These festive cookies are deliciously decadent. The base is a chocolate cookie that has been darkened to resemble the blackness that goes hand in hand with Halloween. Before baking, the cookie is rolled in black sanding sugar which adds a glistening effect. Finally, a Mellocreme Pumpkin is pushed into the center to make these one of the most adorable Halloween cookies!
One is never too old to partake in a cookie that has been fashioned to appeal to the little ones. Mellocreme Pumpkin Cookies are just what I’m talking about! The sugary pumpkin confection is a very common treat this time of year, and I thought pairing them with a chocolate thumbprint cookie would work quite well! Of course, that chocolate thumbprint cookie needed to be black, because what is Halloween without the colour black?
My favourite chocolate thumbprint cookie recipe is one that I shared last year in my 24 Cookies of Christmas series. It’s my Hershey’s Kiss Cookies recipe. I used that same recipe and added a few festive changes to make these Mellocreme Pumpkin Cookie. Sometimes, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Use what you have and what you know to make something fresh and new!
Now, who’s ready to start baking? If you have any kids in your life, gather them into the kitchen. They will have so much fun working on this recipe. And, once the cookie have baked and cooled, share them with everyone. And, lastly, don’t forget to stick out your tongue when you’re done eating. Every kid loves to show off a food-dyed tongue!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature!
- Sugar – In cookies, the sugar will help the dough to spread, and will create a crispness to the bottom of the cookie.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar helps to keep the cookie moist and soft.
- Egg Yolk
- Vanilla Extract – Probably the most common extract and the most common flavouring used in cakes and cookies.
- Flour – No need for anything special. Just use regular all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of flour.
- Cocoa Powder – Cocoa powder is an unsweetened chocolate product which adds deep chocolate flavor to desserts and beverages. Use a good quality cocoa powder, not the kind we used to stir into milk as kids!
- Baking Soda – A common baking ingredient which helps with leavening or rising.
- Salt – In baking it helps to enhance and balance sweetness.
- Sanding Sugar – Coarse sugar, sometimes referred to as sanding sugar, is used sometimes for decorative purposes. It is sometimes called pearl sugar or coarse baking sugar.
- Black Gel Food Colouring
- Mellocreme Pumpkin Candy
WHAT ARE MELLOCREME PUMPKINS?
Personally, I think too many of these candies would be deadly. Not deadly as in you’re going to die, but deadly to your teeth! Ha! These candies are full of sugar! But, since Halloween only comes once a year, I think a little indulgence can be permitted.
A mellowcreme pumpkin is candy corn in the shape of a pumpkin. That’s it! They are made with sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, sesame oil, honey, and artificial food colour. The appeal begins with the texture. They’re soft and dense like marzipan on the inside with a just-hard-enough outer shell. Then there’s the taste, which seems like pure honey despite honey being near the bottom of the ingredient list.
WHERE TO FIND MELLOCREMES:
The most recognized brand of mellocremes are Brach’s. They describe their mellocreme pumpkin candy like this: Enjoy the soft texture, rich taste, and unique flavor of Brach’s Classic Candy Corns in a fun, seasonal shape! Made with real honey, our pumpkin-shaped mellowcremes are a colorful Autumn favorite. Perfect for use in baking, decorating, or just sharing with family and friends! Doesn’t that sound lovely?
You can find mellocremes at Amazon, but you can also find them in baking supply stores. I know for sure that Walmart has them in stock. If you’re here in Canada, did you know that you can find mellocremes at Home Hardware? Yes! Every Home Hardware located outside a major city seems to have a little section of candies near the cashiers. That brand is Cottage Country. You can find those on Amazon as well!
SANDING VS GRANULATED SUGAR
I use coarse sanding sugar quite often in my recipes, and I hope it hasn’t been too difficult for you to find. Sanding sugar is 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 cannot find sanding sugar, then I’m afraid this recipe is not for you.
You can find sanding sugar online, but it’s expensive in comparison to what you can find at a baking supply store. I buy most of my sanding sugar at Bulk Barn. They have just about every colour you will need – even black!!
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
If you plan to freeze these cookies, you certainly can! When the cookies are cool, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in! You can freeze these cookies for up to three months.
It’s important to remember that when thawing, you will need to lay the cookies onto a wire cooling rack in a single layer. The Mellocreme Pumpkin candy will sweat otherwise. You will lose the brightness of the orange colour. The black sanding sugar will muddle them.
Mellocreme Pumpkin Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup black sanding sugar
- Black Gel Food Colouring
- 44 Mellocreme Pumpkins
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and both sugars until creamy and smooth. About 2-3 minutes.
- Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, and black food colouring. Beat to incorporate.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just mixed in.
- Roll mixture into balls using 1 1/2 teaspoons of the dough for each cookie. Roll in the sanding sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet. Leave two inches of space between each cookie.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place a Mellocreme Pumpkin in the center of each cookie. Push the pumpkin down into the baked cookie until you feel slight resistance.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes. Carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.