Haunted Halloween Cookie House: Because cookie houses aren’t just for Christmas, anymore!
I have way too much fun creating cookie houses for Christmas. So much fun that I typically do at least 3 or 4 houses and create a gingerbread house village to put on the top shelf of my book case. There’s just something so whimsical and fun about a house made purely of edible goodies and candies that makes me all warm inside. Which is why I couldn’t resist making one for Halloween. But with a seeming lack of Halloween cookie house kits, I decided to create my own template and to share it with you! This is a great craft for kids, or just the creative crafty adult-kid inside. I may have had a little bit too much fun making mine…
For this version of the house I like to use store bought sugar cookie dough to make life a little easier. I mix it with Oreo (or Joe Joe’s or whatever chocolate sandwich cookie) crumbs to give it a dark speckled look that resembles stone. I also add a lot of flour to make the cookies harder than usual so that the house will properly hold its shape. One little trick I use is to buy melting chocolate blocks to use to “glue” the pieces together instead of trying to rely on icing. The reason being that the chocolate hardens much faster and holds a bit better. And of course, I use a whole bunch of colorful, delicious Halloween candy and fun homemade pieces like my Adorable Halloween Candy Spiders for decoration.
OK… are you ready? What you’re going to need….
The Haunted Halloween Cookie House Template! You’re going to want to print it out and cut out the pieces. It’s a free PDF file located at this button:Haunted Halloween Cookie House Template
- 2 Packages of Sugar Cookie Dough (I used Pillsbury)
- 1 Cup Oreo Cookie Crumbs, Creme centers removed
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- A knife or pastry cutter.
- Baking sheets and parchment paper
- Rolling pin
- Melting Chocolate
- Fluffy Royal Icing
- A whole lot of Halloween Candy of your choice
- Extra Oreo Cookie Crumbs optionally to use as dirt.
- A large flat platter or piece of cardboard to assemble your house on.
Make sure you have all of your template pieces cut out and ready to go. Set the oven temperature according to the package directions on your cookie dough.
Take the contents out of 1 pack of cookie dough. On a floured cutting board or silpat, knead together the cookie dough slowly adding in 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of Oreo Crumbs until well mixed .
Take out a piece of parchment paper that will fill your baking sheet. On the parchment paper roll out the dough into a large piece that is about 1/4 inch thick. Lay template pieces on top of the cookie dough as a guide to cut out your pieces.
Reserve the extra dough to use again in the next roll-out. I like to create the house in pairs, so, for example, I will lay out the “front” and “back” of the house on the same baking sheet. Then 2 roof pieces on a separate baking sheet, etc. It is important to cut out the pieces directly onto the parchment paper as they will be nearly impossible to move without distortion.
Once you have filled your first baking sheet with pieces, place it in the preheated oven. You’ll want to set the timer on the later suggested baking time that the package gives to make sure your pieces are harder than a normal sugar cookie. For example, my cookies suggested 11-14 minutes so I set my timer for 14. When the pieces are finished baking, remove them from the oven and set them (still on the baking sheet) onto a cooling rack. You’ll notice that the dough has expanded and spread. While the cookie is still hot, gently and carefully set the template piece back on top as a guide and cut off the excess cookie to get back to your perfect piece.
Do not move the cookies from the baking sheet until they are fully cooled, which will take about 15 minutes. When you do move them, move them still on the parchment paper.
Repeat these steps with each of the pieces and when you run out of that first batch of cookie dough, go ahead and mix together the next one. I usually end up with just a little bit of cookie dough left over. If you want, you can use it to make a couple of random cookies, use some Halloween themed cookie cutters for some extra decorations, or, even though the package says not to, eat the cookie dough raw. Because everyone knows that raw cookie dough is better than baked cookies are, anyway.
Once your pieces are all finished baking, it’s decision making time! There are 2 options: assemble the house and then decorate it, or decorate it first and then assemble it. Because I was in a hurry to finish this house so that I could share this template and recipe with you, I assembled it first and then decorated it, but I prefer to do just the opposite. If you have kids that are decorating the house, it is easier and more fun for them to decorate it before it gets assembled because they can each decorate their own side of the house. If you’re going about it this way, it might be a good idea to at least affix the front door in place so it can be decorated on top of. For this, I suggest a little bit of melted chocolate on the back of the door and then just pressing it between the windows. It will harden within about a minute.
As an additional decoration, you can make some very simple fluffy royal icing. This recipe makes quite a bit of the icing and I separated it into 2 bowls to add Halloween food colors. You can, of course, separate it into as many colors as you want. Do remember that the colors will saturate better as the icing dries, so don’t get too frustrated when your millions of drops of red and yellow create a very pale orange. It will be quite bright when dry. Put the icing into piping bags with decorative tips and get to creating! Here is the super simple recipe for fluffy royal icing:
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 3 Egg Whites
- 1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients until just incorporated. Putting your mixer on high speed, beat for about 7 minutes until thick and fluffy.
When you’re done decorating you’re going to want to leave everything out to dry overnight. The royal icing will harden and assembly without ruining your hard work and creativity will be much simpler.
To assemble, melt about a half-cup of melting chocolates according to their package instructions. Let them cool a little bit to thicken, and then use them as a wonderful glue to hold your house pieces together. You will have to get creative with buttresses to prop your pieces up with while the chocolate hardens. I’ve found that it’s easiest to assemble the chimney on the proper roof piece before the roof goes on the house. Then, I prop up the front of the house and “glue” it to the platter with melting chocolate.
From there I add the side pieces, then the back, then the roof. I wait for the chocolate to fully harden on each piece before I move on, and I reinforce the base pieces by adding chocolate on the inside seams, letting them fully harden before adding the roof.
The hole in the back of the house is completely optional, and if you choose to create it, it makes a great access point to put eerie glowsticks or battery operated candles and LED lights to light the inside of your house. I would not recommend using a real flame as it will burn the cookie and the chocolate holding the house together.
Now, get to decorating the yard! I filled the yard with more Oreo cookie crumbles to resemble dirt. I used orange royal icing and green twizzlers to create pumpkins, and I have some fun Halloween candy molds that I used to create white chocolate skeletons and tombstones made of white chocolate mixed with even more Oreo crumbs to give them the grey stone look. The extra pumpkins, black cats, and bats I bought online. They’re just little figurines from Department 56’s Halloween town collection.
I hope you enjoy this project as much as I did. If you happen to make a Haunted Halloween Cookie House yourself, please share it with me here or on my Facebook Page! I’d love to see all of your creativity! If you’re posting to Instragram, please tag me @cupcakethepig or use #cupcakethepig or #thepescetarianandthepig.