This little skeletons are one of my very favorite Halloween cookie decorating ideas. They are classic flavors but so unexpected for this early in the season. The spooky cookies make for such a fun Halloween gift or treat.
Halloween Gingerbread Cookie Ingredients
If you don’t need a big batch of skeleton cookies use this to get a jump start on your Christmas cookie making.
I love to make a big batch and then save a third for Christmas. During the holidays I love having a variety of different cookies so it’s the perfect way to split a recipe and get some work done ahead of time!
I always have salted butter on hand but if you prefer you can use unsalted butter and then add 1/2 tsp of salt to the recipe.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 C (2 sticks) salted butter
- 1 C brown sugar
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 C all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 C molasses
Royal Icing Recipe
Royal icing starts of soft and then hardens as it dries. You want to work quickly. If you aren’t making a full batch of cookies you can divide the recipe no problem.
This recipe makes about 2 1/2 C of icing. It is plenty to give you some to practice with as you get the hang of Halloween cookie decorating.
- 5 TBS meringue powder
- 1/2 C water
- 1 lbs powdered sugar
What You Need to Make Skeleton Cookies
Here are the supplies I use to make the skeleton gingerbread cookies. You could use non-stick cookie sheets or spray your pans but I LOVE the ease of using parchment paper sheets both for cleaning up and for getting the cookies off the pans in perfect condition.
- gingerbread man cookie cutter
- rolling pin
- baking sheets
- parchment paper
- cooling rack
- piping tool (optional)
How to Make Skeleton Gingerbread Cookies
I use my kitchen aide mixer to whip up this gingerbread dough. You could get an extra bowl out and do the “right” thing and mix and sift the dry ingredients first but honestly I never ever do that and my cookies turn out fine.
If it makes you twitchy to do my fast and dirty cheater style go ahead and do it how you please.
- Cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer.
- Add in ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, salt, and eggs and molasses.
- Add to the top of the mixing bowl the flower, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir to combine the dry ingredients and then mix into the other ingredients.
- Divide the dough into 3 balls.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. The dough can be frozen at this step and saved for later.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F
- Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. They will puff up in the oven.
- Use the cookie cutter and cut out men.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Allow to cool fully on a wired rack before decorating.
How to Make Royal Icing
Mix the meringue powder, water, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer. You want the mixture to be stiff and hold it’s shape but relax a little. Too runny and it will be a pain to use. To make it more stiff mix for longer.
To make it thinner and water drop by drop. Seriously the a little water goes a long way. If you find your icing is too thin and you’ve tried mixing it for five minutes longer you can add a little extra sugar.
To Assemble the Skeleton Gingerbread Men
Once the cookies have fully cooled you can start decorating. You can even make the cookies ahead of time and store in an airtight container separated by layers of parchment paper if you want to decorated them later.
Put some icing into a decorating bag, piping tool or into a piece of parchment paper rolled into a cone. I’ve done all different ways. I’m for sure out of practice and do NOT have a steady hand. So anyone can make these. You don’t have to be particularly skilled.
Start by making the skull almost a rounded triangle with a line down the middle top to make the space between the eye sockets. Draw a straight line down to make the spine and drag it into one of the legs. Draw the next leg. Carefully make 3 lines across to form the rib cage and finish off with two lines to form the arms.
If you’re like me you might thing at first they look awful. And your first probably will. But after you finish and take a step back even the imperfect ones are absolutely charming and adorable. I’m not a perfectionist and you don’t have to be either. If you are a perfectionist just let us have our fun without the stress mmmkay?
Allow the icing to dry. It will get harder as it dries.
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