Halloween is a weird holiday. As a kid, you’re all about the fact that you can dress up in costume and go door-to-door taking candy from strangers. Then, in middle school, you go through this stage where you are just way too old/cool for Halloween and you want nothing to do with it. Fast forward to college and you realize how great it is to have an excuse to dress up in costume again – so great that you decide Halloween should really be extended into a multi-day event.
And if you’re in graduate school, that attitude towards Halloween carries on for a bit longer, with a more refined and creative costume selection process.
As much fun as I have dressing up for Halloween, what I actually love is the excuse to eat all of the fun sized candies that I never really have any other time. Specifically Krackel bars, which are better Crunch bars, and Mellowcreme pumpkins, which are like the pumpkin-shaped candy-corn-flavored things. It’s literally the only time of year I would even think to eat either of those.
So when I was trying to decide what to bake, I initially was browsing varieties of leftover candy bark and bar cookies, but nothing really jumped out as something I actually wanted to make.
Prior to making them, I was pretty convinced that the only way you could possibly make cookies taste that good was using whatever processed chemicals make all snack and junk food from the grocery store taste good. I didn’t think a copycat recipe would actually work.
I was wrong – you can make them at home. And, with the holiday season now approaching, I suggest you do. They’ll work for every single event you have coming up just by switching out the frosting and sprinkles. Brilliant, really.
First, in a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for about three minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate. On low speed, add vanilla and sour cream and beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small additions, beating on low speed. Continue until dough comes together. At this point, the dough will be sticky. Split it in half, shape into 1 to 2 inch thick rectangles, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
When you’re ready to bake, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut circles. Keep any dough you aren’t using in the fridge while you work, and place circles on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.Bake at 425°F for 7 minutes until tops look solid and the cookies begin to brown on sides. Immediately transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the buttercream frosting. Using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, beat the butter and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar in one cup increments keeping the speed on low. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add the heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until frosting is spreadable. Finally, mix in the food coloring that you want to use. I recommend gel food coloring rather than liquid because it won’t change the consistency of the frosting – this is important if you don’t feel like playing the add more sugar/add more cream game forever.When the cookies are cool, frost them and top them with sprinkles. Let them sit out overnight to harden the frosting if you want the authentic store-bought experience.
But Meg, where are the sprinkles?? Fun fact: Whole Foods doesn’t sell sprinkles. Apparently they are too processed to make it onto the shelves.
I would be OK with this as a policy if I hadn’t walked through the bakery section on my search – THEY HAD SPRINKLES ON THEIR CUPCAKES! Hypocrites.
Regardless, they still were good cookies. Store them in an airtight container to help them last the longest.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 6 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- gel food coloring
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Beat in the vanilla extract and sour cream on low speed until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder slowly while beating on low speed until dough comes together.
- Split dough in half and shape into 1 to 2 inch rectangles. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and use a two inch round cookie cutter to make circles. Place on sprayed cookie sheets.
- Bake at 425°F for 7 minutes until tops look solid and sides are turning golden. Remove immediately to wire rack to cool completely.
- In the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar, a bit at a time, beating on low speed until creamy.
- Add the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until desired consistency.
- Add food coloring and beat to incorporate.
- Frost cookies and add sprinkles. Allow to sit out overnight for frosting to harden.