Candy Corn is a “must have” around Halloween time. These tasty morsels are addictive. I don’t know about you, but I just couldn’t imagine not having at least one handful sometime during the month of October.
Halloween also is a very fun day for kids. They dress up in costumes and get more candy then they normally see in an entire year. When my boys were young they planned their costumes weeks ahead of October 31. Their requests soon were way out of my league to create so they would make the yearly phone call to my sister, a master seamstress, and make their costume request. Being a doting aunt, she always came through and delivered the exact costume requested. There was Tweety Bird, George Washington, Robin Hood, Darth Vader, a fireman and Percy the Train, just to name a few. Now that my boys are beyond the trick or treating years we gather for a Halloween supper and then have fun giving out treats to the neighborhood kids. I like to have something a little special for our supper that night and this year I’ve decided to make these very cute cookies.
Sparkling Candy Corn Cookies marry the seasonal favorite, candy corn, with all the fun Halloween brings. They may look a little complicated to make but, are really quite easy. This is the perfect recipe for step-by-step photos because the photos will make it clear just how simple these cookies are to make. I have never heard so many “those are so cute” and “what a great idea” comments with any recipe as I heard about this one. They are great for Halloween parties, any fall gathering or for tucking in the lunch box as a special treat. So, have some fun and give these treats a try.
The first step is to line the bottom and sides of a 9x5-inch loaf pan with waxed paper or plastic food wrap. Then set the prepared pan aside.
Now to make the cookie dough beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.
Add the egg, orange juice, orange peel and salt. Continue beating until well mixed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour and baking soda. Again, beat until well mixed.
Once the dough is prepared it’s time to add the food coloring. First divide the dough into three equal parts. Be sure to wash your hands and then press one of the thirds into the bottom of the pan lined with waxed paper.
Press the dough evenly to cover the entire bottom of the pan.
For the second layer, place another one of the thirds of dough into a bowl. Add a small amount of orange food color and mix until well blended and evenly colored. If you don’t have orange food color you can always use a combination of red and yellow to create orange.
It’s best to start with less food color and add more to make the color more intense, if needed. The color should be fairly strong (just think “candy corn” and strive to reach that orange color.)
Now press the orange dough evenly over the white dough already in the pan.
Place the remaining one-third of dough in another bowl and add a small amount of yellow food color. Mix until well blended. The yellow should also be a fairly intense color.
Press the yellow dough on top of the orange dough in the pan.
Make sure it covers the orange dough in an even layer. Cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least two hours). This is an easy recipe to make in two steps because the dough will be fine stored refrigerated. So, you can make the dough and stop at this point. Then you can slice and bake them a day or two later. I recommend baking the cookies within two days of making the dough since the recipe contains an egg.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 375°F. Place ½ cup of sugar in a large bowl.
On a cleaning cutting surface, invert the loaf pan to remove the dough.
Remove the pan.
Remove the waxed paper. Just look at those beautiful layers!
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough “loaf” crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Trim the edges to make slices even, if necessary. If you are a perfectionist you will want to trim, if you are okay with some “deformed” candy corn cookies, don’t bother.
Cut each slice into 6 wedges. Again, you perfectionists out there may want to do some trimming. Now you can see the “candy corn.”
Place the cookies 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until the edges are firm and the bottoms are very lightly browned.
Cool 1 minute. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and immediately place the warm cookies in the bowl of sugar.
Roll the cookies in the sugar to coat.
Place the sugar-coated cookies on a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
I store them in a loosely covered container so the sugar coating stays nice and doesn't "melt" from the moisture in a tightly closed container.
See, I told you these were easy to make with the help of pictures. These cookies make me smile. They are just so adorable and they have a wonderful buttery flavor with just the right hint of orange. Now that I know what treat I’m going to make I can start concentrating on my costume. I guess I better call my sister!
Let me know if you have any tips that might help others when they make these cookies. And please, don’t forget to rate and review the Sparkling Candy Corn Cookies recipe.
Check back in a few days when Alex will share another Halloween recipe, perfect for getting your kids involved in the kitchen.
Becky Wahlund is the Director of the Test Kitchens for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.