How to Make Cute + Delicious Halloween Shortbread Cookies

The dough mixes up beautifully, and the decorations are simple and doable. No fancy techniques, no cookie cutters. Amen.

But don’t be fooled by this recipe’s ease—these Halloween shortbread cookies are delicious! The shortbread base is buttery and crumbly, and the chocolate coating is the perfect finishing touch. This is one of the best classic cookie recipes for a holiday.

halloween shortbread cookies with festive sprinkles and candy eyes

Halloween Shortbread Cookies

These cute and spooky cookies have an easy shortbread base with simple Halloween touches.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serving Size 24 cookies

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup salted butter room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 2-2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
  • candy eyes
  • Halloween sprinkles

Instructions 

  • Prep baking sheets. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with two racks in the upper middle and lower middle positions. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Make dough. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups of flour and mix on low until the flour is mixed in. The cookie dough will appear very crumbly, but do not add any liquid. Turn it on onto a floured surface and mix in the remaining ¼ cup of flour by hand.
    creamed butter and sugar and crumbly dough
  • Roll out and cut. Roll the cookie dough out to ½ inch thickness, dusting the rolling pin with flour if the dough sticks. Cut into 3 x 1-inch strips. Place on a prepared baking sheet. They will not spread much.
    dough being rolled out and cut into rectangles
  • Bake and cool. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, until cookies are set and edges are golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks for dipping.
    fully baked cookies onparchment lined baking sheet
  • Dip and decorate. Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave on LOW for 45 seconds, stirring halfway through. Dip the cookies in the chocolate and place them on a piece of waxed or parchment paper. Add Halloween sprinkles or candy eyes while the chocolate is still melted. Let them rest on the paper until the chocolate sets.
    bowl of melted chocolate

Notes

You can double or triple the dough easily with a stand mixer.
Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

I don’t think too hard about what kind of cookie to make for every holiday. I always make shortbread. I like it, it’s fun to decorate, and whatever decorations I have on hand will work just fine.

ghost plate with rectangular shortbread cookies

Tips for the Best Halloween Shortbread

  • Be sure to cream the flour and butter adquately. This will take at least 3 minutes with a hand mixer.
  • If the chocolate hardens too much while you’re decorating, just microwave it again.
  • Let the cookies cool completely before dipping them in chocolate. If they’re too warm, the chocolate will melt and slide right off.

To make these spooky treats, you’ll need a few key ingredients:

ingredients on counter
  • Salted butter. Using salted butter in the shortbread base adds a subtle savory note that balances the sweetness.
  • Candy eyes. These edible decorations give your cookies a fun and spooky look. You can find them in the baking aisle or craft stores around Halloween.
  • Halloween sprinkles. Choose sprinkles in festive shapes and colors like pumpkins, ghosts, or bats to add a final touch of Halloween spirit to your cookies.

These ingredients come together to create delicious and festive cookies perfect for your Halloween celebrations

Serving Suggestions

Serve with apple slices, slow cooker spiked apple cider, or a cold glass of milk

Questions, Changes, and More For Your Shortbread

Why is the baking time so long?

I’ve found that a longer bake at a lower temperature prevents them from cracking or crumbling in the oven.

Can I use a cookie cutter with shortbread?

Yes! A circle or a pumpkin cookie cutter would work very well. But something more intricate (like a bat or broomstick) isn’t the best choice with this dough.

Do I need to use two types of chocolate?

No, you can use just one. I like the mix of both but it’s not necessary.

What if I don’t have candy eyes?

You could use regular sprinkles in their place. Or even M&Ms

Storing Leftover Cookies

Store these cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

You can freeze the baked and cooled cookies without the chocolate coating for up to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, and then dip and decorate them as instructed.

These Halloween shortbread cookies are easy to make and fun to decorate. They’re perfect for parties, spooky snacks, or a fun baking project with kids. I hope you enjoy these festive treats as you celebrate the Halloween season!

cooling rack of halloween cookies
How to Make Cute + Delicious Halloween Shortbread Cookies
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