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Cookies with the Spookies
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Cookies with the Spookies

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The spookiest holiday of the year is almost here! As the world gets ready for Halloween, we thought it would be fun to make some cookies that go perfectly with this festival and our Slidey Spidey VertiPlay toy!

Delicious, soft and chewy peanut butter cookies are topped with peanut butter cups and edible eyeballs, plus chocolate ‘legs’ for the only kind of spider that would be welcome in your home! They are surprisingly easy to make and completely irresistible!

From mixing up the cookie dough, to decorating each one, we promise this is going to be a really enjoyable activity for you and your child, whether after school or on a lazy weekend. Play around with the eyeballs and give each spider a unique expression and wobbly legs!

 

Incy Wincy Spider Cookies

Yield: 12 cookies

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt (skip if using salted butter)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 egg, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup coarse granulated sugar to roll the cookies in

12 mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, frozen

24 edible candy eyeballs

1/3 cup melted dark chocolate or milk chocolate

 

Method

1. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt (if using) together in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars till pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat again to combine.

3. Add the peanut butter and beat once again until smooth. Now slowly mix in the flour mixture from step 1 till you can no longer see any dry flour bits. Avoid over-mixing.

4. The dough will be soft and sticky and needs chilling before you can shape the cookies. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour.

5. In the meantime, unwrap the frozen peanut butter cups. Press two eyeballs into each one, closer to the base. Remember, lopsided eyeballs are fun and ta da, the spider heads are ready! If needed, let the peanut butter cups soften for 5 minutes at room temperature, so that the eyeballs stick. Place the prepared ‘heads’ back in the freezer so that when you place them on the warm cookies, they will stick but not melt immediately.

5. Now roll the chilled cookie dough into 15 equal sized balls. Spread the granulated sugar out in a flat plate, and roll each dough ball in it, for some extra sparkle and crunch. Place the prepared dough balls on a lightly greased baking tray (or line it with a silicone baking mat) and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will lead to thicker cookies that support the ‘spider heads’ well.

6. Preheat the oven to 175 C. Place the baking tray with the chilled dough balls in the centre rack of the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes till the tops and edges are lightly browned. The cookies will continue to cool and harden once they’re out of the oven, so don’t let them bake too long.

7. Let the hot cookies cool for just a couple of minutes, then place the frozen spider heads in the centre of each one. Carefully slide each cookie onto a wire rack or cooling rack, and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. This stops the peanut butter cups from melting too quickly on the warm cookies as well as prevents the cookies from getting soggy on the hot baking tray.

8. Now pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag or bottle, fitted with a narrow round tip. Pipe four ‘legs’ on either side of the spider heads. Or, maybe your child prefers with more than eight legs, there are no rules! And your cookies are ready! Eat immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight tin for up to 10 days.

Happy baking and Happy Halloween!

 Notes

*Measurements are in standard US cup measures.

*For a peanut-free version in case of allergies, simply skip the peanut butter and use chilled chocolate truffles cut in half for the ‘head’.

*Mix in chocolate chips or chopped peanuts into the cookie dough for some extra crunch!

*A couple of drops of orange gel food colour mixed into the dough will make cookies that match the colour of the Slidey Spidey toy!

Recipe and photographs by The Desserted Girl