Sunday, October 25, 2009

Easy Halloween Cookies: Two Ways

Halloween cookies

Do you want to make some festive Halloween cookies without cutting anything out or spending much time? These very different cookies start with one batch of dough. The total recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies depending on how small you make them.  One batch of dough, about 10-15 minutes of effort, and you'll have two kinds of cookies to show for it: spiced pumpkin chip cookies with sprinkles and chocolate Halloween M&M cookies.

The secret ingredients here are Hershey's pumpkin spice Kisses and Halloween milk chocolate M&Ms. I found both on sale. This year's M&Ms are especially striking against a dark cookie, since they include brown, orange, purple, and neon green candies.

Preheat your oven to 350. Then start with 1 cup of butter, margarine, or shortening. Add 1.5 cups of brown sugar and cream it all together. Then add 1 tsp of vanilla and 2 eggs. Stir to combine. Then add 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of baking soda, and 2 cups of flour. Once this is all mixed well, divide the dough into two bowls.

To one bowl of dough, add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg (about 4 grates of freshly grated if you have it). Mix this up with 1/4 cup of flour. Then add 16 pumpkin spice Kisses, roughly chopped. (You can also just top your cookies with Kisses, but these are very soft, sort of settle into themselves as they cook, and make the cookies tough to stack in a jar.) Mix everything until combined. Scoop about 1/2 a regular spoon of dough per cookie. Dip into sprinkles and set them sprinkle side up on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes, then check. When cookies are just starting to brown along the edges, they're done. (For a more traditional recipe format, see this recipe at Tasty Kitchen.)

To the other bowl of dough, add 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder, 3/4 cup of M&Ms, and 1/4 cup of flour. Mix well to combine. Scoop by 1/2 spoons onto your baking sheet. Add more M&Ms to the top of each cookie if none are showing. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes.

To make one full batch of either kind of cookie, just double the ingredients in the additions list to make a full batch.

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