Just as setting out milk and cookies will appease a jolly elf, these gingerbread critters are sure to tame ornery beasts. Lemony royal icing cloaks the cookies with spider web and bat disguises. Use extra icing to give the bats staring eyes and to make chubby spiders.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder together into a large bowl; set aside.

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  • Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Beat in eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture.

  • Divide dough into 3 equal pieces, and flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Transfer dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet, refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Use bat and cobweb cookie cutters to create shapes. Transfer to baking sheets, and refrigerate 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining disks.

  • Bake cookies until crisp but not darkened, rotating sheets halfway through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks, let cookies cool completely before decorating with Royal Icing.

  • Using desired base color (black for bats, white for cobwebs) and a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain round tip (such as #3), pipe icing on each cookie to form an outline. Fill in with more icing, and smooth with an offset spatula. Embellish before icing dries.

  • Bats: Using colored icing, pipe three lines in an arc on the still-wet icing base. For each wing: Drag a wooden skewer across the width in alternating directions. Add eyes after icing has dried.

  • Cobwebs: Pipe a spiral of black icing on the still-wet icing base. Pipe decorative dots on points of cookie. Using a wooden skewer, draw lines from the center outward, connecting the center of the web and the decorative dots. Add spiders to webs after icing has dried.

Reviews (12)

74 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 11
  • 3 star values: 30
  • 2 star values: 18
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Don't judge this recipe by the taste of the batter or the cookie before it is iced. They have an overpowering molasses taste initially but after baking and sitting for a day they mellow and are terrific. They also soften after a day, making them suitable for little mouths. The dough is wonderful to handle after chilling for a few hours. These will become a tradition for us!
Rating: Unrated
10/19/2011
I loved the strong flavour of these cookies. And so did all my guests. I am making them again this year.
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2010
The molasses flavour is way too strong in the dough, but after baking and waiting a day, the flavour mellows and the cookies taste much better. I think that 1.5 cups of molasses is way too much, and the dough is impossible to handle. I ended up adding more flour and chilling the dough for an extra hour. When I was rolling it out and cutting out the cookies, I could only work with a small amount at a time while leaving the rest in the fridge.
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Rating: Unrated
10/24/2010
I just made these and their flavor is very strong. My son does not like the dough flavor at all. I will freeze it and pull it out for ginger bread house season.
Rating: Unrated
10/23/2009
Can anyone tell me if they actually made the cookies and how they tasted?
Rating: Unrated
10/22/2009
Here are the instructions for the technique: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/spiderweb-cookies This maybe my "go to cookie" from now on!
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Rating: Unrated
10/30/2008
to make the spider web you start in the center and make a spiral working from the center of the cookie on out towards the edges.Then take a tookpick and put it in the center of the cookie and draw it out towards each point. Then in between each point put the toothpick again at the edge and go towards the center..go luck they come out great!
Rating: Unrated
10/26/2008
Does it give instructions anywhere for decorating cob web cookies?
Rating: Unrated
10/23/2008
It takes a lot of black gel color to get a rich black. One way to achieve it easier and use less gel color is to add cocoa powder first and make your icing dark brown then add a few drops of the black gel color to get to the desired color faster.
Rating: Unrated
10/23/2008
You can purchase black food gel coloring. Michaels craft store actually carries the Wilton brand gel coloring in their "cake decorating" section. You can find the black color gel there. If you find and go to your local cake decorating supply store, they will also carry black gel coloring in different brands as well.
Rating: Unrated
10/22/2008
they have black food coloring paste
Rating: Unrated
10/20/2008
I am concerned about making the icing with the figures appearing on the picture. Can you explain how is it done? I notice the bat icing is dark... is that chocolatre?