Spooky Halloween Sugar Cookies

Journal Entry

I’m not well-versed in sugar cookie decorating. While I love baking, I tend to stay away from recipes that require frosting - it’s just not my favorite. There are some incredible bakers/artists on Instagram, including @arloscookies, @katebakescookies, @samasweetery and so many more who are true masters of this process. 

In this post, I’m simply sharing my experience with sugar cookie baking and decorating, using recipes that are fool-proof. It feels like a good time to make some Halloween sugar cookies, so here we go.

The Recipes

The Best Sugar Cookies, Sally’s Baking Addiction

My Favorite Royal Icing, Sally’s Baking Addiction

Sally’s Baking Addiction is my go-to blog whenever I’m second-guessing my baking process. The sugar cookie recipe produces a perfect cut-out sugar cookie with sharp edges that hold the shape of your cutter. They taste great and have a nice soft-in-the center texture. The royal icing has only a few ingredients, does not require eggs, and dries perfectly so you can display and store your cookies without worry.

The Tools

Decorated sugar cookies are easier with the right tools and ingredients, so here are a few things that I purchased specifically for these Halloween Sugar Cookies. 

Meringue Powder - This replaces egg whites in the icing, which not only makes it much easier to make, but is the key ingredient that allows the icing to set. 

Gel Food Coloring - intensely saturated gel food color will help you achieve bright colors without thinning out the consistency of the icing. 

Halloween Cookie Cutters - I like these plastic cutters because they won’t rust or bend out of shape like my metal cutters do. (Sadly, the Wilton plastic Halloween cookie cutter set is not available right now, but the individual comfort-grip stainless steel cutters are in stock.)

Icing Bags - These make things so easy. Line a tall cup with an icing bag and fill. Store the filled bag in the cup while you decorate. 

Red, Orange, Black Pearl, White Pearl and Brown Color Powders - (Optional) These won’t color the icing if mixed in, but can be dusted on top of iced cookies for an airbrushed effect. 

Black confetti sprinkles and orange sanding sugar - (Optional) Sprinkles will hold if dropped onto wet icing before it dries.


The Process

Making sugar cookie dough is pretty simple, so there’s not much to say about this step. I do like the method of rolling out the dough into sheets prior to chilling to save you from having to fight with a block of hard dough later. 

The cookies hold their shape and can be placed in the refrigerator to cool. 

Royal icing is easy enough to make, especially with a stand mixer. Any time I make icing, I notice that the liquid-to-dry ratio is always slightly different. Luckily, icing can be very forgiving so adding more or less liquid or powdered sugar will not ruin the recipe. 

When coloring the icing, I made sure to cover my icing bowls with wet paper towels when they were not in use, to keep the icing wet. Once colored, I immediately transferred the icing to a piping bag. Gel food colors make it quick to achieve a well-saturated color. Unfortunately for me, I was missing my black pot of gel color. I was able to make a deep black color by combining brown, green, purple, red and blue. Here’s a handy food coloring chart if you need help mixing colors. 

I did not use piping bag tips to ice my cookies. I just cut a bit off of the end of the bag, which seemed more than sufficient. I stored each bag in it’s own jar or cup to keep it upright without mess. 

Since I’m a cookie icing novice, the only tip I can share that seemed to work well for me is to outline your shape with a single line of icing first, then allow that to set just a little bit, and then come back and fill in your shape. 

Overall, the icing set well, very smooth and even (except for my own mistakes) and the cookies store extremely well in the refrigerator, even when stacked. 

When I have the time (and courage) to try this again, I probably will. Maybe Christmas...


Perfect recipes from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Recipe Attempts

This recipe has been attempted by the author 1 time(s).