Ghost Cookies

These ghost cookies are made from sugar cookies frosted with royal icing. A spooky but cute treat for your Halloween party!

ghost cookies recipe

Ingredients

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Here is your shopping list:

  • 1 egg
  • flavoring: vanilla extract, almond extract – the almond extract is optional but I think it makes the cookies taste better.
  • flour – you can use regular all-purpose flour or measure-for-measure gluten-free flour (this gluten-free brand* works the best)
  • baking supplies: baking powder, baking soda, salt, meringue powder
  • sugar: granulated sugar, 1 pound icing sugar
  • dairy: cold unsalted butter
  • black decorating icing – since these cookies don’t require a lot of black icing, you can use the black decorating icing that comes in a tube*. However, you can make a small batch of our black royal icing if you prefer.

Supplies

  • 2 mixing bowls
  • food processor
  • stand mixer with mixing bowl
  • cookie sheet – rimless cookie sheets work best since they allow even air flow that results in evenly baked cookies
  • parchment paper
  • rolling pin
  • ghost cookie cutters – I used this one* and the ghost in this collection*
  • metal spatula
  • wire cooling rack
  • piping bag – I like to use these re-usable piping bags*
  • piping tip #4 – you can use a smaller (#3) or larger (#5) tip if you prefer
  • coupler (optional)

How To Make Ghost Sugar Cookies

Make The Dough

cookie dough being processed in food processor

Get all the details for making sugar cookies HERE.

In a small bowl, beat the egg.

Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon almond extract and ¾ teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together 2½ cups of flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ¼ teaspoon baking powder. Set aside.

Cut up 2 sticks (1 cup) of cold (straight from the refrigerator) butter into chunks.

Add the butter and 1 cup of granulated sugar to the food processor and process until combined, about 30 seconds.

Mix in the egg mixture until combined, about 10 seconds.

Then add the flour mixture and process until all of the flour is combined, about 30 seconds.

Roll The Dough

cookie dough being rolled out

Divide the dough in half to make it easier to roll.

Put one ball of dough in between 2 large sheets of parchment paper.

Push the ball flat with your hands (inside the parchment paper layers).

Then use the rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 1/8″ thick.

Put the rolled out dough on a cookie sheet or tray, still keeping the parchment paper on both sides.

Repeat with the other ball of dough.

Stack the second sheet of dough on top of the first sheet on the tray.

Refrigerate the rolled out dough for 1½ hours, or freeze for 30 minutes.

Cut Out The Ghosts

Take the first sheet of cookie dough out of the refrigerator (leaving the other one in).

Peel off the top layer of parchment paper.

ghost cookie cutter on cookie dough

Use the ghost cookie cutters to cut shapes in the cookie dough.

Put the cut out cookie dough back in the refrigerator (still on the bottom piece of parchment paper).

Repeat the process with the second sheet of cookie dough.

Refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until the dough is stiff. This will make the cookies much easier to move to the cookie sheet without wrecking their shape.

Bake The Cookies

spatula removing ghost cookie from parchment paper

Use a metal spatula to separate the cookies from the bottom layer of parchment paper.

Put a new piece of parchment paper down on a cookie sheet (rimless ones are better).

ghost cookie cutouts on cookie sheet

Then lay out the cookies about ½ inch apart.

Bake at 300℉ for 14 to 16 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies are slightly brown.

Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet.

ghost cookie cut outs on wire cooling rack

Then move to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

Repeat with the other sheet of cut-out cookies.

Roll out the extra dough to create another batch of cookies.

How To Make White Royal Icing

white royal icing in a bowl

You can find all of our tips and tricks for making royal icing HERE.

Mix 4 cups icing sugar, 3 Tablespoons meringue powder and ½ cup of WARM water in a stand mixer on low speed

Once they are combined, increase to medium speed.

Mix for 5 to 8 minutes until the icing forms soft peaks. (When you remove the whisk, the icing should create a hill with a tip that leans over.)

Test The Consistency Of Your Icing

Next test that the icing is the right consistency for outlining and flooding (or filling in) the cookies:

  • Run a knife through the middle of your icing and count how many seconds it takes for the cut to close.
  • If it takes longer than 15 seconds (or it doesn’t close at all), the icing is too stiff. Add in a few drops of water.
  • If it’s closing faster than 15 seconds, mix the icing for a little while longer until it gets stiffer.
  • Repeat the test until the cut in the icing closes in about 15 seconds.

How To Decorate Halloween Bat Sugar Cookies

white icing being piped around the edge of the ghost cookie

Outline the edge of your ghosts with icing.

ghost sugar cookie being flooded with white royal icing

Then flood (fill in) the middle. Use a knife or small spatula to spread the icing out and fill in any gaps.

The flooded ghost cookies

Let the white icing dry completely (at least 6 hours or preferably over night). This will prevent the black icing from bleeding onto the white.

