Spooky Shortbread Cookies (Lemon-Vanilla Flavor)

by Dorothy Reinhold on October 10, 2019

Print This Post Print This Post Shatteringly crisp Spooky Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread Cookies are decorated for Halloween time with colored icing, sprinkles and candy decorations. Scarier for older kids, more friendly-spooky for younger kids, and everyone gets a little shiver.

Shatteringly crisp Spooky Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread Cookies are decorated for Halloween time with colored icing, sprinkles and candy decorations. Scarier for older kids, more friendly-spooky for younger kids, and everyone gets a little shiver. 

This post and recipe was created for #HalloweenTreatsWeek! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always opinions are 100% mine.

Halloween demands we pull out all the stops. That means cookies get baked and decorated to within an inch of their lives. It takes a bit of time, but oh, is it worth it when you see the looks on people’s faces. They’re creeped out, you might get a shudder or two, or if you’re lucky, a squeal. I live for squeals.

Spooky Shortbread Ghosts on ShockinglyDelicious.com

Let’s make a simple Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread, and Halloween it up — Spooky Shortbread Cookies for the win!

How to make Spooky Shortbread Cookies

Assemble ingredients for Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread on ShockinglyDelicious.com1. As with all recipes, assemble your ingredients. I am using the following ingredients from our generous sponsors:

  • Twice as Strong Vanilla Extract from Adams Extract
  • Powdered Sugar from Dixie Crystals
  • A lemon from my backyard tree!

Sprinkles for the Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread Cookies on ShockinglyDelicious.com2. Assemble your decorating ingredients, too! I got out a variety of Halloweenie icings and sprinkles, including these from today’s sponsors:

  • Black and Orange Decorator Icing, seasonal Halloween sprinkles from Wilton
  • Black bat, orange pumpkin, Monster Mash sprinkles mix, and Apple Cider colored sugar mix from Sweets & Treats, a wonderful supplier of sprinkles, candy decorations, fun straws, etc.

Halloween candy decorations for Lemon-Vanilla Spooky Shortbread on ShockinglyDelicious.com2A. And don’t forget the creepy candy decorations! I used these from our sponsors:

  • Gummy Eyeballs from Treat Street / CandyFetti (available at Smart & Final)
  • Bloody fingers from Wilton. These elicited shudders from a neighbor. #Winning!
  • Assortment of candy eyes from Wilton. Pro tip: You can never, ever have too many candy eyes. Get lots!

Make the Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread Dough on ShockinglyDelicious.com3. Make the dough. I like this dough because it has flecks of visible lemon zest in it. Refrigerate briefly.

Roll out dough for Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread Cookies4. Roll it out (I used waxed paper on top so the rolling pin wouldn’t stick to the dough). Or pat it out with your hands; don’t overthink it.

Cut out Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread Cookies on ShockinglyDelicious.com5. Cut the cookies out using either a knife (free hand, my favorite), or cookie cutters if you prefer. I knew I wanted to put fingers on some of them, so I attempted to cut cookie shapes a bit bigger than the fingers.

Monster head shape Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread on ShockinglyDelicious.com5A. And when it comes to head shapes, very few monsters have round heads, in my humble opinion. Cut them any way you like! Very often the more odd shapes will spark decorating creativity once they’re baked.

Baked Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread Cookies on ShockinglyDelicious.com6. Bake and cool. I let mine get a little bit way too brown because shortbread are not supposed to brown, but you know what? Who cares? They’re still great! If you have a baking mishap, just shake it off. My family, bless their hearts, told me they preferred brown shortbread. ♥

Easy Spooky Shortbread Cookies on ShockinglyDelicious.com7. Decorate any way you like. I use a small offset spatula to spread decorator icing, and then settle the sprinkles and candy decorations into the icing, like glue.

Happy Halloween!

“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers ‘tis near Halloween.’ ”

Spooky Shortbread Cookies with Fingers on ShockinglyDelicious.comBut first, let’s make some Spooky Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread Cookies!

Spooky Shortbread Cookies (Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread)

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 12-20 cookies

Spooky Shortbread Cookies (Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread)

Shatteringly crisp Spooky Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread Cookies are decorated for Halloween time with colored icing, sprinkles and candy decorations. Scarier for older kids, more friendly-spooky for younger kids, and everyone gets a little shiver.


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (I used Dixie Crystals powdered sugar)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons light-flavored olive oil (or grapeseed or canola oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used Adams Extract Twice As Strong Vanilla Flavor)
  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-3 teaspoons grated lemon rind (I use 3 teaspoons/1 tablespoon!)
  • Topping: decorator icing in white, black and orange; variety of Halloween sprinkles and candy decorations


  1. Turn oven on to 325F degrees.
  2. Place sugar, butter, oil, salt and vanilla extract in a medium bowl; mix until combined. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornstarch and lemon rind in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
  3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, and mix until combined. Knead dough lightly a couple of times just until smooth, and then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  4. Roll or pat dough out on a board, and cut shapes with a knife or cookie cutters. Place shapes on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake until until just set and edges are golden. Recipe makes 12 (bake for 30 minutes) to 20 (bake for 15-20 minutes). (How many cookies you get depends on how thickly or thinly you pat or roll out the dough.)
  5. Remove cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting with icing and decorating with sprinkles and Halloween candy items. Have fun!
  6. Makes 12-20 cookies, depending on how thickly you roll out the dough.


Recipe source: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious


pin this please!Pin the image below to save this recipe to your Pinterest board.

Spooky Shortbread Cookies on ShockinglyDelicious.com

Disclaimer: These posts and recipes are part of the week-long event, #HalloweenTreatsWeek but all opinions are 100% mine! We would like to Thank our amazing sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Adam’s Extract, Wilton, Sweets and Treats Shop, Treat Street USA and Litehouse! These wonderful sponsors provided the prize packs for our giveaways and also sent samples and products to the #HalloweenTreatsWeek bloggers to use in their recipes.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Christie November 17, 2019 at 4:47 am

These cookies look super fun to decorate with the kids!


Jaida ~ Sweet Beginnings October 23, 2019 at 1:26 pm

What fun variety of cookies – perfect for Halloween!


Jacque Hooper October 14, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Such fun and creative ideas for Halloween! My kids will love these!


Tisha October 14, 2019 at 9:13 am

These are such a fun delicious idea! Great to decorate with the kiddos!!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert October 13, 2019 at 6:50 am

These Spooky Shortbread Cookies are just so adorable!!


Nancie McDermott October 12, 2019 at 11:54 pm

Fun fun fun. Sweet spirit to these, and humor. The crewcut guys and sugar skull folks make my day. Astute use of eyes


Chrissie Baker October 11, 2019 at 11:00 pm

Love the step-by-step guide with the pictures and the laughs to go with it! Will be trying this soon. Thank you.


Amy (Savory Moments) October 11, 2019 at 5:28 pm

These cookies are super fun — so many different decorations and variations. Those fingers are just too much!


Julie @ Back To My Southern Roots October 11, 2019 at 3:23 pm

I love these cookies. My kids would love all of the different Halloween designs, especially the fingers!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: