I adore Halloween. One of my favorite holidays, smack dab in the middle of my favorite time of year. But every year my kids seem to acquire more candy. And my kids aren’t usually suffering from a shortage of sugar in their normal lives, so we don’t need any more anyway. But that is the situation we find ourselves in. This year we had a lot of candy corn. So I wondered what it would be like if I baked it in a cookie. Yes, I can see what you’re thinking, how does making cookies help with the sugar overload? Never mind that.
I loved baking the candy corn into these soft and chewy sugar cookies. I used almond extract to help add a new layer of flavor that wasn’t so cloyingly sweet, and then right before baking, my secret weapon, which is about to be not-so-secret. Most cookies could benefit from this. Right before sticking these beauties in the oven, sprinkle with a little sea salt. No, I’m not crazy. It’s wonderful and you’ll find that you start missing it when you eat cookies that don’t have just that little boost of salt. Salt, used properly, doesn’t make things salty – it enhances them. It can also help tone down the sweetness if you’ve got something going on that’s really – really – sweet, like sugar cookies with candy corn baked in. Now of course these cookies are pretty awesome on their own, if you’re a chewy soft sugar cookie kind of person. Just be aware that they spread like nobody’s business – they about double in size once cooked, so leave plenty of room on that pan.
- 1 cup lightly salted butter, softened
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1½ cups white sugar (you'll need a little more for rolling)
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt (plus more for sprinkling on before baking)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract and mix slowly until thoroughly blended. Add dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Don't overmix, but make sure to fully incorporate the flour. This is a thick dough.
- Scoop out rounded balls of dough of your desired size and roll in a small bowl of sugar before placing on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. I say of your desired size because I made mine HUGE, but you may not prefer such a large cookie. One tbsp is about a normal size for a cookie. Remember to place far apart on your sheet because they will spread.
- Place on lined sheet pan and use the bottom of a glass to gently smoosh your dough balls. Then place your candy on top.
- Now, sprinkle with fine sea salt. Trust me.
- Bake until bottoms are lightly browned. You don't want the tops to start browning or you'll lose your soft, chewy texture. A small cookie will take around 8-9 minutes to cook.
- When bottoms are lightly browned, removed from oven and cool for 2-3 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack.