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black halloween sugar cookies
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Halloween Sugar Cookies

These Halloween Sugar Cookies use activated charcoal to give them a dye-free spooky black look!  The recipe is so simple to make, you can easily turn your favorite sugar cookie recipe into a Halloween themed treat. Plus there is a how-to for making Witches Cauldron Cookies using isomalt, royal icing, and sprinkles
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 36
Calories: 100kcal

Equipment

  • Tools for Making Halloween Sugar Cookies:
  • Standing or Hand Held Mixer
  • Measuring Cups
  • Baking Trays
  • Parchment Paper or Silicone Matts
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Optional:
  • Scale
  • Sprinkles
  • Royal Icing
  • Piping Bags
  • Candy Thermometer

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups All-Purpose Flour 11 oz
  • 1.5 tbsp Food-Grade Activated Charcoal
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1.5 tsp Vanilla or vanilla bean paste

Instructions

Making Halloween Sugar Cookies

  • Whisk flour, salt, and activated charcoal in a bowl and set aside.
  • Using a standing or handheld mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar on medium until fully mixed together, about 45-60 seconds.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla.
  • Mix on low, increasing to medium until fully combined, about 30-60 seconds.
  • Add the flour mixture. Starting on low, mix for about 30 seconds. Slowly increase speed to medium. Once the dough starts to clump in the middle it’s done. You should be able to press your finger into the dough and it will indent and not stick.
  • Divide your dough in half. If you’re saving you dough to bake at a later time, form two disks and wrap tightly in plastic. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag in the fridge or freeze until ready to bake.
  • Otherwise, roll out each slab of dough to ¼ - ½ inch thick on floured parchment. Be sure to add a little bit of activated charcoal to the flour when rolling it out.
  • Cover with another piece of parchment and stack on a baking tray.
  • Chill in the fridge 1 hour.
  • At this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • After the dough has chilled, remove from the fridge and cut out the cookies. Re-roll the scraps of dough, and re-chill the dough until firm.
  • Place the cut out sugar cookies on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
  • Optional: Rechill the cut-out cookies for 10-15 minutes in the fridge or freezer to further prevent spreading.
  • Depending on size, bake for 8-12 minutes.
  • Let cool 5 minutes on baking pan, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Let cool completely before frosting.

Making Cauldron Cookies

  • Cut out cauldron cookies with an oval center in the middle. Once the cookies are baked and cooled, line them up on a silicone mat on a flat surface, with the tops facing down.
  • Once your cookies are lined up, make isomalt according to instructions. The amount will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter and how many cookies you’re making, but I recommend using around 1 tablespoon of isomat per side of cookie. You can always reuse the isomalt if you have extra.
  • Once the isomat is the correct temperature, slowly and carefully pour it into the centers of the cookies, filling them about half way up the sides. I recommend pouring the hot isomalt into a pyrex measuring cup to make it easy to pour.
  • Quickly go around and pop any bubbles and move the isomat to the edges of the cookie with a toothpick. You want to do this before the isomalt starts to dry, otherwise it will leave marks on the isomalt.
  • Let the isomalt cool down completely before trying to move the cookies, about 15-30 minutes.
  • Once they’ve cooled, line up you cookies so that they match.
  • Using black royal icing, fill in the cauldron.
  • Let the icing dry.
  • Once the black icing has dried, add green dots of royal icing to look like witches brew bubbling over. While the green icing is still wet, add sprinkles.
  • Let dry completely.
  • Place one side of the cookie, icing down. Add sprinkles in the isomalt circle. Do not overfill.
  • Fill around the isomalt with black royal icing. Do not get too close to the isomalt.
  • Very gently press the top part of the cookie onto the bottom part.
  • Let dry completely.
  • That’s it! Adorable witches cauldron cookies and simple black cat and witch hat cookies to go along with them.

Notes

  • You can add activated charcoal to your favorite cookie dough recipe for dye-free black cookies.
  • If the top of your cauldron cookies are uneven like mine are, you’ll want to either bake half the cookies flipped on the opposite side (make sure they are very chilled when you do this or they can get misshapen) or decorate half the cookies on the side they were baked on so that they line up when you close them.
  • If the isomalt gets cloudy after it dries, you can rub a little vegetable oil on it and it should uncloud. You can also quickly run a cooking torch over the isomalt. But, be very careful with this method as it is easy to remelt the isomalt.
  • These black sugar cookies will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • The isomalt cookies look best within a day or two of making them as they can start to get cloudy. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Cookie | Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.4mg