Hallowe’en Cookies

Themed parties were popular in the 1920s and 1930s, leading to the publication of many books of theme party ideas. This recipe for Hallowe’en Cookies comes from The Children’s Party Book, a 1923 book of party games, decorations, and recipes for a variety of holiday parties.

Hallowe’en Cookies:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 squares chocolate
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  1. Cream the sugar and butter together.
  2. Mix in the beaten egg and milk.
  3. Sift the flour before measuring, then sift again twice with the baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into butter, sugar, egg, and milk mixture.
  5. Chill the dough for at least an hour, until firm enough to roll out.
  6. Roll out the dough about 1/4 inch thick and cut with a round cookie cutter.
  7. Bake at 375 for about 7-15 minutes, depending on how large your cookies are (I accidentally rolled mine out a bit thinner than the recipe states, hence the shorter cooking time).
  8. When the cookies are done, spread them with icing. No recipe for the icing is given; I made a basic royal icing by whisking 2 egg whites until stiff, then whisking in cold water, a few drops of vanilla, and powdered sugar until it was at a piping consistency (this made far more icing than I needed). The recipe calls for white icing, but orange food coloring would have been available at the time, so I chose to make my cookies orange to look more pumpkin-like.
  9. Melt the chocolate and use it to create jack-o-lantern faces on the cookies. I piped mine onto the cookies since I didn’t have any paintbrushes that hadn’t already been used for painting; but the original recipe calls for the chocolate faces to be painted on with a small paintbrush.

Tasting notes:

These are pretty generic sugar cookies; I’m glad I added vanilla to the icing, since there’s no flavor in the cookies themselves. The chocolate on the jack-o-lantern faces also added a bit of flavor. While the flavor was a bit boring, I do like the way the finished cookies look. They would be perfect for a children’s party with picky eaters who prefer plain sugar cookies. Happy Hallowe’en!


Parker, M.J., & H.H. Downing. (1923). The children’s party book. Rogers & Company, Inc. https://www.loc.gov/item/24017882/

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