Halloween Vanilla Cookies

Photographer: Emma

My love for Halloween stems from my older sister; born on the 30th of October she hosted an annual Halloween party throughout her teenage years and I can remember anticipation and excitement for the event building from about August.  In recent years I have been lucky to befriend a little lady with a passion for black magic and entertaining, the perfect combination for throwing Halloween parties.

At Bernadette’s Halloween bash every goulish detail is perfect; there has been a severed leg in the bath, gravestones in the garden, ivy twirling around tables and chair legs and a marked-out sand circle in the middle of her living room complete with voodoo dolls and candles.  I remember the first time I went to one of her parties; I went as a prisoner – orange overalls, fake tattoos and standard issue canvas shoes.  Someone asked me if I was Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron’s character from the movie “Monster”) and it still stings a little.  I was out of my depth; the costumes were carefully planned out and some were genius.

I learnt my lesson and now I strive to improve every year.  I personally think the best costumes are handmade, although this year I have ordered a part of my costume from Mexico.  It seemed completely rational at the time however now I fear it may sound a little over the top.


There really is something cool about this holiday; no painted eggs and bunny rabbits or tinsel and baubles, just blood, gore, zombies and vampires.

We had so much fun making these Halloween cookies and spelling out related words.  Not having an A in our collection of alphabet letters did force us to get a little creative!

Happy Halloween!!


185g butter
1 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups plain flour
1 egg


1. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat again, then lastly add the flour and mix until just combined. Bring the dough together, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for half an hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is approximately 5mm thick. Cut shapes out from the dough, place them on the baking tray and bake for 10-13 minutes or until they just start to colour a light golden.
3. Once cool decorate as desired.