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Spooky Halloween Trees
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1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 large Land O Lakes® Egg

1 teaspoon vanilla


2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 to 4 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Half & Half


Black licorice twists

Halloween sprinkles and/or decorator sugars, if desired

How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Combine all frosting ingredients in bowl, adding enough half & half for desired spreading consistency. Beat at low speed until well mixed.

  2. STEP 2

    Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in bowl; set aside.

  3. STEP 3

    Combine 1/2 cup butter and sugar in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until well mixed.

  4. STEP 4

    Divide dough in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten slightly. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.

  5. STEP 5

    Heat oven to 325°F.

  6. STEP 6

    Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time, (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 12x7-inch rectangle. (Trim edges if necessary.) Cut rectangle in half lengthwise with pizza cutter or sharp knife. Make 5 crosswise cuts in each half, 2 inches apart, creating 12 (3 1/2x2-inch) rectangles. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

  7. STEP 7

    Bake 6-8 minutes or just until set. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

  8. STEP 8

    Cut licorice twists into 3-inch lengths. Cut slits on 1 end of licorice using sharp knife or kitchen shears to within 1 inch of other end to form tree with 3 or 4 branches. Carefully bend or peel apart branches.

  9. STEP 9

    Working with 2 or 3 cookies at a time so frosting doesn’t harden, frost cookies. Place licorice tree onto frosting; sprinkle with Halloween sprinkles or decorator sugars, if desired.

Tip #1

- Halloween sprinkles come in a variety of shapes, such as bats, pumpkins or fall leaves, and are available at craft stores and in the baking aisle of the supermarket during the fall season.

Tip #2

- If branches are accidentally cut off tree, just attach cut branch to frosting so it looks like part of the tree.

Tip #3

- For variety, make different shape cookies using large round or diamond-shaped cookie cutter.

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