Cute Halloween Skull Cookies – Tender, buttery Linzer cookies cut into skull shapes, baked, filled with raspberry jam and then finished off with an easy M&M FLOWER! This easy Halloween skull recipe is easy and fun to make this Halloween season and kids will love decorating them.
Happy October folks.
My favorite time of the year!!!
Halloween is truly one of my favorite holiday of all – The costumes, decorations, candy, tricks , treats……! So much fun for kids of all ages.
Aaand, I love sharing creative halloween recipes! Some of my favorites are:
Adding to the list this year are these Linzer Cookies for Halloween.
What makes these halloween skull cookies fabulous?
- Buttery, tender, crisp shortbread cookie
- Sweet, bloody looking raspberry jam
- Flower M&Ms for some cuteness
- Easy to make
- Make ahead
- Kid friendly
- Tastes amazing
Basic shortbread cookie dough – Butter, confectioners sugar, flour, salt and vanilla
Raspberry jam – for the bloody effect
M&M – Cut in half to make flowers
Melted chocolate – for glueing purposes
Method (with LOTS of step-by-step photos):
The Halloween cutout cookies are made in 3 stages :
- Bake cookies
- Make M&M flowers
- Assemble cookies
Now, let us look at the steps more in detail –
1. Bake cookies
Cream butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla together and then mix in flour and salt. Form a disc, roll between two sheets of parchment paper into 1/4 to 1/8 inch thickness and then chill overnight or up to a day.
Using the skull cookie cutter, cut skull shapes : For half the cookies – Punch holes for eyes (I used the back of a Wilton 2A round piping tip). You will need the size of eyes to be proportionate to the skull face. So, anything you have around the house will work .
Cut mouth – using a round fluted cookie cutter and press only one side of the cookie cutter on the lower portion of face without going through the ends. It might be a bit tricky, but you will get the hang of it ( I have made an instructive video to guide you along the way)
Chill again, bake and cool completely.
2. Make M&M flowers:
Cut M&Ms in half using a sharp knife. Squeeze a small circle of melted chocolate on parchment paper and then stick M&Ms according to photos and video. ((I loved to use same color M&Ms for each flower, but you could mix colors if you wish to)
Chill in refrigerator to harden.
3. Assemble cookies:
Spread raspberry jam on the full cookies and then place a cut out cookie on top and gently press. Place a small dollop of melted chocolate on one side of the face and then gently place a M&M flower on it
Let cookie set for at least one hour before serving.
A simpler version of Linzer torte, originating from Austria – Linzer cookies are made with a buttery cookie dough that is made with ground almonds and flour combined.
It is a round sandwich cookie, with a tiny circle cut out on the top cookie and then sandwiched with jam. They are so pretty, with their top cookie dusted with a thin white coating of powdered sugar and with the cut out, so you can see the color of the jam.
What are Halloween Skull Linzer Cookies?
The basic Linzer cookie made without any nuts, cut into skull shapes with two circle cut outs for eyes and a mouth. The cookies are sandwiched with raspberry jam that gives a bloody effect, keeping up with our Halloween theme. They are finished with a homemade M&M flower, for a touch of CUTENESS!!!
Tips and tricks in making this Linzer cookie for Halloween:
The crisp cookies will soften after being filled with jam. So, assemble cookies on the same day or one day ahead of serving.
Confectioners sugar contains cornstarch which makes a super tender cookie.
If you do not have an electric mixer, the cookie dough can be easily done with a wooden spoon – Mix room temperature butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract with a wooden spoon for 4-5 minutes, until it looks creamy and smooth. Add flour and salt and continue mixing, to form a dough.
Room temperature butter is very important for a any good cookie recipe. Let butter stand at room temperature for several hours before making cookie dough.
Chill and CHILL – In order ensure the cookies maintains its shape and does not spread, it is very important to have a firm, well chilled dough. We chill the dough in two stages –
First – right after making the dough, roll and chill overnight until completely firm.
Then again, the dough is chilled after cutting the skull shapes. This step makes sure that the skull cookies maintains its shape and does not spread while baking (if it had any chance to soften during the cutting process)
Parchment paper for rolling – Since it is a buttery shortbread cookie dough, it will stick if rolled on a floured counter. Rolling between two sheets of parchment ensures that the dough is rolled neat, without any addition of flour used for rolling.
Do not own a fluted round cookie cutter? Use a plain round cookie cutter.
Raspberry jam – For a bloody red color.
Want more cookies? The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. However, it is easier to handle rolling each batch of cookie dough separately.
To make ahead:
Cookies can be baked, cooled and stored in an air tight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to a month (before decorating).
M&M flowers can be made and stored in refrigerator for several days.
To store Halloween skull cookies:
Assembled Halloween skull cookies (with jam) can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
More cookie recipes:
Halloween Skull Linzer Cookies
Make Linzer cookies
- Add butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract into a medium bowl. Beat with a hand held electric beater, until creamy ( 1 to 2 minutes). Refer notes to make cookie dough without an electric beater.Add all purpose flour and salt, continue beating on the lowest setting, until it begins to clump together (refer pictures and video).
- Gather the dough together and form a flat disc. Roll between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4 to 1/8 inch thickness ( Too thick – will make lesser number of cookies and too thin – will make very thin cookies that might break easily).
- Place cookie dough (along with parchment) on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight.
About two hours before making cookies,
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove cookie dough from refrigerator and cut skull shapes using skull cookie cutter and carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet leaving at least 3/4-inch distance in between.
- Make eyes and mouth only for half the cookies – Using the back end of the piping tip or any round cutter, make two holes for eyes. -Using the fluted round cookie cutter, press and cut only one side of the cookie cutter on the lower portion of face without going through the edges. A bit tricky, but you will get the hang of it (refer video).
- Refrigerate again for at least 2 hours or up to a day.
- Pre heat oven to 350° F.Bake cookies for 23 to 26 minutes or until golden in color. Place baking pan on a wire rack to cool completely. (cookies can be made until this step and stored at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen up to a month)
Make M&M flowers
- Using a sharp knife, break M&Ms in half. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper ( this helps to easily transfer the set M&M flowers onto the cookies)Place 3 tablespoons chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl and microwave for about one minute, until completely melted (stirring once after 30 seconds). Transfer melted chocolate into a small zip lock bag, seal and make a small cut at the corner to squeeze out the chocolate. Make a small, thick circle on the parchment and place 6 M&M halves to make a flower (refer pictures and video). You can move it around carefully to make them aligned and pretty (I used same colored M&Ms for each flower). Repeat to make more flowers. Place baking sheet in refrigerator to set. (M&M flowers can be made up to a day in advance).
- Spread a layer of raspberry jam on the surface of the full cookie and place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together.Place remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl and microwave for about one minute, until completely melted (stirring once after 30 seconds). Transfer melted chocolate into a small zip lock bag, seal and make a small cut at the corner to squeeze out the chocolate.
- Squuze out a small dollop on side of the skull cookie, above the eye and place a M&M flower on top and press gently to adhere. Let cookie sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for chocolate to set.
- The filled cookies will soften when stored. If you want the cookies to stay crisp, assemble the day of serving.
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