Halloween Shortbread Cookies

Hello! And a Happy Halloween to all ghouls, goblins, and whatnots.

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

Can you believe how close we are to November?? Wow. Time just needs to stop. Like, right now.

I’ve mentioned before to you how much I love Halloween but dislike the gruesome side of it – which, maybe you’re thinking “what exactly do you think the point of Halloween is?” Uh, cute costumes, pumpkins, festivals and, well, all that the holiday is just without the oozing blood and extreme obsession with death and darkness. This, of course, is coming from the person who went into a Halloween store once and was totally freaked out by the room they had dedicated to the darker side of things. Hey, I can take spook but in moderation, please. And let’s keep it family friendly, k?

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

Really though, I think I always envisioned and loved the idea of Halloween being what I read about in children’s picture books; sort of a celebration of fall with the aforementioned cute costumes, candy… and all that good stuff.

Can I hear an amen?

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

I tell you what though, one place I’ve been to and would not want to be on Halloween is Salem, MA (totally cheesy). I visited Salem several years back with high expectations and came away sorely disappointed (I wasn’t there on Halloween and sure wouldn’t want to be either!). It was nothing but a tourist trap.

Sooo, are you a Halloween fan or do you think it’s overrated?

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

I don’t know what your plans are and whether you’ve had everything planned for weeks, or are more like me and tend to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off (← there, my attempt at Halloween gore) trying to make sure everything’s ready in time, but regardless you need these cookies in your life asap. And, they’re good for the planned and less planned as they are so easy (I ♥ easy!) and oh-my-goodness delicious. This shortbread is a family recipe and you’ve seen no shortage of it around here and won’t anytime soon. (Of course, I must note that to have it the authentic way, you need to experience it plain with nothing inside and nothing on top – this version will be coming your way soon! – but it is also a very versatile cookie and fun to create with.)

This version I have for you today is extremely easy to make. And if you are still in need of a Halloween treat, these will come together and be ready for eating in time for your parties or after-trick-or-treating crash. We all need a little ease in our life, don’t you think? Especially during these next two months – oh, these next two months… #notready

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

The Lowdown: Rich, buttery shortbread covered in a marshmallow buttercream and topped with chocolate Halloween designs will beat any treat on the block! 

Halloween Shortbread Cookies
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 6 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 2 C. (4 sticks or 1 lb) butter softened and cut into 1 tbsp. slices
  • 2-3 egg yolks (please see note below!)
  • Marshmallow Buttercream:
  • 1 ½ C. powdered sugar
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ C. marshmallow creme
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla extract
  • For Decorating:
  • ½ C. chocolate chips (I used semisweet)


    For the shortbread:
  1. In a large bowl using a large spoon, mix together flour and sugar.
  2. With your hands, knead butter into flour mixture until well blended, about 5 minutes. It will be done when dough forms a moist crumb and there are no visible chunks of butter.
  3. Using your hands, mix in egg yolks. Start with two, mix and form a small ball. If the dough is too dry and falls apart add the extra yolk. Keep in mind that this is a very crumbly dough in general, but it should still hold together when you squeeze some together in your hand.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° f.
  5. Form about 7 baseball-size balls of dough.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, take one ball at a time and lightly roll to about 1/4 in. thickness with rolling pin (you can also pat it out with your hands - I used a combination of the two). Again, keep in mind that this is a crumbly dough, so as you roll you might need to do some patching.
  7. With a 3 in. round cookie cutter (mine was a little over 3 in. round), cut out cookies, re-rolling/patting dough as needed.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough balls, re-flouring surface as needed. In all, you should get 22-23 cookies total.
  9. Place rounds on a non greased cookie sheet (they can be placed fairly close together as they won't spread while baking).
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown and cookies are firm to the touch.
  11. Remove cookies from oven and transfer pan to cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
  12. After 10 minutes, remove cookies from pan and transfer directly to cooling rack to finish cooling. Make sure cookies are completely cool before frosting
  13. For the frosting:
  14. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar for 2 minutes, scrape down sides as needed.
  15. Add marshmallow creme and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
  16. To decorate:
  17. Spread a thin (not too thin! I would say a little less than a tablespoon) layer of frosting evenly on each cookie. Place cookies on a surface for decorating (tray, sheet of parchment or wax paper, etc.)
  18. Once cookies have been frosted, melt chocolate chips. Place chocolate into a piping bag with small tip (or do what I did and place in a sandwich-size ziploc with a small piece snipped of the corner, and use that :). Using chocolate, decorate cookies with Halloween-themed decorations - I went the easy route (decorating is not one of my strengths) and did spider webs and a boo! message.
  19. If you’ve added 3 egg yolks and still feel the dough is too crumbly to work with, add an egg yolk more until you feel you have the right consistency (this last time I ended with 4 yolks - 5 if I count the double yolk).
  20. Yields: 22-23 Cookies


If you’ve added 3 egg yolks and still feel the dough is too crumbly to work with, add an egg yolk more until you feel you have the right consistency (this last time I ended with 4 yolks - 5 if I count the double yolk).

Frosting recipe adapted from The Kitchen Magpie.



  1. Reply


    November 2, 2016
    Oh these are cute!!!!
    • Reply


      November 3, 2016
      Thanks, Zainab!


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