Black royal icing face being piped on a ghost cookie

Use the black decorating gel (or black royal icing) to add 2 eyes and a round mouth. Keep them fairly close together for the best look.

Boo! being piped on a ghost cookie with black royal icing

Add the word “BOO!” to the body of the ghosts for a little extra spookiness.

Let the cookies sit for at least 6 hours to let the black icing dry before storing in an air tight container.

ghost cookie decorated with white royal icing and black eyes and mouth

How To Store Ghost Cookies

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container:

  • at room temperature for about 3 days.
  • in the refrigerator for about a week.
  • in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To keep your cookies looking their best, place a layer of parchment paper between each layer of cookies.

Other Halloween Desserts You Might Like

ghost cookies

Halloween Ghost Cookies

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Rate Recipe:

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Wanda Simone
These ghost sugar cookies are super easy to make and will add a little spookiness to your Halloween party.

Ingredients

Sugar Cookies

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract optional
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • cups all-purpose flour or measure-for-measure gluten-free flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tube black decorating gel

White Royal Icing

  • 4 cups icing sugar about 1 pound
  • 3 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • ½ cup warm water

Equipment

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • mixing spoon
  • food processor
  • Stand Mixer With Whisk Attachment and Mixing Bowl
  • Spatula
  • parchment paper
  • rolling pin
  • cookie sheet
  • ghost cookie cutters
  • wire cooling rack
  • Piping bag
  • Piping tip #4
  • Coupler (optional)

Instructions

How To Make The Cookies

  • In a small bowl, combine the egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon almond extract and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix 2½ cups of flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ¼ teaspoon baking powder. Set aside.
  • Combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of butter (cut into chunks) in the food processor, mixing for about 30 seconds
  • Add in the egg mixture and process until combined, about 10 seconds.
  • Mix in the flour mixture and process until all of the flour is combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Divide the dough in half to make it easier to roll.
  • Put one ball of dough in between 2 large sheets of parchment paper.
  • Push the ball flat with your hands. Then use the rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 1/8" thick.
  • Put the rolled-out dough with the parchment paper on a cookie sheet or tray.
  • Repeat the process with the other ball of dough and stack it on top of the first sheet on the tray.
  • Refrigerate the rolled-out dough for 1½ hours, or freeze for 30 minutes.
  • Take one sheet of cookie dough out of the refrigerator and peel off the top layer of parchment paper.
  • Use the ghost cookie cutters to cut shapes in the cookie dough.
  • Put the cut-out cookie dough back in the refrigerator.
  • Repeat with the second sheet of cookie dough.
  • Refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until the dough is stiff.
  • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  • Put a piece of parchment paper down on a cookie sheet.
  • Take the first sheet of cookie dough out of the refrigerator.
  • Use a thin spatula to separate the cookies from the bottom layer of parchment paper.
  • Then lay out the cookies about ½" apart on the parchment-covered cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 14 to 17 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies are slightly brown.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet.
  • Then move to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
  • Repeat with the other sheet of cookies.
  • Roll out the extra dough to make another batch of cookies.

How To Make White Royal Icing

  • Mix 4 cups icing sugar, 3 Tablespoons meringue powder and ½ cup WARM water with a whisk attachment in a stand mixer on low speed.
  • Once the ingredients are combined, increase the speed to medium.
  • Mix for 5 to 8 minutes until the icing forms soft peaks.
  • Test the consistency of the icing by running a knife through it. If the cut closes in more than 15 seconds, the icing is too stiff so mix in a few drops of water. If the cut closes in more than 15 seconds, the icing is too runny so mix it for a little longer. Test and repeat until the icing is the right consistency.

How To Decorate Halloween Ghost Cookies

  • Outline the edge of the ghosts with the white icing
  • Flood (fill in) the middle. Spread the icing out with a knife or toothpick to fill in any gaps.
  • Let the cookies sit for at least 6 hours (or preferably over night) to let the icing dry.
  • Use the black decorating gel (or black royal icing) to add 2 eyes and a round mouth. Pipe the word "BOO!" on the body of the ghost.
  • Let the black icing dry for at least 6 hours before storing.

Notes

  • Refrigerating the dough makes sure that the cookies hold their shape
  • Roll the cookie dough evenly thick all the way around since this will make the cookies bake evenly.
  • Putting the dough back in the refrigerator after cutting the ghosts will make them much easier to transfer to the cookie sheet without wrecking them.
  • Rimless cookie sheets work best for even baking since they allow for even airflow.

How To Store Ghost Cookies

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container:
  • at room temperature for about 3 days
  • in the refrigerator for about a week
  • in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To keep your cookies looking their best, place a layer of parchment paper between each layer of cookies.
Tried this recipe?Mention @EntertainingDiva or tag #entertainingdiva!

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