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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

How to Frost the Perfect Halloween Cookie

Kelly Hellwig of Cookie-tastic shares her royal icing recipe, plus tricks on how to make your homemade treats look store-bought.

Hosting a Halloween soirée and don’t know what to serve? Going to a costume party and blanking on what to bring? Whatever your dilemma may be on October 31, cookies are a sweet and satisfying solution. Capital Region Living has included our favorite sugar cookie recipe to get you started—then Kelly Hellwig of Saratoga Springs–based custom cookie company, Cookie-tastic (@cookie_tastic), offers tips for how to perfectly, “royally” frost it. Since you’ll likely be licking both bowls, be sure to wear an apron over that Catwoman costume. (Don’t worry—we won’t judge.)

CRL’s Favorite Sugar Cookies


1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the first four ingredients. Add the last three and mix. Chill the dough for one hour. Roll on a floured surface and cut into shapes (ghosts, graves, ghouls or goblins!). Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-11 minutes.

Cookie-tastic’s Royal Icing

4¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp + 1½ tsp meringue powder
5 tbsp water, plus more, if needed
1 tsp vanilla or any flavoring you like Americolor food coloring

• Place the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl.

• In a small measuring cup, combine cream of tartar, meringue powder, water and vanilla, and whisk together.

• Pour the liquid into the sugar and, using an electric mixer, mix on medium speed for about three minutes. (If the mixture looks too thick, add a little more water).

• Separate the icing and add one drop of Americolor food coloring to each batch (for Halloween cookies, make plain white, orange and black icing).

• Place icing in a sealed container. When ready, mix in a small bowl. Move spatula back and forth over icing until it lays flat. If there are no peaks, it’s good.

• Transfer icing to a pastry bag. Keep the bag wrapped in a damp towel to keep the icing from drying out.

• Ice sugar cookie (outline it first, then fill it in to keep icing from oozing over sides).

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