There are several steps that make these cookies a long process to make. But before I scare you away, NONE of the steps are difficult! Most of the work is down time, which means it’s not actually work. And to make your life easier, you can always use store-bought eyes which will dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to make these spider cookies.
Halloween is one of those holidays where you can really have fun with your food. Creepy food, cute food, scary food, over the top food – it’s the holiday that food dreams are made of. I admit, I’ve never really done much with themed food in the past but I couldn’t pass up on making these cookies.
First of all, they’re kind of a party pleaser. How fun is it to say you ate spiders?! You don’t have to tell anyone they were chocolate ;) Second, my husband is a chocolate and peanut butter FANATIC. He’s crazy about it and I can never make enough treats with this flavor combo for him.
However, he’s kind of afraid of spiders. I am the designated spider exterminator in our house, so it was super fun for me to tell him that I made him some peanut butter cookies and he could find them in the freezer. I secretly wish I had a camera in the freezer (Alton Brown/ Good Eats style) just to see his reaction when he saw the spiders sitting on top. Surprise! Your favorite cookies with your least favorite thing in the world, EVER! I’m so mean. It’s so much fun. Enjoy!
For the Cookies:
- 1 16.5 ounce jar creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 36 miniature reese's peanut butter cups, unwrapped
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/4 cup chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line 3 baking pans with silicon baking mats or parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time and then mix in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract.
- Roll dough into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls and place on the baking sheets, do not flatten the cookie dough balls.
- Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. When the cookies are done baking, immediately place 1 peanut butter cup upside-down on each cookie.
- Cool on the baking pans until firm enough to move and then cool completely on a cooling rack. Store at room temperature or freeze until ready to decorate.
- To make the googly eyes, mix together the powdered sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, water, and almond extract – mixture will be thick like paste/glue.
- Transfer the sugar mixture into a sandwich bag and snip one corner to pipe. Pipe the mixture into small circles (to desired size, mine are about the size of a pen cap) on wax paper until all of the sugar is used. Let the eyes sit at room temperature to dry and harden for 24 hours before using.
- To assemble the spider cookies, melt the 1/4 cup of chocolate in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat melting process for 15 seconds until chocolate is melted.
- Dip a toothpick into the chocolate and make a small chocolate patch on the Reese’s peanut butter cup and place two eyes on each chocolate patch. (The chocolate will act as a glue to hold the eyes. If the cookies are frozen or cold, the chocolate will harden faster and the eyes will stick better.) Repeat until all the eyes are attached to the cookies.
- Once the eyes are attached, dip the toothpick into the chocolate and then give each eye a chocolate center.
- To make the legs, dip the toothpick into the chocolate and then draw the chocolate legs. If your chocolate isn’t thin enough and starts to cool and thicken at this point, reheat for a few seconds to loosen it up. Once all the legs are drawn on with the chocolate, cool until the chocolate hardens. Store in an airtight container.
- Use a chocolate that melts easily. I do not recommend using Nestle chocolate chips, the chocolate does not get thin enough to easily draw the legs or make the eye centers.