My mom has been making these tasty little thumbprint cookies for as long as I can remember. She makes them in bright red and green for Christmas, or pale pink or blue for baby showers. I decided to make a Happy Halloween Thumbprint Cookie in spooky halloween colors. We even added some silly candy eyeballs to make them extra scary!
These are a delicious little shortbread cookie. They're melt-in-your-mouth buttery, and the little pop of frosting in the center adds just the right amount of sweetness.
This recipe makes a TON of cookies (around 10 dozen). If you don't need that many but want to make the full recipe, you can freeze the dough or the baked, unfrosted cookies.
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Let's start with the cookies!
1 3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. butter
1 3/4 c. solid shortening
1/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
8 1/2 c. flour
Beat together the sugar, butter, shortening, salt and vanilla until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and mix, scraping down sides of bowl. Slowly add the flour, mixing only long enough to combine. You may have to mix some of the flour in by hand. If dough is too dry, add small spoonfuls of water until dough is just combined. Divide the dough into parts about the size of a baseball. Form each part into a long roll, about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap each log in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
Preheat oven to 350. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place cut side up on lightly greased or parchment-covered cookie sheet. This dough doesn't spread or even out in the oven, so smooth out any cracks or crumbs before you bake them if a perfect appearance is important to you. You may want to wait for the dough to warm up a bit in order to help shape them.
Press thumb or other tool (I used the round, rubberized, handle of a whisk) in center of each cookie to make indentation. Bake for 8-10 minutes-- just until edges begin to turn slightly golden. Don't let them brown. Press thumb or tool in indentation again while cookies are still warm. Cool completely then drizzle a small bit of frosting in the center.
Speaking of the frosting, let's make it!
2 c. confectioner's or powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency. You should be able to slowly drizzle frosting from a spoon to form a puddle in the cookie indentations.
Divide frosting into separate bowls to make different colors. Add food coloring as desired.
Using a small spoon, drizzle into the center of the cookies.
For our Halloween version, we used the purple and green colors from this set of McCormick Neon Food Coloring and orange and black from this Wilton Halloween pack. We also added some of these spooky candy eyeballs and a few of these other spooky candy eyeballs.
These cookies would be great to bring to a Halloween party or to have to snack on in the week leading up to Halloween!
Behind the scenes - find the good light for photos!