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Spooky Cookie Cottage

 Spooky Cookie Cottage
Halloween's at hand, and ghosts have to live someplace. Why not spirit them away to this cute—and delicious—haunted house? —Joanne Woelein, Etobicoke, Ontario
1 ServingsPrep: 1 hour 20 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ICING AND ASSEMBLY:
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Orange, regal purple, black and yellow gel food coloring
  • Pastry tips—round #6 and #3
  • 12 white candy coating disks, cut in half
  • New paintbrush
  • Red sprinkles
  • Additional confectioners' sugar
  • Cream-filled oval vanilla sandwich cookies
  • Black-covered board
  • 2-1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
  • Candy pumpkins

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Spooky Cookie Cottage (continued)

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add
  • eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in
  • vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed
  • mixture and mix well. Divide dough into thirds. Chill for 1-2 hours.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of dough to
  • 1/4-in. thickness. Position house side pattern on dough. With a
  • sharp knife, cut one side piece. Reroll scraps; cut another side
  • piece. Score and cut out window outlines; set window pieces aside.
  • Transfer side pieces to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400°
  • for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 10
  • minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Roll out second portion of dough. Position house front pattern on
  • dough. Cut out house front; remove scraps. Cut out door and window
  • pieces; set aside. Reroll scraps; cut out house back. Cut out window
  • piece; set aside.
  • Roll out remaining dough to 1/4-in. thickness; cut into two 6-in. x
  • 4-1/2-in. rectangles for roof pieces. Transfer front, back and roof
  • pieces to ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 10-12
  • minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes
  • before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Reroll scraps; cut out chimney pieces. From reserved front window
  • piece, cut out two 1-1/2-in. x 1/2-in. strips for front shutters;
  • set aside. Discard remaining dough. Cut reserved side and back
  • window pieces in half for shutters. Place the shutters, chimney
  • pieces and door on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for
  • 5-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes
  • before removing to a wire rack to cool.
  • To make icing: In a bowl, combine the first three ingredients; add
  • water and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Beat on high for
  • 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Set aside 3/4 cup white
  • icing. Tint two-thirds of the remaining icing orange; thin with 2
  • tablespoons water. Tint remaining icing purple; thin with 1
  • tablespoon water. Place a damp cloth over bowl and cover tightly
  • between uses.
  • To decorate: Place house front, back and sides and chimney pieces on
  • a waxed-paper lined work surface. Insert #6 tip into a pastry bag;
  • fill with 1/2 cup orange icing. Pipe icing over pieces; let dry
  • overnight. Repeat for roof pieces, using purple icing. Working
  • quickly, attach halved candy disks at random for shingles, leaving
  • space on one roof piece for the chimney. Brush halved disks with

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Spooky Cookie Cottage (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • purple icing; let dry completely. With a paintbrush and orange gel,
  • add brick designs to house and chimney pieces; let dry. Assemble
  • chimney with icing; let dry.
  • To make decorations: Divide reserved white icing into thirds. Tint
  • one portion black and one light yellow; leave remaining icing white.
  • Pipe a web in the corner of the front window with black icing (shown
  • above); let dry. Use black icing to make the bat. Let dry.
  • With yellow icing, make a 3-1/2-in. moon; let dry completely. Use a
  • toothpick and white icing to attach red sprinkles for bat's eyes;
  • let dry.
  • Thin white icing with 1 to 2 teaspoons water. Using #3 tip and white
  • icing, outline three or more 3-1/2-in.-long ghosts on waxed paper;
  • let dry. Fill in ghost outlines. Let dry completely. Thicken
  • remaining black icing with 1 to 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar;
  • pipe faces onto ghosts. Pipe outlines and "RIP" or other designs
  • onto oval cookies. Let dry completely.
  • To assemble: Transfer remaining orange icing to a bowl. Beat in 1 to
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. Pipe
  • icing along sides of house front and one side section. Position at
  • right angles to each other on work surface. Press into place; prop
  • with cans.
  • Pipe icing along inside edge for added stability. Repeat with second
  • side piece and back; let dry. Pipe white icing along top edges of
  • house walls. Position one roof piece; repeat. Pipe purple icing
  • along roof seam. Let dry completely. Attach chimney.
  • Finishing touches: Thin remaining purple icing if necessary with
  • water, then spread over shutters and door; let dry. With white
  • icing, pipe “BOO” on the door and stripes on the shutters; let dry
  • completely. Attach the door, shutters and ghosts to house with white
  • icing. Attach bat to moon; attach moon to back of house.
  • Place house on a black-covered board; add wafer crumbs, tombstones
  • and candy pumpkins. Yield: 1 haunted cottage.
Editor’s Note: Meringue powder is available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit www.wilton.com. Use of a coupler ring will allow you to easily change pastry tips for different designs.