Ghoulish Goodies

Before leaving for vacation, my daughter was very concerned about the notion of being away for Halloween. Never one to pass on a party myself, we decided to throw a little pre-dinner soirée for our little fairly princess and her guests.

With thirteen members of the 4 and 5 year old set, I knew I’d need extra hands and entertainment but as far as the food went, I figured I had it covered.
Between the green goo and witches brew, there were ghost pops, goblin cakes and these Casper cookies.

The cookies are great for cutting out cats, witches, pumpkins and ghosts alike. Pretty quick and easy to make, just err on the underdone as the edges can brown fairy quickly.


3/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening
3/4 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of Nutmeg
2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little for dusting

Combine shortening and sugar using an electric stand mixer until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Follow with orange juice and vanilla, mixing until combined.
Add flour in batches. The dough should come together smoothly, be soft but not overly sticky.
Shape dough into a ball, divide in half then flatten into two disks.
Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat liner.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each disk 1/4-inch thick.
Cut out dough using lightly floured cutters.
Transfer cutouts to prepared baking sheet using a thin, metal spatula, if necessary.
Bake for about 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Frost and decorate cookies with royal icing as desired.


2 Cups Icing Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Tablespoons Soy Milk
3 – 5 Tablespoons Warm Water

Mix sugar, vanilla and soy milk with an electric mixer until combined.
Slowly add the the first three tablespoons of water, one at a time.
Mix well and stop to check consistency; adding the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time as necessary. The icing should be fluid and smooth. The drizzle from the beater should leave ribbons that hold on the surface for about three seconds.

To decorate, spoon the prepared icing into a piping bag, reserving about 2 tablespoons.
Using a small, plain tip, outline the edges then flood the centres.
When all of the ghosts have been iced, add two drops of black food colouring (or two drops of dark green with one drop of red) into the reserved icing.
Spoon coloured icing into the piping bag to dot eyes and a nose on the ghosts to finish.

Makes about 24 cookies.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

5 thoughts on “Ghoulish Goodies”

  1. I made these last night and I found some serious errors in the directions. The cookies were delicious; I just had to doctor the dough and icing a bit. First, the dough recipe needed about 1/4 cup more of soy milk and shortening and 1/4 cup less of the dry mixture. Otherwise the dough looked more like a cookie desert – it was just powder. The icing was a little runny even with 3 T water. Still, these cookies were perfect once I made some adjustments, so thank you!

  2. I’m glad that you were still able to enjoy them in the end! I haven’t had any problems with these cookies, but I’ll be sure to test them again. Thanks for letting me know.

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