Decorated Halloween Cream Cheese Roll-Out Cookies

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

These roll out cookies can really be made for any occasion, but a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, some chocolate chips, and some orange sanding sugar makes quick work of turning them into a spooky treat.

Note: With an icing as easy as this, it's best to use your own eyes. Start with 2 1/2 tablespoons of water mixed with 2 cups confectioners sugar until smooth. Not thin enough? Add a little more water, one teaspoon at a time. The icing should be easy to spread onto the cookies but not run off.

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

Decorated Halloween Cream Cheese Roll-Out Cookies

About This Recipe

Yield:makes 3 dozen 2-inch cookies
Active time:30 minutes (or more depending on how fancy you get with your decorations)
Total time:1 hour 20 minutes
Special equipment:stand mixer, baking sheets, parchment paper, 2-inch pumpkin shaped cookie cutter or cookie cutter of your choice
This recipe appears in: Cookie Monster: Easy Decorated Halloween Cream Cheese Cookies


  • For Cookies
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For decorating
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water (see note)
  • Orange sanding sugar
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)


  1. 1

    Make cookies: In a large bowl, stir together melted butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add egg yolk and vanilla and stir to combine. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until dough is formed. Divide dough in two, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.

  2. 2

    Adjust oven rack to middle positions and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. 3

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out one ball of dough until 1/8-inch thick. Cut out pumpkin shapes using your cookie cutter and use a spatula to transfer to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. If you want to use the chocolate chips, press into tops of cut-out cookies to make halloween shapes or sayings. Bake cookies until golden at the edges, 9-12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  4. 4

    To decorate: Place sanding sugar in a small shallow bowl. In a medium bowl, mix together confectioners sugar and water until you have a smooth icing that is easy to spread. Use a knife to spread one cookie with icing, then dip cookie in sanding sugar to coat. Transfer back to wire rack and repeat with remaining cookies. Let stand for 20 minutes or until the icing has hardened before transporting.


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