These witch hat cookies are perfect for a Halloween treat! Made with royal icing and sugar cookie dough, they are soft and chewy while still being firm enough to hold their shape, and they are spooky!
I’m super into Halloween themed cookies, mostly because they are a fun treat to give out to trick-or-treaters and you can get creative with them, even throwing some 3D witch’s hat cookies into the mix.
These witch’s hat cookies can be customized with different colors and designs, or you can do them all in orange and black, whatever suits you.
In this witch’s hat cookie tutorial, I’ll teach you how to make witch’s hat cookies, how to make the royal icing for witch’s hat cookies, how to decorate witch’s hat cookies, and more!
What Do I Need to Make Witch’s Hat Cookies?
The witch’s hat cookies are made using this cut-out sugar cookie dough, which requires: butter, plain flour, powdered sugar, regular sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, and vanilla extract.
It’s important to use a cut-out sugar cookie recipe because the witch’s hat really needs to have crisp and clean edges. No need for blobs over here!
You’ll also want the ingredients for the royal icing. I know royal icing can feel slightly scary to use if you’ve not used it before, but trust me, it’s worth it.
The royal icing recipe involves meringue powder, water, vanilla extract, and icing sugar.
Why Meringue Powder for the Royal Icing?
I prefer meringue powder for the royal icing instead of egg whites as it’s easier to store and safe to eat for pregnant women. It also means the cookies don’t need to be refrigerated after you make them.
What Tools Do I Need to Make Witch’s Hat Cookies?
After you get the actual ingredients, you’ll want the following tools to make witch’s hat cookies:
- scribe or toothpick to fix details
- black food coloring and any other colors you want
- piping bags for the icing
- baking tray
- silicone mat or parchment paper
- cooling rack
How to Make the Sugar Cookie Dough for Witch’s Hat Cookies
Making the sugar cookie dough for the cookies is the first step! I like to let my dough chill overnight, so I make it the night before I’m planning to actually make the cookies.
You’ll want to follow the steps in the recipe exactly, both in the ingredients and how long you chill the dough for. Baking is more of a science than an art, and it’s important to get the combination right or you’ll end up with a ruined batch of cookies. It’s not like cooking where you can just throw whatever you want in.
You should also chill the dough when it wants you to, including after you roll it out and after you cut the shapes out. Chilled dough spreads less in the oven, which means your cookies will have nicer edges.
Some of the major problems people have with making cut-out cookies is: not chilling the dough enough, putting the cookies on a warm baking tray, and not cooking at a high enough temperature so that the cookie mostly just melts rather than sets.
I like to keep my cookies on the less baked side, so I take them out the second they start getting any hint of golden on the edges. If you don’t take them out until they look done, you’ll find that they get incredibly hard.
Let the cookies cool completely before decorating.
How to Make the Royal Icing for the Witch’s Hat Cookies
After you’ve got your completed cookie bases, you’ll want to make the royal icing to decorate with.
Royal icing is easy to make, so don’t be afraid if you’ve never used it before!
Use the royal icing recipe I like to make it, paying attention to your consistencies.
When making royal icing, the longer you beat it for, the stiffer the consistency will be.
When decorating cookies, people use different types of royal icing consistencies – you have to find what works for you, but a basic and easy way to think about it is that you should make a toothpaste consistency and then thin it out slightly with some water to make a more honey-like consistency.
The thicker consistency is called the “outline” icing and the thinner one is “flood.”
When it’s time to decorate, put your icing into piping bags and have fun!
The top tips to keep in mind when using royal icing is to keep the tip an inch or so off of the cookie and let the icing kind of drip down rather than feeling like you are forcing it onto the cookie – you’ll have more control that way.
How to Decorate Witch’s Hat Cookies
Time to Decorate!
I start by outlining the middle buckle in the buckle color I want, then outlining the top and bottom in black.
One by one, I flood the areas with the same color icing, and let it all dry for a couple of hours.
Then, go in with different colors to draw a square on the buckle, as well as adding dots and squiggly lines for some fun decorations.
You can also do multiple stripes on the hat, or get creative with it!
- 24 cookies using cut-out sugar cookie dough
- 1 batch of royal icing, separated in the colors you want to decorate
- Bake the witch hat cookies using the sugar cut-out cookie recipe
- Make a batch of royal icing using the royal icing recipe
- Separate out the royal icing into as many colors as you want to decorate with and put into piping bags
- Outline the witch's hat in black, leaving a space for the colorful belt
- Immediately flood the sections you've outlined in black
- Wait 15 minutes and then outline and flood a colorful rectangle across the hat to fill in the rest of the hat
- Wait 2 to 3 hours and then decorate the hat by adding a rectangle buckle across the colorful strap and using wavy lines and swirls to decorate the rest of the hat.
- Let dry for 12 hours