash out of the bowl, you’ll only need to mix it for about 30-40 seconds. Again, don’t overmix here. You’ll see the dough come together – scrape down the bowl again if you need too.
5. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
6. Roll out the dough further if you need to. I like to make these cookies thick because they not only look and taste great they also make it one million times easier to decorate on. Thinner cookies don’t have solid edges and can tend to get crispy and lose shape.
7. Once you have shapes ready to go, place them back in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to rechill. As you work through the dough place it back in the fridge if it starts to get warm and “goopier”. It’s not worth fooling with because it won’t hold the shape even ad dough.
8. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes at 350F. Let the cookies fully cool before attempting to decorate (trust me, liquid icing is not a friend to warm cookies!). If you are in a rush or trying to do this in one day just pop them back in the fridge to jumpstart the cooling process.
I use a non-egg, non-meringue powder royal icing recipe to frost my cookies. They are ultra shiny and taste great but if you freeze them the color can turn a little bit. But the cookies stay fresh in an air-tight container for two weeks so you can definitely make these ahead of time. The icing can sweat so try to keep them where they can dry really thoroughly or you’ll be smudgey!
Ingredients for icing:
- 1½ cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- 1 tbls milk
- 2 tsps light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
Directions for icing:
Mix your powdered sugar and milk in a kitchen-aid mixer until blended. It will look crazy but try to get the lumps out. Add in corn syrup and vanilla or almond extract and mix until its smooth (about a minute). If its too thick add a tiny amount of water, you’ll be surprised how quick it can get runny, if you pour in to much, just add more powdered sugar. To get the consistency right I suggest seeing a visual example – I like this video that shows how it should peak before you put it in the piping bag.