My kids have always enjoyed decorating cookies with me. It’s one of those cooking activities that don’t have a lot of rules, anything goes and let’s your creative juices flow. My daughter especially loves baking and decorating cookies. It doesn’t matter if there is a holiday or not, she is always ready and willing.
I love to bake, but I am not super skilled with the icing bag. I can do the basics, and make my cookies look good enough to impress my kids and family! So if I can make these fun raisin spider cookies, you can, too. You can use store-bought cookies or homemade. I chose chocolate sandwich cookies since the black cookie adds some more spooky mood.
Royal icing is used for the spider web design. You basically add enough water to powdered sugar until it is pourable, but not runny. You want to be able to squeeze it out onto the cookie with minor spreading, without it being too hard or so runny that it pours off the cookie. For each cup of powdered sugar, that’s about 2-teaspoons of water. It is not exact because the food coloring you are using also adds liquid to the icing. Again, it is not rocket science, so just drip in more water while you stir the mixture until the consistency is thick but pourable. Add a little to a plate and see if it spreads a lot or holds it shape, like soft serve ice cream. If you added too much water, no worries. Just stir in more powdered sugar until icing is thickened.
Meringue powder can be added to the icing, if you need it to harden faster. Add 1 3/4 tsp of meringue powder for each cup of powdered sugar. I didn’t use it for these cookies and they were dry in a few hours. Don’t have fancy icing bags or tips? Just pour your icing into resealable plastic bags and cut the tiny corner tip off with scissors. Easy-peasy and really cheap.
Once you cover your cookie with white icing, you want to add a swirl of purple or black for the web. Start at the center of the cookie, and then turn and spiral the icing outwards. You do not have to be perfect because the next step will make even a crooked circle look like a spider web!
Using a toothpick or bamboo skewer, place the tip at the center of the cookie and drag it out to the edge, through the swirl. Continue doing this throughout the cookie until your web is formed. It’s like magic!
The raisins make the spider’s body wrinkly and creepy, and the chocolate jimmies finish of the spider’s legs. A few dots of icing for eyes, and the hardest part is to wait for these treats to completely dry.
Enjoy and happy Halloween!
Raisin Spider Cookies
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chocolate jimmies
5-7 teaspoons water
Purple food coloring
Black food coloring
24 assorted cookies
- In two small bowls add 1 cup powdered sugar into each bowl.
- Add black food coloring to one bowl and purple (blue and red) to the other.
- Slowly add water and stir with a fork or whisk until icing is smooth, but thick. You want it pourable, but not runny. Approximately 2 teaspoons for each bowl.
- In a third bowl add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
- Slowly add water and stir with a fork or whisk until icing is smooth, but thick. You want it pourable, but not runny. Approximately 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons.
- Pour each icing into its own resealable bag and squeeze icing into one corner. Snip a tiny piece of the corner of the bag off and place each bag in a glass, cut tip side down.
- Working with one cookie at a time, start with the white icing and pipe an outline of a circle along the edge of the cookie. Once outline is done, fill in center with white icing. Use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to spread icing evenly.
- Start at the center of the cookie and pipe a swirl of purple or black for the web. Turn and spiral the icing outwards towards the edge of the cookie.
- Using a toothpick or bamboo skewer, place the tip at the center of the cookie and drag it out through the icing toward the edge of the cookie. Continue doing this throughout the cookie until your web is formed and complete.
- While the icing is wet, place a raisin on the cookie for the spider’s body. Add 4 chocolate jimmies to one side of the raisin for the spider’s leg, then add 4 more to the other side.
- Using white icing, add two tiny dots for eyes and let cookie dry.
- Continue icing the other cookies.
Laura Bashar blogs at Family Spice, and is the photographer and co-author of the cookbook: Cooking Techniques and Recipes with Olive Oil. She’s also chaos manager of a family of five while soaking up the sun in San Diego, California.