Apologies in advance for throwing sugar cookies filled with melted hard candy at you. At your kids. No worries, not at your pets. Never the sweet pets. We only want to corrupt the humans. This time.
Are you ready for more Halloween cuteness? I sure hope so, surely you’ve not been overloaded yet and can still plan and look and pick and so on. You know, what you want to do with the kids, of course! These are definitely for the kids, or maybe even the kid in you. Yes, you. I know you want some, too.
When I brought these to work the biggest question I got was how we got the see-through candy into the cookies. No worries, all shall be revealed. (Cue the mystical, mysterious music…)
I dunno about you, but I love rolled-out cookie dough that actually keeps its shape once baked. I’ve avoided cut-out sugar cookies a lot because most recipes seem to spread too much in the oven. If I’m going to go to all the extra trouble of rolling the stuff out, cutting it into shapes, it needs to keep its shape. Am I right? Whew, glad we got that covered.
This one kept its shape once baked, by the way.
While it’s the month for horrific scares and such, do not rain down holy terror on your Life Savers or Jolly Rancher candy, whichever you use. The Life Savers at least don’t actually need a lot of pressure to break them, and you actually want the pieces to remain fairly good-sized as opposed to pulverized into powder.
But still, we get to break stuff – YAY.
Sugar cookies have lots of butter in them – oh dear me – so you’ll want to work as quickly as possible but also carefully. Dipping your cutters in flour occasionally will help the cookies release better, sometimes really fast, too. Have your parchment-lined cookie sheet nearby.
The next step is to cut shapes out of the cookies themselves. You’ll be placing the broken candy pieces in these spots. As you can see, we really enjoyed giving our cookies one eye.
Personally, I liked the cyclops kitties the best. Meow.
You can see that some of the candy pieces will not exactly fit all the way in the holes you’ve cut. This is OK, it’s gonna melt right down in there. In fact, we found we really needed to put as much as would possibly fit. If there’s not enough the candy might just evaporate in the oven. A good idea is to practice with three or four first to see what works best for you. We also needed to turn down our oven, which is noted in the recipe below.
It’s a little bit busy work, but also fun. Before you know it you and the kiddos will have your own little army of scary Halloween shapes tempered by sugary sweetness.
That’s it, ghouls and ghosts! Off with ya. Go make your own cute, I mean scary, and sweet – I mean terrible! – treats. Have a spooktacular time.
Magic Halloween Window Cookies
from Magic Window Cookies by Betty Crocker
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: about 9 minutes per cookie sheet Level: easy Makes: about 50 cookies (depends on cutter sizes)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 rolls (about 1 oz each) ring-shaped hard candies or other fruit-flavored hard candies
In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover; refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
Heat oven to 375°F (we ended up lowering ours to 350°F) . Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. On lightly floured cloth-covered surface, roll one-third of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Cut shapes from centers of cookies as desired. Place cookies on parchment paper.
Place whole or partially crushed pieces of candy in cutouts, depending on size and shape of design, mixing colors as desired. Leave pieces as large as possible because candy melts easily; do not use fine candy “dust.” (To crush candy, place in heavy plastic bag and tap lightly with rolling pin.) Place cutouts from centers of cookies on top of candies, if desired.
Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are very light brown and candy is melted. If candy has not completely spread within cutout design, immediately spread with knife. Cool completely on parchment paper, about 30 minutes. Gently remove cookies to cooling rack.
The cookie dough needs to be really, really chilled. Work in batches, leaving what you’re not currently using in the fridge. It will get hard to work with as it gets closer to room temperature. If it gets too soft, just ball it back up, get some fresh from the fridge and put the warmer ball of dough back to chill again.
Like the cookie cutters, use a sharp knife occasionally dipped in flour to cut the shapes out of the cookies. This will help keep the knife from sticking to the dough. You may oir may not want to let the kiddos do that part, just be careful, of course. Also, don’t bear down too much and rip the aluminum foil beneath.
You’ll notice the candy bled into the cookies a little. While the effect is actually kind of cool since these are Halloween themed, I can only guess it happened because the cookie dough was so close to room temp by the time we baked them. Next time if I want them to be neater I’ll try putting them in the fridge first to chill again before baking.
These lasted pretty well for about a week in a zip-locked plastic storage bag.