Similar to a classic thumbprint cookie, these Halloween Candy Melt Cookies use candy melts instead of jam. The cookie dough is tinted with food colouring and rolled in sanding sugar, these are all treat and no trick!
Every year, I try to publish a recipe or two for each occasion and Halloween is no exception. This year, I’m so happy with these Halloween Candy Melt Cookies. Halloween is all about the black and the orange for me. And, if you take a look back at Halloween-inspired recipes from previous years, you’ll certainly see the black and orange trend.
This particular recipe came to mind when I was thinking about how to use up my leftover candy melts. I had quite a few colours on hand from when I made my Springtime Party Snack Mix. I love making cookies that are simple and pretty, and that can be packed into bags or boxes for gift-giving. These particular cookies hold up quite well to being packed up and delivered.
As a food blogger, I’m always way ahead of the game though when it comes to food. For example, you’ll most likely read this recipe post a few days before Halloween, but I baked and photographed the cookies on August 11th. To be perfectly honest, I have to push myself to work on anything for Halloween. It’s a constant battle between McKenna and me!
WHO DECIDED TO CALL HALLOWEEN A HOLIDAY?
If you’re new to Lord Byron’s Kitchen, it’s important that you know this one thing about me – I love Christmas! It’s true; I talk about Christmas all the time. In fact, I was baking Christmas recipes weeks before I started working on Halloween recipes! In our home, it’s a battle. As much as I love Christmas, my daughter, McKenna, loves Halloween. She says it’s her favourite holiday.
Okay, let’s get this straight – Halloween is not a holiday! A holiday is defined as a day of celebration or festivity when no work is completed. I don’t know about you, but I have never gotten the day off work for Halloween! Christmas, on the other hand, is clearly a holiday! (Take that, McKenna!)
Now, in recent years, I’ve started to get a little bit into Halloween. I think when we bought our house and had a front porch and garden to decorate played a bit into changing my feelings. And, McKenna insists on dragging John.e and I off to her favourite store, Spirit of Halloween, every year. But, when it all boils down, Halloween takes up valuable space for Christmas decorations on store shelves! (She’s going to text me as soon as she reads this!) Anyway, these cookies are cute and delicious, so I digress!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Salted Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature! To be perfectly honest, I have made these with both salted and unsalted butter and there’s no difference in taste or appearance once all is said and done. Use what you have on hand. You could always add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to your unsalted butter.
- Sugar – There’s not a lot of sugar in this recipe when it comes to cookies! The cookie isn’t overly sweet at all.
- Egg Yolks – Did you know that in most cases, using only the yolk in baking recipes makes for a richer tasting baked good?
- Vanilla Extract – This is basic enough and is probably in everyone’s home. You can use other extracts if you want a different flavour.
- Flour – No need for anything special. Just use regular all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of flour.
- Candy Melts – See the section below. Sometimes they are called melting wafers.
- Sanding Sugar – See the section below.
- Food Colouring – Gel food colouring will result in a deeper colour. Adding black food colouring to half of the cookie dough is completely optional.
WHAT ARE CANDY MELTS?
Candy melts are a small, round disc that is made to emulate white chocolate. They come in a wide range of colours and are usually melted down and used in confections such as the coating on cake pops. I think the term candy melts is owned by Wilton, which is the only type I’ll use.
I use Wilton’s because I have used the brand many times before and have never been disappointed, but also because they have a lot of different colours to choose from. Oh, and the price is always good too!
If you cannot find candy melts, you can either order them online here, or you can use generic brands that can be found at your local baking supply store. The generic brands and sometimes called melting wafers. As you can see, I used black and orange.
IS SANDING SUGAR AND GRANULATED SUGAR THE SAME THING?
I get so many questions about the different kinds of sugars. Unless you’re a full time baker, or really in-tune with baking ingredients, it can be a little overwhelming. I use sanding sugar quite often and I hope it’s not too difficult for you to find. Sanding sugar is sometimes referred to as baking sugar, and there are some substitutes.
You can use other sugars – which are basically the same, but named something differently – there’s pearl sugar and coarse sugar. You cannot, however, use granulated sugar. Let me explain why.
Whereas an individual granule of sanding sugar is large and hard, a single granule of granulated sugar is quite small. Sanding sugar will hold up to the heat in your oven without melting; granulated sugar will not.
If you can only find granulated sugar, you can either skip the coating in sugar step, or you can use turbinado sugar. Turbinado sugar is a golden brown though, so it will throw off the colour of your finished cookie. Wilton calls it sparkling sugar.
HOW TO MAKE HALLOWEEN CANDY MELT COOKIES:
This is a very straight forward cookie recipe and is quite easy to follow. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter and sugar until well incorporated. Next, beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Lastly, mix in the flour. The mixture will be crumbly at first and might not look like a cookie dough, but keep beating on medium speed and a cookie dough will form. This is not an overly wet dough, so don’t be alarmed.
At this point, you can portion out two teaspoons of the cookie dough and roll into a ball. Roll the ball into the sanding sugar. Place the ball onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each ball. Gently, but firmly, press one candy melt into the center of the cookie, flattening the cookie as you do so. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool for 3-5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
It’s best to bake these cookies in batches. If you wish to do so, you can beat some black or orange food colouring into the remaining cookie dough so that you can have half white and half black cookies. It’s up to you!
I think these cookies are great to give to your loved ones. Let them cool completely and then package them in cellophane bags and tie a ribbon around the top. I’m sure they will be much more appreciated then store-bought package of Halloween candy!
Whatever you do, have fun! That’s what baking for occasions like Halloween is all about! And, whether you fully celebrate it and refer to it as a holiday or not, it’s always fun to bake! By the way, the decorations you see in the photos are actually mine. I’m not a complete curmudgeon! Happy Halloween!
Halloween Candy Melt Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 ounces candy melts (black and orange)
- 1/2 cup sanding sugar
- food colouring, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter and sugar until well incorporated.
- Next, beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Lastly, mix in the flour. The mixture will be crumbly at first and might not look like a cookie dough, but keep beating on medium speed and a cookie dough will form. This is not an overly wet dough, so don't be alarmed.
- Portion two teaspoons of the cookie dough and roll into a ball. Roll the ball into the sanding sugar.
- Place the ball onto the prepared baking sheet, keeping the balls 2 inches apart. Gently, but firmly, press one candy melt into the center of the cookie, flattening the cookie as you do so.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool for 3-5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Bake the cookies in batches. You can add food colouring to half of the dough or all of it. Be sure to use gel food colouring and not liquid!