Halloween Ghost Sandwich Cookies

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These Halloween Ghost Sandwich Cookies have a ghostly white chocolate complexion and are filled with the spookiest black cocoa buttercream!

Halloween Ghost Sandwich Cookies covered in white chocolate and filled with black cocoa buttercream on a platter

Listen I know it’s only September but I’ve been excited about Halloween since July and these Halloween Ghost Sandwich Cookies are the absolute perfect treat to make for the spooky season! These cute cookies have a layer of black cocoa buttercream sandwiched between two ghost shaped sugar cookies covered in white chocolate. They’re so delicious and will be the star of any Halloween party dessert table!

For more spooky Halloween treats try my Black Cat Cookies, Halloween Sprinkle Cookies or Black Cocoa Cupcakes!

Ingredient Breakdown

All-purpose flour – this gives the cookies structure.

Baking powder – a little bit of baking powder helps the cookies rise slightly. Do not use baking soda!

Butter – provides flavor and structure. I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1/2 teaspoon of salt later on. Do not use cold or melted butter.

Granulated sugar – sweetens and softens cookies. Do not substitute it with brown sugar.

Eggs – helps bind the ingredients.

Vanilla extract and salt – enhances flavor. Always use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation for best flavor.

How To Make Halloween Ghost Sandwich Cookies

1. Make the sugar cookie dough: in a small bowl whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

4. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until just combined. The dough will be soft but not sticky.

5. Divide dough in half then shape into flat discs. Wrap each tightly with plastic wrap then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

6. On a floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out ghosts and place on a baking sheet then freeze for at least 5 minutes.

7. Bake cookies at 350°F for 9 minutes then allow to cool completely. The cookies should be pale but not wet looking when they come out of the oven. Repeat with the second disc of dough. You can reroll the dough scraps up to 2 more times.

8. Make the black cocoa buttercream: cream butter until light and fluffy on a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer.

9. Add the black cocoa powder and mix on low then add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low until combined. Scrape the bowl as needed.

10. Add vanilla extract and heavy cream or milk then beat until fluffy. Add salt to taste. The buttercream will darken as it sits so don’t panic if it isn’t super black yet! I recommend making it the day before decorating to give it plenty of time to darken.

11. Assemble the ghost sandwich cookies: Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler. If the chocolate is too thick add a TINY bit of vegetable oil (like 1/4 tsp at a time).

12. Dip half of the ghosts in the melted white chocolate. Use a small offset spatula to smooth them out then set aside so the chocolate can harden. You can skip this step if you don’t like white chocolate, the cookies will still be delicious!

13. Pipe or spread a layer of black cocoa buttercream onto the remaining half of cookies then top with the white chocolate covered cookies.

14. Use a piping bag or a zip-top bag filled with black cocoa buttercream to pipe faces onto each of the ghost sandwich cookies. Store Halloween Ghost Sandwich Cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge.

Ghost shaped sugar cookies

Pro Tips For Ghost Sandwich Cookies

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
  • Don’t over mix the dough! Only mix until the dry ingredients are just combined. Over mixing = more gluten development which means tough cookies. We don’t want any tough cookies here!
  • Bake one tray at a time on the middle oven rack. This ensures that there is even heat circulation.
  • Don’t over bake them! They should still be pale when they come out of the oven because they will continue to bake as they cool on the baking sheet.
  • Make the black cocoa buttercream in advance. It darkens as it sits so don’t panic if it’s not pitch black immediately after making it. I recommend making it the day before decorating the cookies.
  • Keep the sugar cookie dough cold! If you put warm cookies in the oven they will spread so I recommend freezing the cookies for a few minutes before baking them.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Black Cocoa Powder?

Black cocoa powder is cocoa powder that has been super Dutch processed which just means that it has been treated with an alkaline solution to reduce its acidity. This results in a mellower flavor and darker color. It’s actually the ingredient in Oreos that give them their unique flavor and color!

