What’s better than a tray of freshly home-baked sugar cookies? A tray of fresh-baked candy corn cookies to get in the spooky mood, of course!
The simple design makes this the perfect rainy day activity for kids of all ages, so get the whole family involved for a day of fun!
This recipe is a pretty standard sugar cookie base with very little dough manipulation necessary to achieve the cute candy corn design. It’s always recommended you set out the butter ahead of time so that it’s room temperature when you begin mixing.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Food-grade dye
For the glaze:
- 6 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
- 4 tbsp. water
- 1 drop vanilla extract
This recipe calls for extra flour and sugar as the food dye we add will further soften the dough and it will require more flour for it to stop sticking. The extra sugar balances out the fact that we’ve added more flour.
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350F and gathering your ingredients.
- Cut the softened butter into chunks and use a fork to mash. When creamy, add the sugar and stir until smooth and no chunks of butter remain.
- Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time and crack the eggs into the mix when it becomes too dry to stir. Add salt, vanilla, and baking powder, and begin kneading when necessary.
- To avoid overworking the dough, fold the dough while kneading. Press together to form a ball of dough and press down. It will look like an imperfect rectangle. Fold the sides in on themselves and turn 90 degrees.
- Repeat until no dry ingredients remain in the bottom of the mixing bowl.
Once your dough is no longer sticky to the touch, we can divide it into three parts to begin dyeing them. The three parts do not need to be the same size as you’ll need more of the middle color than the colors you anticipate using for the top and bottom bits. Leave one part plain for white, then use red and yellow food dye to get your desired shade of orange and yellow to complete the candy corn look.
There are a few ways to achieve the tri-layered look, but this is the easiest in my experience.
6. Roll out your three colors into dough ‘snakes’ in different thicknesses.
7. Line them up and smush them together in either direction to lengthen the snakes as one piece. Cut in half down the center and stack them to repeat the striped effect.
8. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough and use more pressure going in the direction of the stripes. This will help to lengthen them rather than make them stubby. Keep in mind that the thinner the stripes, the smaller your cookies can be. If you’re looking for a Halloween party snack, smaller cookies are easier to grab and go.
9. Once the dough is roughly 1/4″ thick, cut diagonally into triangles. Each cut you make will create a pattern of triangles in alternating directions within the rectangular piece of dough.
10. Place 1/2″ apart on a baking tray lined with parchment for about 7-9 minutes. Check for doneness at the 7-minute mark. No need to place these on a wire rack as they’re smaller than the average cookie and cool relatively quickly.
Dyeing the dough:
- Split the dough into three parts. They do not need to be equal as the parts of candy corn are all different sizes.
- Roll each into a ball. Press a knuckle into the parts you choose to dye.
- Add dye to each ball, or leave one plain for a white layer!
- Fold the dough into itself to avoid getting dye on your hands. Continue with a folding method until the dye is no longer marbled and inconsistent.
Got a sweet tooth?
These cookies are not too sweet on their own despite having sugar in the name. If you’re looking to sweeten this recipe more, here’s a super simple 2-ingredient glaze to add on top.
Stir the confectioner’s sugar and water in a shallow dish that is wide enough to fit the largest cookie in your batch. Microwave for no longer than 15 seconds, though 10 is enough in an 1100-watt on high. It just needs to be warm enough to dissolve any stubborn sugar crystals.
Dip each cookie face-down into the glaze mix and place it back onto the parchment paper. Once all are covered on their topsides, place the tray back in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the glaze bubbles up.