Halloween might be known for buckets upon buckets of candy, but these sweet eats can also get you in the holiday spirit! While candy and Halloween seem like the perfect couple now, these shortbread cookies would have been all the rage when trick or treating first hit the scene. They‘re a welcome break from the 24 pounds of candy Americans are estimated to eat each year, that’s for sure!
Cook’s Note: Save this recipe for Christmas and use your favorite holiday-themed cookie cutters. You can even add a little red or green food coloring to the white chocolate to make the cookies that much more festive. Celebrating Chanukah? Try this kosher recipe.
This recipe is also perfect for freezing! Roll unused dough into a log, cover with a paper towel, wrap it in plastic wrap and/or foil, and freeze. When ready to bake, remove the dough from the freezer and let it thaw. In just 1 hour, they’ll be ready to bake…now that’s what I call tackling a cookie craving!
- For the Cookies:
- 3 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 lemon (zested)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- For the Icing:
- 12 ounces white chocolate (chopped)
- Optional: store-bought black icing, black licorice, or black jelly beans for decoration
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line one (or more) baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, lemon zest, salt, and vanilla on medium speed. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour, and mix on low speed until a dough forms.
Place the dough on a surface dusted with flour and form it into a flat disk. Wrap it in plastic and chill for 25 minutes.
Return the dough to the lightly floured surface and roll it to a 1/3'' thickness. Cut with a ghost-shaped cookie cutter. Place the cookies on the baking sheet(s) and bake 18-23 minutes, or until the edges are light brown. Set the cookies aside to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. Melt 10 oz of the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over warm water. Stir constantly until completely melted. Add the other 2 oz of white chocolate and stir until melted.
Use a spatula to spread the chocolate on top of each cookie and place the cookies on a parchment paper-lined surface (even a cookie sheet). While the chocolate is still warm, decorate the cookies, as desired, with the black candy.