Jack O Lantern Cookies for #Halloween Trick-Or-Treat #SundaySupper

by Renee on October 28, 2012

Jack O Lantern Halloween Cookies

Trick or Treat? I choose treat every single time. Halloween is such fun. I cannot remember my very first trick-or-treating adventure. I am sure it was my parents taking me around in a cute little costume. My first memory was not so much the costume. I remember the plastic pumpkin I carried to hold all the treats. I used that pumpkin for years.

My trick-or-treating did not bring in a big haul. We lived on a street with about 20 houses. It was not in a subdivision or where we could walk to get to more homes. The treats were good ones though. I got full size candy bars and packs of candy. It was not until later when a friend’s dad would drive us to other neighborhoods so we could do some big trick-or-treating.

Now the real treats are the ones I make. Jack O Lantern cookies are at the top of my list. They are fun and, best of all, taste wonderful. They are sugar cookies decorated with buttercream frosting. These cookies are not meant to be perfect. They are meant to be fun to decorate and good to eat. Get the kids involved in making the faces. Look at the smiles when people see them on a platter. Watch them disappear quickly.

How about some more spooktacular treats? The Sunday Supper team has put together recipes to make your Halloween the tastiest ever:

Bewitching Brews:

Ghoulish Gruel:

 Haunted Snacks:

Spooky Sweets:

What is your first memory of Halloween? Your costume, the candy, trick-or-treating, or something else? I look back over the years and smile when I think of all the fun celebrating it. So be safe, have a great time, and enjoy treats like Jack O Lantern cookies.

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Jack O Lantern Cookies

Jack O Lantern Cookies

    For the cookies:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling out dough
  • For the frosting
  • 1/2 pound (equivalent to 2 sticks) European style unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 box (1 pound) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk or half-and-half (plus more if needed)
  • Orange, green, and black food coloring gel
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
For the cookies:

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add butter and sugar and beat until light in color. In a small bowl, add egg, milk, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the egg mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed and gradually add flour, beating until just combined (do not over-mix). Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with flour. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator and let it soften slightly (about 10 or 15 minutes). Sprinkle rolling pin with flour and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around frequently to make sure it is not sticking. Use a pumpkin shaped cutter to cut cookies. Place cookies at least 1-inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone baking mat. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from the oven and then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

For the frosting:

In a large bowl, add the butter, salt, and vanilla, Beat using an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons milk. Beat until smooth, adding more milk as needed for spreading consistency.

Take about 1/2 cup of the frosting and place it in a small bowl. Stir in green food coloring gel, a small amount at a time, until it has reached desired color. Add more milk if needed for piping consistency.

Take about 1 1/2 cups of the frosting and place it in a small mixing bowl. Reserve and set aside.

Stir in orange food coloring gel, a small amount at a time, to the remaining frosting in the large bowl until it has reached desired color. Spread frosting over cookies. Mix more orange frosting from the reserved bowl as needed.

Pipe the green frosting on the top of the cookie (stem) using a leaf tip.

Add some sifted cocoa to the remaining reserved frosting and beat until combined. The amount depends on how much frosting. About 1 teaspoon per cup. Stir in black food coloring. Note that the frosting in the bowl will look more dark grey than black. It takes a good bit of black coloring to get it to the right color and it helps starting out with a chocolate frosting base. Pipe the black frosting on to the cookies using a #3 round tip to make the "faces".

Store cookies on a platter in the refrigerator. If you need to stack them in a container to store, place parchment between layers.

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Cookie recipe adapted from one by Alton Brown on the Food Network website. Frosting recipe is my version of a simple buttercream similar to ones found in countless books and websites.

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen October 28, 2012 at 7:42 am

They are adorable Renée! I don´t have the patience to decorate cookies. Love the one with the glasses. Have a great sunday!

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Pam @ The Meltaways October 28, 2012 at 7:53 am

These are so cute! I can’t decorate cookies well, so I’m always in awe!

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Susan October 28, 2012 at 9:02 am

Adorable cookies! I love sugar cookies with frosting and the pumpkins are so festive!

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Heather @girlichef October 28, 2012 at 10:52 am

Oh, you had a good neighborhood – we used to take major treks just to get to the houses that handed out full-sized candy bars ;) These cookies are so cute and I know the kids would love decorating them!

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:28 am

Kids would have a ball decorating them. Just let them be creative and see what fun faces they come up with.

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Jen @ Juanita's Cocina October 28, 2012 at 11:32 am

These are SO cute! Love hearing about your trick or treating experiences! All of these posts are bringing back such memories!

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

I loved reading through everyone’s Halloween posts and recipes too. Such fun we all have with it.

