Bat and Cobweb Cookies

Bat and Cobweb Cookies

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.


  • 6 cups all-purpose flour (sifted, then measured), plus more for dusting

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar

  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups unsulfured molasses

  • Royal Icing


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

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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