Spider Cookies

spider cookies
Photo: The Morrisons
Prep Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
1 dozen

A spooky spin on the classic black-and-white cookie, these treats will weave a tangled web of fun on the Halloween dessert table. A novice-friendly decorating technique makes these Halloween cookies easy to pull off, while a juicy 'black widow spider' made of raspberry gummies and black licorice sets a polished trap.


  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • cup buttermilk

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 4 teaspoons Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • Black gummy raspberries and black licorice laces, for decorating


  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter with granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine.

  2. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour mixture, then buttermilk, then remaining flour mixture, beating until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating halfway through, until bottoms are golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets.

  4. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, whisk together 1 cup confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until mixture forms a loose but pipeable glaze. Transfer half of mixture to a resealable plastic bag; snip a small hole in one corner.

  5. In another bowl, whisk together remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until mixture forms a loose but pipeable glaze. Transfer half to another resealable bag; snip a small hole in one corner.

  6. Working with a few cookies at a time, dip flat sides into remaining icing in bowls (some chocolate, some white), allowing excess to drip off. Transfer, flat-sides up, to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.

  7. While glaze is still wet, pipe rings with alternate-color icings, starting in center and working your way to edges of cookies. Drag a toothpick from centers outward in 1/2-inch increments to create spider-web patterns. Place a raspberry candy on each cookie and decorate with licorice-lace legs, pressing into glaze to adhere.

Cook's Notes

You can find the spooky edible decorations needed for this recipe at www.nuts.com.

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