If you haven’t, there is a line that references The Nightmare Before Christmas: “ We can live like Jack and Sally if we want, where you can always find me, and we’ll have Halloween on Christmas”. These cookies remind me of Halloween on Christmas. Or, really it’s more of Christmas on Halloween. It’s the cookie cutters.
Cookie cutters instantly make me think of Christmas time. Specifically, it makes me think of sitting at the table, covered in flour, wearing an over-sized apron, as my two younger cousins and I frost and sprinkle (in an excessive amount that only an eight year old would consider edible) our sugar cookies.
One of my cousins, Jason, was even around as I glazed and took photos of these cookies. Actually, he always seems to be around during my dessert photo shoots. I think it’s so he can pick out which slice or cookie to eat first. In this case, he went for the owl. Followed by two bats. And later, a ghost.
Even though I’m a fan of enjoying each holiday as it comes (unlike the stores, who like to rub holidays in your face months in advance…I’ve seen Valentine’s Day stuff already…Are you kidding me?), it was actually kind of nice to think of these as Christmas on Halloween cookies. It really put me in a festive mood and made me even more excited for my future holiday baking, which I didn’t think was possible.
These Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies are the perfect fall treat! The shortbread cookie itself is simple to make and has a buttery flavor with a subtle hint of pumpkin spice. The glaze is made from pumpkin spice flavored candy melts, giving each bite the perfect punch of pumpkin spice. So, if you’re in need of a pick me up, some festive spirit, or just a delicious pumpkin flavored cookie, make these. Get in your kitchen. You won’t regret it. And your relatives, like mine, will happily devour them.
Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies
Yields: about 40 cookies
½ cup (1 stick) salted-butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
Glaze & Decorations
1 bag pumpkin spice candy melts
1 cup black candy melts
4 teaspoons shortening (plus some more if melts start to harden)
In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese, until well combined.
Gradually add the powdered sugar, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt. Beat until combined.
Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
Slowly beat in flour, until mixture forms into dough.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Let chill for about an hour or until dough is easy to handle.
Once dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough until about ¼ inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out dough.
Place cutouts an inch apart on a ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes (I found the bats cooked faster and were done around 5 ½ minutes, but the bigger cutouts took a little longer) or until the edges start to lightly brown.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely (I let mine sit over night).
Glaze & Decorations
In a microwave safe bowl, melt a cup of pumpkin spice flavored candy melts and two teaspoons of vegetable shortening. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the mixture is smooth (the hotter the mixture, the easier it is to glaze the cookies).
When glazing, I found that pouring the mixture into a piping bag or Ziploc bag (with the tip cut off) was extremely helpful. Pipe the outline of the cookie first and then fill the inside with glaze.
If the glaze begins to harden, add some more vegetable shortening and microwave until it becomes smooth.
Once all the cookies have been glazed orange, melt a cup of the black candy melts and two teaspoons of vegetable shortening. Microwave in 15 second intervals, until smooth.
Using a toothpick (or, a piping bag if that’s easier for you) add faces to your cookies—remember, it’s Halloween, so have fun with your faces and don’t stress if they aren’t perfect!
Isn’t the skeleton cup the cutest thing ever? Don’t even get me started on the napkin…