Boo! These Sugar Cookie Ghosts with Buttercream Frosting are anything but spooky to make. This no-fail, easy tried-and-true recipe is perfect for the upcoming Halloween season and far easier to make than it looks. Want to know my best tips and tricks for decorating sugar cookies? Use very cold dough. My famous sugar cookie recipe holds its shape perfectly whole baking, especially when it has been refrigerated overnight. . If you bake the dough before chilling your cookie will lose its edges and you’ll end up with some wonky looking ghosts! Then, your frosting consistency is key. If you use buttercream frosting like I did here, you’ll have much more wiggle room than if you used a royal icing. The most important step? Take your time! Expect to have a couple silly looking ghosts when perfecting your icing consistency and finding your rhythm. Don’t fret and know they will all taste just as delicious!
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Black food dye
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, cream together the confectioners’ sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff.
- Now it is time to decorate! Take one heaping spoonful of frosting and place in a small bowl. Add black food dye and mix until well combined. Frost cookies with white frosting, add candy eyes and sprinkle with clear sparkly sprinkles. Pipe on mouths with the black frosting.