I made these cookies for Halloween last year and thought they were super-adorable! I found the idea on the PBS “Fresh Tastes” webpage, but used my own tried-and-true recipe for sugar cookie dough. I use this recipe annually for my “Christmas Cookie Sweatshop” party (to be blogged later….) and it has never failed me! I think this recipe will work with whatever sugar cookie recipe you prefer as long as it is refrigerated before slicing and you use real butter. Seriously. There is no worthy substitute for real butter in a sugar cookie.
My recipe: Cream 1 c. (two sticks) room temperature butter with 2 c. sugar. Add 4 eggs and continue mixing until well blended. In a smaller bowl, stir together 5 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. nutmeg (optional). Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients, mixing well after each addition until you have a smooth dough.
For Candy Corn Cookies:
Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Line a regular-sized loaf pan (or two small ones if you like tiny cookies…which I do…) with plastic wrap. Press one portion of the dough into the loaf pan(s) so that it is an even, flat layer (harder than you think!). Transfer another portion of the dough onto a lightly floured roul-pat mat (if you don’t have one, you should.) Add several drops of orange food coloring and mix in by hand – wear plastic or latex gloves unless you want to look jaundiced! – until the color is uniform. I use gel food dye for a more intense color. Press into pan(s) as before. (using glass pans helps a lot!). Transfer the last portion onto your floured surface and add yellow food coloring and mix/press as before. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
After dough is properly chilled, remove the block to a floured surface and slice in 1/4″ slices. Cut each slice diagonally as shown to create three triangle shapes. Bake on lined cookie sheets (silicone baking mats or parchment) at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes (watch carefully!) until lightly browned on the bottom and the top is puffy. Try not to eat them all at once…I dare you!