Making desserts for Halloween is tremendously fun. It’s a holiday where you not only have the license to indulge in all kinds of desserts and candies, but where you have permission to go for crazy decorations, wacky food colors and other fun touches that aren’t usually found in dessert. Great examples of this include my Zombie Graveyard Cake, bloody Shortbread Bones and Cupcakes from the Black Lagoon. Joining these favorites are these chocolaty Fudge Monster Cookies. The cookies are very straightforward: a rich, brownie-like cookie that is covered with creepy eyes to watch you as you eat. Serve these up at any event leading up to Halloween. They’re easy, delicious and make an unforgettable entrance at the dessert table.
To make these cookies, you’re going to need some candy eyes. I used Wilton Candy Eyeballs, which are widely available (especially this time of year) and a good choice for cake and cookie decorating. The candy eyeballs are primarily made of sugar and hold up fairly well to baking, though I had a couple melt slightly in the oven. Since there are multiple eyes on each cookie, don’t worry if the odd eye or two doesn’t end up looking as perfect as the others when it emerges from the oven! The eyes are slightly crunchy and relatively sweet, so while they probably won’t be replacing chocolate chip cookies as a general mix-in, they’re certainly tasty in this recipe.
Shape the cookie dough into 1-inch balls and err on the side of making them slightly larger than smaller. You need the cookies to be a bit generously sized so that you have plenty of room to stick on the candy eyeballs! The cookies will spread as they bake, but they don’t spread a tremendous amount. Since you want the cookies to be fudgy, be sure not to overbake them and take them out of the oven just when the edges have set. Like brownies, the cookies will continue to “bake” a bit as they cool, yielding tender, fudgy cookies with loads of chocolate flavor.
Fudge Monster Cookies
1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, followed by vanilla extract. Gradually, with the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour mixture, stopping when no streaks of dry ingredients remain. The dough may appear dry at first, but it will come together as you continue to mix. Shape into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Place 4-5 candy eyes on each cookie.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies begin to crack on the top and are just set around the edges.
Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 18-20 cookies