Welcome back to Cookie Monday! Enjoy this week’s installment:
Who here is ready for Halloween? I may not have my costume figured out yet, but I do have plenty of Candy Corn Cookies. If you thought the actual candy was good, wait until you try these miniature sugar cookies that look just like the addictive treat—I think they taste even better.
These candy corn cookies take a basic sugar cookie dough that’s divided into three pieces, and colored with a little food coloring. It’s sticky and messy, and your hands might look slightly jaundiced for a few hours, but sacrifices must be made for cookies.
Once it’s fully colored, the dough is pressed into a straight-edge loaf pan, and chilled until firm. I stuck my dough in the freezer because I wanted the sun to still be out while I was photographing the dough, but you can always refrigerate the dough for a few hours or even overnight before cutting out the cookies.
Using the edges of parchment that line the loaf pan, the block of dough is removed from the pan and sliced, then cut into small triangles. It helps if you channel your inner Martha Stewart here and imagine that you’re decorating your Hamptons house with seasonally appropriate decorations and baking cookies after an afternoon of apple picking. I happened to be writing college essays in between chilling the dough and baking the cookies, but I figure a little Martha never hurts when baking anything especially creative.
Once you have several hundred of these adorable cookies all sliced up, they’re baked until just set on the edges. Let them cool, and then bring them to your next Halloween party for a trick and a treat in one tiny bite. Happy Halloween!
Candy Corn Cookies
Recipe from the PBS food blog, Fresh Tastes
Makes a bunch of tiny cookies (8 cups of cookies)
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
Yellow and red food coloring
- To prepare, cut 3 rectangles of parchment paper and about the size of a piece of paper and cut one sheet of parchment paper with a width of 8 ½ inches and a length of at least 12 inches. Use the 4th sheet of parchment paper to line the bottom and long sides of a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the baking soda, salt, and flour and mix on low speed until all the flour is incorporated. Turn the dough out onto parchment and divide into three equal portions—if you have a food scale, each piece will be 260g-270g.
- Leave one of the pieces plain, add 5 drops of yellow food coloring to one of the pieces, ad 4 drops of red and 6 drops of yellow to the third piece. Kneading gently, mix the yellow food coloring into the second dough piece first, then gently knead the third piece until the colors are evenly distributed and the dough is orange in color.
- Take the parchment lined loaf pan and place the un-colored dough piece into it. Using your hands, gently pat it down into an even layer, making sure the dough reaches to the edges of the pan. Then place the orange dough on top of the first piece and gently pat it into an even layer, then press firmly to compress the dough. Now add the yellow dough, smooth it into an even layer, and pat firmly to compress the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours. If you’re in a rush, you can freeze the dough instead for 45 minutes before cutting the cookies.
- One the dough has chilled, set it on the counter, preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the pan by pulling gently on the parchment sides, then cut the dough width-wise into ¼ inch thick slices using a sharp knife. Cut the dough into small triangles (about the size of a candy corn) as shown in the above pictures, then place them ½ inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the edges are set, then let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.