Thanks to the magic of black cocoa powder, this buttercream uses zero food coloring but if by some chance your buttercream doesn’t turn out dark enough then I recommend using a few drops of black gel food coloring. Gel food coloring is the best because it yields a deeper color without using a ton of dye and throwing off the consistency and taste of the buttercream the way liquid food coloring does.

My go to black cocoa powder is made by Wincrest but any brand should work fine!

Can You Make Sugar Cookie Dough In Advance?

Yes! Once you make this sugar cookie dough you can either refrigerate it for up to 3 days wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or freeze it for up to 3 months wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a zip-top bag.

Why do you have to chill sugar cookie dough?

You need to chill sugar cookie dough in order to make the dough easy to work with and to prevent your cookies from spreading too much. If you’re dough is warm then it will become sticky and difficult to handle. I recommend chilling your dough for at least 2 hours before rolling it out and chilling your cookies in the fridge or freezer right before baking them.

How Do Sugar Cookies Keep Their Shape?

Sugar cookies have a high ratio of flour to fat which makes the dough sturdy enough to roll out and cut into shapes. Additionally, the dough is always kept cold which aids in cookies maintaining their shape. My favorite trick to prevent sugar cookies from spreading is to freeze your cookies for 5 minutes before baking them!

What’s the difference between sugar cookies And Shortbread?

Unlike sugar cookies, shortbread is made without eggs or any leavening agents. Shortbread also has a more crumbly texture as a result of the dough’s high fat content. If you’re looking for shortbread recipes try my Mini Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars or Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies.

My Favorite Cookie Tools

Halloween Ghost Sandwich Cookies covered in white chocolate and filled with black cocoa buttercream

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

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5 from 3 votes

Halloween Ghost Sandwich Cookies

These Halloween Ghost Sandwich Cookies have a ghostly white chocolate complexion and are filled with the spookiest black cocoa buttercream!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Refrigeration Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 22 sandwich cookies
Calories 393kcal
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Baking sheets
  • Rolling Pin
  • Ghost cookie cutter
  • Piping bags or zip-top bags

Ingredients

Sugar Cookie Dough

  • 420 g (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Black Cocoa Buttercream

  • 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 60 g (3/4 cup) black cocoa powder
  • 480 g (4 cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 45 g (3 tbsp) heavy cream or milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • salt to taste
  • 170 g (1 cup) white chocolate chips for decorating

Instructions

Sugar Cookie Dough

  • In a small bowl whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time and vanilla until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until just combined. The dough will be soft but not sticky.
  • Divide dough in half then shape into flat discs. Wrap each tightly with plastic wrap then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • On a floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out ghosts and place on a baking sheet then freeze for at least 5 minutes.
  • Bake cookies for 9 minutes then allow to cool completely. The cookies should be pale but not wet looking when they come out of the oven. Repeat with the second disc of dough. You can reroll the dough scraps up to 2 more times.

Black Cocoa Buttercream

  • Cream butter until light and fluffy on a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer.
  • Add the black cocoa powder and mix on low then add the confectioners' sugar and mix on low until combined. Scrape the bowl as needed.
  • Add vanilla extract and heavy cream or milk then beat until fluffy. Add salt to taste. The buttercream will darken as it sits so don't panic if it isn't super black yet!

Assembly

  • Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler. If the chocolate is too thick add a TINY bit of vegetable oil (like 1/4 tsp at a time).
  • Dip half of the ghosts in the melted white chocolate. Use a small offset spatula to smooth them out then set aside so the chocolate can harden.
  • Pipe or spread a layer of black cocoa buttercream onto the remaining half of cookies then top with the white chocolate covered cookies.
  • Use a piping bag or a zip-top bag filled with black cocoa buttercream to pipe faces onto each of the ghost sandwich cookies.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1/2 tsp salt.
 
  • Store Ghost Sandwich Cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge. 
 
  • Sugar cookie dough wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a zip-top bag can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling and baking.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Nutrition

Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 541IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

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