Spooky Halloween Trees

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Chef Test Kitchens Consultant at Land O'Lakes
Make frosting and decorating these cookies a family event.

2 dozen cookies


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 to 4 tablespoons Land O Lakes® or Fat Free Half & Half
Black licorice twists
Halloween sprinkles and/or decorator sugars, if desired


Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup butter and sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Beat until well mixed.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten slightly. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).

Heat oven to 325°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time, (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 12x7-inch rectangle. (Trim edges if necessary.) Cut rectangle in half lengthwise with pizza cutter or sharp knife. Make 5 crosswise cuts in each half, 2 inches apart, creating 12 (3 1/2x2-inch) rectangles. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or just until set. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

Combine all frosting ingredients in medium bowl, adding enough half & half for desired spreading consistency. Beat at low speed until well mixed.

Cut licorice twists into 3-inch lengths. Cut slits on 1 end of licorice using sharp knife or kitchen shears to within 1 inch of other end to form tree with 3 or 4 branches. Carefully bend or peel apart branches. •

Working with 2 or 3 cookies at a time so frosting doesn’t harden, frost cookies. Place licorice tree onto frosting; sprinkle with Halloween sprinkles or decorator sugars, if desired.

Recipe Tip:
- Halloween sprinkles come in a variety of shapes, such as bats, pumpkins or fall leaves, and are available at craft stores and in the baking aisle of the supermarket during the fall season.

- If branches are accidentally cut off tree, just attach cut branch to frosting so it looks like part of the tree.

- For variety, make different shape cookies using large round or diamond-shaped cookie cutter.
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