Halloween Cookie Tutorial - Spider Webs

With Halloween just a week away, we wanted to do something a little out of the norm and provide a tutorial of some of our favorite Halloween cookies! 

First off, we want to give a shout out to our favorite Austin bake shop, All in One. Not only do they have great supplies, but they also offer some really fun classes.  We took a cookie class here this summer, and even though we've read tons of articles online and decorated many a batch of cookies on our own, we learned some really great tips!  Highly recommend their classes to anyone in the Austin area.

To start, you'll obviously want to make your dough. Most people will then tell you to roll your dough into a ball and refrigerate it for a while.  Well, we beg to differ.  What we learned is to roll your dough between two sheets of parchment paper right away.  That's right - NO flour.  Even if your dough is a bit sticky, the parchment allows you to roll it immediately, and you can avoid cleaning up a huge mess.  We also purchased these "perfection sticks."  By placing them next to your roller, you can ensure that all your cookies are the same thickness.  (Hint: if your parchment sheets are moving around, try rolling on top of silicon baking sheets.) 

Next, place your rolled dough in the fridge for at least one hour, or preferably overnight.  Afterward, instead of trying to roll out a hard ball of dough, your dough is already in perfectly even sheets and ready for cutting.  We used a 4-inch circle cookie cutter for these spider web cookies and baked for about 12 minutes per batch.

Here's a quick shot of the baked cookies to show you how uniform the height can be with our perfection sticks:

(Side note: decorating cookies takes a LONG time.  What we like to do is prepare the dough one night, then cut and bake the next night, and then save decorating for a whole other day.  Trust us, you'll get tired and frustrated if you don't spread it out.) 

Ok, it's decorating time. The most fun, but also the most time consuming.  To start, you'll want to whip up a batch of royal icing, which typically takes 7 to 10 minutes.  You then want to divide your icing.  You will need:

  • white piping icing
  • flooded white icing
  • flooded purple icing
  • black piping icing

Simply add water to your icing until it reaches the desired consistency. Be cautious when adding water to thin your icing because it's nearly impossible to reverse. You can find a really great royal icing tutorial here and here

Step 1: Outline your cookies.  You can use a Wilton #3 or #4 tip.  We used squeeze bottles, but you can also use pastry bags. 

Step 2: Squeeze some flooded white icing into the center of your cookies and spread around with a toothpick.  If your icing is thick enough, you should avoid bubbles.  Otherwise, try to pop them with a toothpick right away.

Step 3:  While your white flood icing is still wet, draw 3 circles with the purple flood icing.  We used a Wilton #2 tip.  Don't worry, it doesn't have to be perfect.  Sometimes the uneven ones are the cutest.  (We recommend squeeze bottles for this step over the pastry bags.)

Step 4: Again while your icing is still wet, drag a toothpick through the circles to create the spider web/marbling effect. 

Step 5: Let the cookies dry completely.

Step 6: Once dried, you can create your spiders.  We reused the #4 tip to create the body of the spiders.  We tried to make the head a bit smaller then the body.

Step 7: Using a #1 or #2 tip, pipe on 8 legs. 

Make sure you let the cookies dry completely (for a few hours) before packaging them.  We store our cookies in tupperware with sheets of parchment in between each layer.  Sugar cookies are typically good for about 10 days or you can always freeze them (they thaw really quickly).

So that's it for this special Halloween cookie tutorial edition on SASS.  We hope you can put some of our tips to good use, or you can always contact us to place an order in the Austin area.

BTW, we've been pinning Halloween treats like CRAZY on Pinterest.  What are some of your favorite Halloween treats?

Happy Planning,
Sweet & Sour Showers