Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nut-Free Candy Corn Cookies for Halloween!

Candy corn shortbread cookies.
Last week, I talked about options for nut-free candy corn. Here's a link to that blog post if you would like to learn more about where to find nut-free candy corn.

This week, it's all about candy corn cookies! Made out of a simple shortbread dough that is nut-free and egg-free (and can be dairy-free if you use dairy-free margarine), you can create sliceable refrigerator cookies that resemble a kernel of candy corn. A lot of you were asking for egg-free candy corn and I haven't been able to find any.You might be able to make these egg-free cookies work instead!

I use this type of dough to make my youngest daughter's favorite short bread cookies, simply cut into squares, but as long as you keep it well-chilled, this dough is very easy to cut out and/or mold into whatever shape you want.

The great thing about this shortbread dough is its versatility. For example, to make a different candy corn shortbread, skip the food coloring, roll out the dough in to a rectangle and cut into triangle shapes. You can then make a simple confectioner's sugar icing, color it with food coloring and voila. Iced candy corn shortbread cookies.

Another use for this rich shortbread dough is to make round cookies with a nut-free candy corn in the center. Simply roll the finished dough into 1-inch balls, criss-cross with a fork to flatten slightly, then bake. While still hot from the oven, gently but firmly place a nut-free candy corn piece into the center of the cookie.

Now for the refrigerator cookies pictured above. These are surprisingly easy to make and they are definitely a great lunch box or party treat!

Candy Corn Shortbread Cookies


3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
(if using unsalted butter, add a tiny pinch of salt to the dough with the flour)
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
Yellow food coloring
Red food coloring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer (Kitchen Aid or electric beaters) on medium speed until well combined. Add vanilla extract, then stir in flour.

When dough is well combined, divide into 6 equal parts. Take 3 parts dough and knead until it comes together. To this dough add yellow and red food coloring until the dough takes on a bright orange hue. (Add more yellow and less red to start, then add more if needed). I placed the dough back into the Kitchen Aid added the food coloring in order to mix the color quickly and thoroughly. Remove orange dough from mixer and set aside.

Next combine 2 parts dough and add several drops of yellow food coloring to make a bright yellow dough. Set aside.

You will be left with one part dough; leave that one its natural color.

Next, put out a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter. Pat the orange dough into a rectangle about 9 x 2 inches and 3/4 inch thick. Use a ruler to make sure you have this measurement.

Take the yellow dough and pat it out into a slightly smaller rectangle than the orange dough, about 1/2 inch thick and 9 x 3/4 inches. Center the yellow dough on the orange dough.

Roll remaining plain-colored dough into a 9 inch roll, about 3/4 inches in diameter. Place this in the center of the yellow rectangle. Using plastic wrap and a spatula to create as even lines as possible, form the dough into a triangle shape so that it will look like candy corn when sliced. This is what it should look like:

Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm, a couple of hours. You can speed this up by placing in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut dough into about 1/4 inch thick slices. Place 1-inch apart on cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until set. (Test for doneness by pressing your finger gently on the cookie; no imprint should remain.)

Be careful not to over bake. You don't want these to brown at all.

Remove from cookie sheet and place on wire rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


Marci said...

Super cute Jenny! I may try to make them GF!

Anonymous said...

Very cute, I can't wait to try them!

FYI, Jelly Belly candy corn does not contain egg :)

Jenny said...

Marci, that would be great. I have no clue how to make things gluten-free, but if you create something let me know and I'll give readers the link. Hope it works and happy baking! :)

Jenny said...

Should have clarified: Jelly Belly may contain tree nuts and I've had readers looking for egg-free, tree nut-free and peanut-free.