Halloween cut out cookies are a delightfully spooky treat for your next fall party. These soft cookies hold their shape beautifully when baked and are filled with plenty of mini chocolate chips.
These Halloween cut out cookies are the perfect mix between a cut out cookie and a chocolate chip cookie. They're soft, filled with chocolate chips, and they hold their shape beautifully. In shapes like pumpkins, ghosts, bats, and cats, they're perfect for all ages.
Serve these chocolate chip cut out cookies at your next Halloween or fall party. Or, use sprinkles and cookie cutters that suit the next holiday - they can be made in any shape!
Ingredients and substitutions
Since baking is an exact science, I don't have many substitutions to offer for this recipe. Each ingredient has its purpose in the recipe.
Unsalted butter and salt can be substituted with salted butter if needed.
I highly recommend using mini chocolate chips for this recipe. You'll be rolling out your dough to about ¼" thickness - larger chocolate chips are a bit too big for this style of cookie.
Sprinkles - I recommend using Halloween color jimmies, like orange, green, and purple. Nonpareils can work, but their color can bleed a little when mixed into dough. Sprinkles can also be omitted completely.
Tools to make cut out cookies
Other than the basics, like mixing bowls and measuring cups, you'll need a few specific tools to make cut out cookies.
- Rolling pin - a simple wooden rolling pin is all you need.
- Cookie sheets - half baking sheets easily hold about a dozen cookies each.
- Cooling rack - grab a cooling rack to cool your freshly baked cookies.
- Halloween cookie cutters - Look for medium sized (2-3 inch) cookie cutters with easily recognizable shapes. I used this set from Amazon: Halloween Cookie Cutters - 5 pieces, which includes a ghost, bat, scary cat, witch hat, and a pumpkin.
- Halloween sprinkles - I used a combination of orange, green, and black jimmies sprinkles.
- Parchment paper - It prevents cookies from sticking to your baking sheet. I don't suggest greasing your baking sheet - this will make your cookies spread more.
Cut out cookie tips and tricks
Ever struggled to make cut out cookies work for you? These are my favorite tips for cut out cookie success.
- Make sure you're using room temperature ingredients when specified, not melted or cold. Room temperature ingredients emulsify when mixed with the sugar, creating a creamy, even dough.
- Do not substitute ingredients. Baking is an exact science and there is a reason for each ingredient listed. If you don't have the proper ingredients on hand, try searching for a recipe that does include your ingredients.
- The most common mistake I see in baking is the improper measuring of flour. Too much flour will cause your dough to be dry, crumbly, and tough. The most accurate way to measure flour is with a kitchen scale. You can find the gram measurements in the recipe card by clicking 'metric' below the ingredient list. If you don't have a scale, spoon your flour into a measuring cup, then level off with a knife. When scooping directly from a bin with a measuring cup, this compacts the flour into the cup, adding up to 25% extra flour to your recipe.
- Chilling your dough is an important step that shouldn't be skipped. Chilled dough spreads less in the oven, ensuring that your cut out cookies keep their shape.
- Don't be afraid to dust everything with flour while you're rolling out your dough. Dust the counter top, your hands, your rolling pin, and your cookie cutters.
- Do not place dough onto a hot baking sheet. This will cause your dough to spread.
- Are your cookies still spreading in the oven? Once you've cut out your cookies and placed them on your baking sheet, refrigerate the entire baking sheet for 10 minutes before placing them in the oven. This will help them spread less.
- Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat instead of greasing your baking sheet. Added grease will cause your cookies to spread more.
Freeze extra cookies
If you have leftover dough or baked cookies, they can both be stored in the freezer!
- To freeze leftover dough - Form leftover dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, then wrap in foil. Or, wrap in plastic and store in a freezer-safe bag. Seal tightly, removing any excess air.
- To freeze baked cookies - First, allow your cookies to cool completely. Layer your cookies between sheets of wax paper in a freezer-safe bag or container. Seal tightly, removing any excess air.
Leftover dough and cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months when stored properly.
Halloween Cut Out Cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons colorful jimmies sprinkles
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer (or stand mixer), cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about a minute.
- In a separate bowl, sift (or whisk) together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add dry ingredients into butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add mini chocolate chips and sprinkles and mix until evenly incorporated.
- Shape dough into two round discs and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for one hour, or up to 24 hours (dough can be made a day ahead of time).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove one disc of dough at a time from the refrigerator.
- Dust counter top, rolling pin, and top of dough with flour. Roll dough out to ¼" thickness, dusting with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Using cookie cutters, cut into various shapes and place onto prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes, OR until cookies just begin to lightly brown around edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- See my detailed list above for 'cut out cookie tips and tricks' for best success.
- Dough scraps can be reformed and rerolled once before additional refrigeration is needed. Warm dough will spread more in the oven and cookies may lose their shape. If your cookies are spreading in the oven - after cutting out your cookies, place entire baking sheet in the refrigerator for 10 minutes just before baking. This will help your cookies keep their shape.
- Leftover dough and leftover baked cookies (that have been cooled completely) can be frozen in a tightly sealed freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
- Cookie quantity will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutters.