Spooky Easy Ghost Cookies

Indulge in the spirit of Halloween with your loved ones by creating these charming and spooky easy ghost cookies. These cute treats are sure to set the tone for a festive feel. We lovingly refer to them as “Mom’s Special Halloween Cookies.” It’s become a tradition in our family to spend time together making them before settling down to watch classic Halloween movies, and it’s a moment I cherish and look forward to all year long.

overhead image of four adorable spooky ghost cookies on a rustic surface next to fall flowers with chocolate chip eyes and flower crowns

Indulge in the irresistible charm of these adorable treats, which are crafted from my signature shortbread cookies. These cookies are perfect for novice bakers and making with little one, as they hold their shape and require no fuss or chilling. Unlike sugar cookies, they are egg-free, making them an ideal option for anyone with an egg allergy.

Once these cookies are perfectly golden brown and baked, they are then adorned with a simple vanilla buttercream, chocolate chip eyes, and optional sprinkle lashes, giving them an extra touch of cuteness. I personally like to add some dried edible flowers from my garden to finish them off and make them even more romantic. However, this is a matter of personal choice and just adds to the whimsy of these delightful cookies. My kids just pick them off, to be honest.

overhead image of cut out ghost sugar cookies

Why you’ll love these halloween shortbread cookies:

  • Perfect for novice bakers who don’t want to make complicated treats. But a bit more special than a no bake cookie. A nice balance between impressive and effortless.
  • They require no special piping skills or tools, which you may need to pull of an icing topped cookie or intricate buttercream design. Simply spread on your buttercream and get to garnishing.
  • The cookies hold their shape, no dissapointments when pulling them out of the oven.
  • Use this recipe to make endless cut out cookies in the future. They are just as adorable as pumpkins, bats, or for the upcoming holiday season.

Tools:

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Ghost cookie cutter
  • Rolling pin

Ingredients:

For the best ghost cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened unsalted (227 grams) – with so few ingredients, it’s important to use quality butter that tastes great!
  • ½ cup confectionary sugar 60 grams – helps these cookies keep their shape while providing sweetness
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar – helps these cookies keep their shape while providing sweetness
  • ½ cup corn starch 68 grams – helps give these cookies their easy to manage consisstency
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour 260 grams
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the perfect vanilla buttercream:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (113 grams, 1 stick)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (224 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Toppings:

  • Chocolate chips for the eyes
  • Chocolate sprinkle for eyelashes

INSTRUCTIONS 

Cookies:

  • In a medium bowl, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and cornstarch until well blended. Sift flour mixture into your creamed butter, you will likely need to use your hands to form a ball. The dough will be somewhat soft.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees F).
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness.
  • Cut into rectangles 1 ½x2 inches in size or cut into shapes using a cookie cutter. 
  • Place cookies 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets
  • Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden at the edges.
  • Cool on wire racks, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • While the cookies bake and chill, make your buttercream.

ButtercreAM:

  • Cream the butter, then mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Drizzle in the milk while mixing on low, then increase speed to high and beat until smooth. If using food coloring, mix in a drop at a time until your desired color is reached.
  • Top the cookies with a generous layer of buttercream and use M&M’s to create a daisy shape.

Our tips for perfect shortbread:

We really love our shortbread here. You might have noticed our large collection of botanical shortbreads, like Rose Petal Cardamom ShortbreadLemon Thyme ShortbreadPine Needle Shortbread or Orange Rosemary Herbal Shortbread. Here are our top tips for a prefect result.

  1. Choose high quality butter: with so few ingredients, choosing quality butter is important. 
  2. Measure ingredients properly:  I know not every home baker is going to want to weigh their ingredients. I blogged for years before even considering it! But, now that I weigh my ingredients, I never make a recipe without grams because just a little too much or too little of any one ingredient can really throw off a recipe. And if I’m going through all the trouble to bake, I want to make sure it comes out just as I expected. Here is a great kitchen scale I recommend.If you don’t use a kitchen scale, spoon and level your flour for increased likelihood of accuracy.
  3. Chill before baking…sometimesThis recipe has very specific ratios with less butter so that it’s not necessary to chill, it doesn’t bubble and spread, in my experience the dough usually doesn’t have to be chilled before baking. However, if I’ve over-handled it or kept it out too long, it still will become very soft and difficult to manage while rolling or cutting shapes. If your shortbread feels too soft, no need to worry. Just pop in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, or until you’re ready to bake. This is more likely when baking with littles.
  4. Bake until golden: Despite the recommended baking time, it’s best to let the shortbread get slightly golden before removing it from the oven. This ensures they are fully crisp and will continue to harden as they chill for easy handling.
overhead image of cute ghost cut oat cookies with chocolate chip eyes and floral headband and sprinkle eyelashes on rustic ssurface next to autumn flowers

Spooky Easy Ghost Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Indulge in the spirit of Halloween with your loved ones by creating these charming and spooky easy ghost cookies. These cute treats are sure to set the tone for a festive feel. We lovingly refer to them as "Mom's Special Halloween Cookies." It's become a tradition in our family to spend time together making them before settling down to watch classic Halloween movies, and it's a moment I cherish and look forward to all year long.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:12 minutes

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • Ghost shortbread cookies:
  • 1 cup butter softened unsalted (227 grams) – with so few ingredients, it’s important to use quality butter that tastes great!
  • ½ cup confectionary sugar 60 grams 60 grams
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup corn starch 68 grams 68 gramss
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour 260 grams
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Vanilla buttercream:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature (113 grams, 1 stick)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted (224 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Toppings:

Toppings:

  • Chocolate chips for the eyes
  • Chocolate sprinkle for eyelashes

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C).
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness.
  • Cut into rectangles 1 ½x2 inches in size or cut into shapes using a cookie cutter.
  • Place cookies 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets
  • Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden at the edges.
  • Cool on wire racks, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Cream the butter, then mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Drizzle in the milk while mixing on low, then increase speed to high and beat until smooth.
  • Top the cookies with a generous layer of buttercream and use chocolate chips and sprinkles to create eyes, eyelashes and mouth.

Notes

  1. Choose high quality butter: with so few ingredients, choosing quality butter is important. 
  2. Measure ingredients properly:  I know not every home baker is going to want to weigh their ingredients. I blogged for years before even considering it! But, now that I weigh my ingredients, I never make a recipe without grams because just a little too much or too little of any one ingredient can really throw off a recipe. And if I’m going through all the trouble to bake, I want to make sure it comes out just as I expected. Here is a great kitchen scale I recommend.If you don’t use a kitchen scale, spoon and level your flour for increased likelihood of accuracy.
  3. Chill before baking…sometimesThis recipe has very specific ratios with less butter so that it’s not necessary to chill, it doesn’t bubble and spread, in my experience the dough usually doesn’t have to be chilled before baking. However, if I’ve over-handled it or kept it out too long, it still will become very soft and difficult to manage while rolling or cutting shapes. If your shortbread feels too soft, no need to worry. Just pop in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, or until you’re ready to bake. This is more likely when baking with littles.
  4. Bake until golden: Despite the recommended baking time, it’s best to let the shortbread get slightly golden before removing it from the oven. This ensures they are fully crisp and will continue to harden as they chill for easy handling.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best ghost cookies, easy halloween cookies, ghost cookies, ghost cut oat cookies, halloween shortbread, shortbread with buttercream
Servings: 16
Calories: 220kcal
Author: sarah

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