Halloween is a classic holiday that almost everybody loves. You get to dress as silly characters and enjoy tons of sweet treats! What’s there not to enjoy? But what if you aren’t a big fan of candy, or trick-or-treating? No worries. Make these Halloween themed cookies instead, and become the most popular house for Halloween in your neighborhood.
With some fun decorations, these cookies are made extra spooky. These Halloween cookies are pudding cookies, so they are extra chewy and soft. You and your guests won’t get enough of these spooky Halloween cookies! Even if it isn’t Halloween, you can use this recipe and switch out the toppings to match it to whatever holiday you are celebrating! It’s a great cookie recipe that you can use at any time.
WHAT’S A PUDDING COOKIE?
Most cookies are made from flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. But pudding cookies add an extra ingredient - instant pudding mix! This may sound strange, but you are adding the powdered mix itself, not actual pudding. This makes the cookies more moist, softer, and chewier.
Adding pudding mix makes it much easier to switch up the flavors of the cookies as well. For a simple cookie base, vanilla pudding mix is a great choice. Feel free to use chocolate, lemon, or even strawberry flavored puddings!
Butter: Use unsalted instead of salted butter.
Brown Sugar: Adds a nice caramel flavor to the cookies, because of its molasses content.
Vanilla Extract: It’s best to use pure vanilla extract for the richest vanilla flavor. Use what you have though!
Egg: Acts as a binding agent for the ingredients.
Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: Makes the cookies soft and chewy. Add in the dry mix. You don’t have to make any pudding for this recipe.
Baking Soda: Helps the cookies rise.
Salt: Balances the sweet flavors.
All-Purpose Flour: Feel free to use a gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Sprinkles: Try to use Halloween themed sprinkles. That means sprinkles that are the following colors: green, purple, orange, or black.
M&Ms: Use any flavor you like! Try to use the same colors as your sprinkles.
Candy Eyes: Optional addition, but will make your cookies much spookier!
HOW TO MAKE SPOOKY COOKIES
Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to mix the butter and brown sugar together. You want to mix them until the butter looks fluffy. Then, combine the creamed butter with the egg and vanilla extract. Toss in your pudding mix of choice, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Once combined, add in the flour bit by bit. If you add all the flour in at once, you may get flour everywhere! Mix in your sprinkles and M&Ms, and your dough is prepared!
Use an ice cream scoop to scoop balls of dough onto a lined baking sheet. Chill the scooped dough in the fridge for an hour. This will help them hold their shape while in the oven.
While the cookies are chilling, preheat your oven to 350°F and line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Split the chilled dough between the two lined baking sheets, so each cookie has some space around it. The cookies will spread while in the oven, so they need space to do that.
Bake the cookies in the oven for about 11 minutes. Take them out of the oven and add some candy eyes on top. Let them cool for a few minutes, then place the cookies onto a rack. Once they have cooled completely, enjoy them with a glass of milk!
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RECIPE
Can I use a flavor other than vanilla?
Yes! Vanilla pudding mix gives a great simple flavor that can be built off of with the M&M’s. But, feel free to use any flavor you like. Make your cookies extra chocolate-y with a chocolate pudding mix.
How do I store the cookies?
After letting the cookies cool completely, put them in an airtight container in the fridge. They will be good to eat for 4 days. Feel free to freeze them to make them last a month.
Can I freeze the dough?
If you want to get ahead in making these Halloween cookies, freezing the dough is simple. Wrap the dough in cling film and freeze the dough for up to a month. When you’re ready to bake them, add in an extra 2 minutes to the baking time.
- Take the time to chill the dough in the fridge. It helps the cookies hold their shapes, and will give you a more flavorful cookie.
- Don’t use sugar-free pudding mix. Instant pudding mix is what will work best in this recipe.
- Switch up the toppings however you like to fit different holidays, or to make them less spooky (not everyone wants to eat candy eyes!).
- The best way to measure flour is to use a spoon. Use a spoon to add flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping it out of the bag. This will give you the most accurate amount of flour.