These Halloween shortbread cookies are buttery, crisp, melt in your mouth cookies. They are made with just 8 ingredients and make the perfect recipe perfect for Halloween!
These Halloween shortbread cookies are easy cookies that are perfect to give away at Halloween! Everyone likes fun and delicious treats during Halloween.
Stores are full of Halloween candy during Halloween season, but there’s nothing like homemade cookies!
For more fall recipes, try my peanut butter cup brownies, pumpkin olive oil cake, and apple cider cookies!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- You’ll only need 8 simple ingredients. This Halloween shortbread cookie recipe is super easy to make!
- Everyone will love the buttery, melt in your mouth texture of these chocolatey shortbread cookies.
- The cookies are filled with mini chocolate chips and Halloween sprinkles.
- These cookies travel well. They are the perfect treat to share with friends and family!
Here are some useful notes on the ingredients.
- Butter- You need one cup (2 sticks) of unsalted room temperature butter. It’s a lot of butter, but it makes the cookies rich and delicious!
- Powdered sugar- Powdered sugar gives the cookies their soft, melt in your mouth texture. Powdered sugar is sometimes called confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar. They are all the same thing.
- An egg yolk- This recipe uses one egg yolk. The yolk adds flavor and helps give the cookies a tender texture.
- Vanilla extract- Vanilla extract adds flavor.
- Salt- Salt brings out the flavor of the cookies. They would be bland if we left the salt out.
- Chocolate chips- I use mini semisweet chocolate chips.
- Halloween sprinkles- Halloween colored sprinkles make these cookies festive and colorful!
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Step by Step Instructions
Here are the directions on how to make and bake these Halloween shortbread.
STEP 1: Beat the butter and sugar. Beat the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
STEP 3: Add in wet ingredients. Mix in the vanilla extract and egg yolk. Then, beat until incorporated. Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
STEP 4: Add in the dry ingredients. Mix the flour and salt into the wet ingredients on low speed.
STEP 5: Add in chocolate chips and sprinkles. Next, use a spatula or wooden spoon to fold in the chocolate chips and sprinkles.
STEP 6: Slice or cut out the cookies. These cookies can be rolled into a log and sliced or rolled out and cut out with cookie cutters.
For slice and bake cookies: Form the dough into a 10 inch log. Cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough for about 2 hours. Slice the cookie dough into rounds about 1/4″ in size. Place them on the baking sheets about 1 ” apart. Continue to step 7.
For cut out cookies: Divide it in half. Roll each half on sheets of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Place each circle on a baking sheet. Cover and chill two hours.
Lift the parchment paper off the tray and onto the counter. Cut out the cookies and chill for 20 minutes. Continue to next step.
STEP 7: Bake. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer them to racks to cool completely.
STEP 8: Decorate (optional). Melt some extra chocolate chips in the microwave. Place chocolate in a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off a corner and draw or drizzle chocolate over the cooled cookies.
Hint: Baking time will vary slightly. It will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
Substitutions and Variations
- Salted butter- Room temperature salted butter works. If you use salted butter, you won’t need to add salt to the dough.
- Vanilla extract-Substitute all or half of the vanilla extract for almond extract.
- Melted chocolate – Use melted chocolate to “draw” faces on your pumpkins.
- Sprinkles– You can leave sprinkles out if you like. Add extra chocolate chips in place of sprinkles.
- Nuts -add some toasted chopped nuts in place of some of the chocolate chips.
- Chocolate chips– I wouldn’t recommend regular sized chocolate chips. They can make the cookies hard to cut out.
- Chopped chocolate-Chopped dark, semi sweet or milk chocolate can be used in place of the mini chocolate chips. Chop the chocolate into smaller bits about the size of mini chocolate chips.
- Egg yolk-I haven’t tried these without the egg yolk or with an egg yolk substitute.
Tip # 1: Use mini chocolate chips. Regular chocolate chips make it a little harder to cut these cookies out. Mini chocolate chips are smaller and don’t get in the way of a knife or cookie cutter.
Tip #2: Use room temperature butter. The time for butter to get to soften to room temperature can vary. It depends on the temperature of your kitchen. I recommend leaving your butter on the kitchen counter 1-2 hours before making these cookies.
Tip #3: Larger metal cookie cutters work best. Larger metal cookie cutters work best for this dough. The sprinkles and mini chocolate chips can get in the way of smaller cookie cutters. Metal cookie cutters are generally stronger and a bit sharper.
Tip #4: Make the cookie dough in advance. This dough can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. It can be stored for 1 month in the freezer. Wrap it well and store in an airtight container. Allow it to thaw until just warm enough to cut.
Yes. Chilling the dough gives the dough time to develop flavor. It also prevents the cookies from spreading too much when they bake.
Yes you can. I’d recommend adding additional mini chocolate chips in place of the sprinkles.
Yes! I recommend cutting the cookies out first. Make sure to cover them well with plastic wrap.
I prefer metal or stainless steel cookie cutters. They are stronger and sharper and cut through dough better. You don’t need to twist and turn as you cut out the cookies. This can ruin the shape of your cookies.
Refrigerator: This dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.
Store baked cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezer: The dough can be stored for 1 month in the freezer. Wrap it well and store in an airtight container. Allow it to thaw til it’s just warm enough to cut.
Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Take frozen cookies out of the bag or container before thawing.
More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love
Halloween Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cups mini semisweet chocolate chips plus more for melting (optional)
- ⅓ cup Halloween sprinkles* divided
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
- Beat in the vanilla extract, followed by the egg yolk.
- Turn the mixer to low speed. Add the flour and salt and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips followed by all but 1 tablespoon of the sprinkles.* Do not overmix.
- For slice and bake cookies, go to the next step. For cut out cookies, skip the next step and go to directions for cut out cookies.
- For slice and bake cookies: Form dough into a 10 inch log. Roll it in plastic wrap and chill for about 2 hours or until firm. After chilling, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the cookie dough into rounds about 1/4″ in size. Place them on the prepared baking sheets about 1 ” apart. Continue to the last step.
- For cut out cookies: Divide dough in half. Roll each half out on sheets of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle extra sprinkles over the dough (optional). Lightly roll the rolling pin over the dough a couple of times to set the sprinkles. Lift the dough with the parchment paper. Place each circle on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill two hours in the refrigerator. Once chilled, lift the parchment paper off the tray and place it on the counter. Run a long knife between the parchment paper and the cookie dough. Cut out the cookies with cookie cutters. Place cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Continue to next step.
- Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes** until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer them to racks to cool completely.
- If you have Snoopy cookie cutters or wish to give the pumpkins faces, melt some extra chocolate chips in the microwave in 10 second bursts. Stir in between each burst until chocolate has melted. Place melted chocolate in a sandwich zip lock bag. Snip off a small part of a corner and use bag to "draw" on the cookies.
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