Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been trapped in my own private horror film, something along the lines of Children of the Candy Corn. While I am rather meh on eating them, the sugary little treats that epitomize fall have clearly infiltrated my brain this month. Over the last three weeks, I have painted a candy corn pumpkin and made candy corn krispie treats, and yet still my dreams have been flooded with the colors yellow, orange and white. So last week, in an effort to satisfy the demons, I made some adorable candy corn sugar cookies.
I couldn’t help it! I swear. I had to make them.
On the bright side, they really are adorable. I mean, really. Look at them.
These cookies are the perfect treats to make when Halloween is around the corner. To counteract all the usual chocolate decadence, they are delicate and lemon-y. And, as a bonus, they are small enough that you can eat a couple without guilt.
I also love that the dough stores well, so you can make the batter when you have time but only bake off as many cookies as you want. I kept the dough in my fridge for about ten days, baking a few dozen cookies at a time. I brought some to work, gave some to Oliver at our weekly Wednesday TV date and made a plateful for my Cider Press Party (which was awesome — but that’s another post altogether).
To start, make your sugar cookie dough. I used the dough straight from this tutorial because I remembered liked it last year. Divide it into three equal balls, using food color to dye one ball orange and another yellow. I was worried, for the second year in a row, that mixing in the color as thoroughly as needed would result in a tough over-worked cookie. But rest assured — it doesn’t. I under-mixed this batch a bit, so some of the orange is a little streaky, but I didn’t hear any complaints!
Then layer the dough into a loaf pan (which should be lined with greased plastic wrap for easy removal), with orange in the middle. Let it sit overnight and when you remove it, you should have this:
Cut slices about a quarter of an inch thick:
Then cut the slices into triangles and bake.
Once the cookies are done, let them sit for a minute and then roll them in sugar before cooling completely on a rack.
I did try two different methods this year. For most of the cookies, I used the “roll in sugar after baking” method, which resulted in (see above) a light sparkly white sugar coating. While I love the sparkle effect, I think that it mutes the colors a bit.
So I tried rolling a few in sanding sugar prior to baking them, which resulted in the cookies at the beginning of the post. I loved the way they turned out! They had a subtle twinkle to them and didn’t leave a trail of sugar behind, which was definitely a plus.
But, in the end, that method just took too much time. Before they’re baked, the cookies are slightly fragile and they can easily break apart where the colors meet. Each one had to be rolled in sanding sugar individually. With the other method, you can toss three or four baked cookies in the bowl, swirl them around, and presto — you’re done in no time. Since time is something I never seem to have enough of, the majority were done the traditional way.
At any rate, here’s my personal sacrifice to the candy corn deity — I can only hope that by this time next week, those evil little candies will be a distant memory!