Day of the Dead Cookies Recipe
Day of the Dead Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Day of the Dead Cookies Recipe

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I make these almond butter cookies for all occasions. In the spring, I cut them in flower shapes and insert a lollipop stick in them to make a bouquet. Using candies, food coloring and a wild imagination, try your hand at this Halloween-inspired version. —Kristine Fossmeyer, Huntley, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 2 hours + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 2 hours + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 ounces almond paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages (12 ounces each) white Wilton candy melts
  • Red Wilton candy melts, melted
  • Decorations of your choice: jumbo sprinkles, peppermint candies, candy-coated sunflower kernels, Skittles, Twizzlers Rainbow Twists and Good & Plenty candies
  • Black paste food coloring


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy; add almond paste. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut out with a floured 5-in. skull-shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake at 375° for 7-9 minutes or until firm. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. In a large, shallow microwave-safe dish, melt white candy melts according to package directions. Dip top side of each cookie into coating, allowing excess to drip off; place on waxed paper. Immediately place a few drops of melted red candy melts on cheeks of skull; swirl with a toothpick.
  5. Add decorations as desired. Tint remaining white coating black; pipe on eyes and mouth. Let stand until set. Yield: 1 dozen.
The skull cookie cutter is from Copper Gifts. Call 1-620/421-0654 or visit
Originally published as Day of the Dead Cookies in Ultimate Halloween 2012 2012, p47

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Kay Larch User ID: 8946181 254958
Reviewed Oct. 3, 2016

"Cute design, love these! However, Day of the Dead, (celebrated on November 1st to honor the lives of little children who have died young and November 2nd to honor adult loved ones who have died) is a sacred, Christian holiday that has been celebrated in parts of Mexico for several hundred years. It is a sepaeate holiday that has NOTHING TO DO WITH halloween. Many people are offended when the traditional decorated sugar skull designs of Dia de los Muertos, along with the sacred days themselves, have been treated as scary halloween fun. Americans are not at fault, because they simply do not know. So, an effort is being made to spread the word. These cookies would be an AWESOME treat at a "Day of the Dead" celebration!"

Agassizlady User ID: 5932245 127322
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2013

"I love the dough - it is easy to work with. However, the decorating is a bit of a pain, but well worth the try. If it comes out wonky, well, they are for halloween and they should be a bit wonky."

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