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Angie @ Big Bear's Wife October 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

I love the ones with the glasses!!! These are great!!

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Megan @ I Run For Wine October 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Love this! Is that a Harry Potter pumpkin cookie I spy? So cute :)

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

Oh yea sure it is a Harry Potter cookie (hee hee). Thanks!

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Beate October 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm

They are beautiful :) Just gorgeous~ Bea

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claire @ the realistic nutritionist October 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

These are adorable!!!

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Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious October 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Awwww so cute! I can’t wait to do this with my little niece and nephews!

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sunithi October 28, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Picture perfect and beautiful. I would never be able to get such perfection in my icing ! Beautiful ! You can market these :)

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:26 am

Thanks Sunithi!

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Tara Noland October 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm

These are adorable. I never liked decorating cookies before probably because I wasn’t good at, but with practice and learning some techniques I quite enjoy it now. I will have to try to make your cute little cookies!!

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:25 am

It does take some practice. I still have a long way to go before I can get really good at it. I like these because they don’t have to be perfect.

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Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen October 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

These are just too dang cute!! Thanks for sharing them!!

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Liz October 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Just darling, Renee! Do you take orders????

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:25 am

LOL Liz! Take orders? I kinda do actually. I love it when my friends and family send me their cooking or baking requests.

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Katy October 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Very cute! These would be so much fun to make with children :)

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Momma's Meals October 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm

These are cute! You did an awesome job decorating too! I wish I was half that good!

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

Thanks! I do think I am a bit decorating challenged. I had a lot of cookies to practice with.

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Jennie @themessybakerblog October 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Renee, these are adorable! I lived in the woods, so no one ever ventured to our house. We had to drive to a near by neighborhood to go trick-or-treating. Happy Halloween. Pinned.

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veronica gantley October 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Oh how adorable! when I ice cookies it always looks like I drank about 10 cups of coffee.

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

I know how you feel. It does take a steady hand to make them perfect. These are not so much perfect as they are fun.

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Katie October 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Classic and so cute! I love all the different faces/expressions you can do with them!

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:22 am

It is really fun to make all the different faces. I giggle a lot when decorating them.

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Martin D. Redmond October 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Where were you when I was a kid?;-) Love the cookies!

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:22 am

I was right here in Georgia. But I think I was also a kid when you were and I wasn’t baking these cookies back then. I was too busy trick-or-treating and eating the candy.

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Sarah October 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Aww theyre adorable! Definitely love the ones with glasses

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Anita at Hungry Couple October 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm

So cute. I love the faces. :)

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Karen Hartzell October 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I do not have the patience for all the work involved with making an decorating iced cookies! I totally cheat and buy cut outs already done all the time! lol

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

These are easier to me than dealing with royal icing. Now that is a real challenge.

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Anne P @ Webicurean October 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

How cute! I haven’t decorated cookies like that in ages …. need to work on that!

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

I do not decorate cookies often. These are ones that must be done every Halloween.

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Laura Hunter October 29, 2012 at 6:45 am

I love the one with the glasses :)

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Emily @ Life on Food October 29, 2012 at 7:48 am

I love the one with the glasses! Super cute!

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Renee October 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

The ones with glasses really make me smile. I could not leave out all of us glasses wearing folks.

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amy @ fearless homemaker October 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

These turned out just adorable! Love ‘em!

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The Wimpy Vegetarian October 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Your pumpkins are adorable! Each one feels like it has it’s own little personality going on. It looks like you had a lot of fun decorating them :-)

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Carla October 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm

My favorite cookies are the nerdy ones!! They are mailable right? Right? I need some hurricane supplies over here ;)

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Cindys Recipes October 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Cute Renee! Very festive!!

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Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom October 30, 2012 at 2:45 am

Love these cookies! They are perfect and so cute!!!

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Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies October 30, 2012 at 9:42 am

These are so cute! I love the one with glasses!

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Kim Bee October 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

Renee these are totally adorable. I love cookies like this. Just totally classic.

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Sarah October 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Sugar cookies with buttercream frosting are wonderful indeed. And fantastic too. It’s so nice to hear about your fun Halloween memories. I think most people have fond childhood Halloween memories (except me of course). Your cookies are absolutely adorable!

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Patti October 31, 2012 at 9:50 am

These came out perfect Renee! Love the one with the glasses!

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Hezzi-D November 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm

You did a great job with the pumpkin faces!

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Renee November 2, 2012 at 8:32 am

Thank you! It is such fun to make all the different faces. Always makes me smile.

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Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) November 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Such great faces on these and I agree…perfect for having kids help and do their own faces!

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts November 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm

These are too cute, and i love that some of them have glasses!

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