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Halloween Party Cutout Cookies

I've been making these Halloween cookies for about 40 years—first for my children and now my grandchildren and all their friends, too. I make about 20 trays a year to give away to trick-or-treaters. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons water
  • Yellow, orange, green and black paste food coloring, optional


  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and blended. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Shape dough into 2 portions. Shape each into a disk; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. Halloween-shaped cookie cutters. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, shortening and enough water to reach spreading consistency. Tint frosting and decorate as desired. Let stand until set.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 182 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 103mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • JMelissaMc
    Nov 1, 2019

    This is a very good recipe. I did not even refrigerate the dough and it still kept it's shape. I also used a chocolate icing for decorating. Will use again!

  • Esther
    Oct 31, 2019

    No comment left

  • Sarah
    Oct 29, 2019

    My husband and I followed the recipe exactly how it is written. Put our cookie dough in the fridge for an hour and when we put the cutout cookies in the oven they melted.

  • itslove
    Oct 22, 2017

    Good cookie!

  • jbruizer
    Nov 1, 2016

    Easy, delicious! My go to cookie recipe!

  • shortbreadlover
    Oct 11, 2015

    love this recipe. i plan to also use it for holiday cookies.