I’m honored to be partnering with The Idaho Potato Commission to bring you this post. Thank you for supporting my brand partners.I love a good cookie, and I love a good challenge, so when my friends at the Idaho® Potato Commission asked me if I could come up with a Halloween cookie recipe using Idaho Potatoes, I was all in. This post is sponsored by them, too. They’re good folks, and their potatoes are great. The magical thing about using potatoes in baking is because of the starch granules that swell up with moisture when baked, steamed or boiled, everything stays soft and fresh for a relatively long time. And what better way to use them in huge, soft black and white cookies for Halloween.
You guys know what a black and white cookie is, yes? They usually look like this:
Iced in half white icing and half chocolate, they’re not made with cookie dough so much as they are with a less-runny cake batter. They fall into the category of “drop cakes:” a thick batter dropped by the scoop or spoonful and then baked like cookies. Black and white cookies get a bit browned on the bottoms and stay fairly pale on top, but then they psych you out because you turn them upside down to ice them. Tops become bottoms and bottoms become tops. Sneaky!
The downside of a traditional black and white cookie is that they tend to be Not So Great by the second day. But add some Idaho® Potatoes into the mix, and not only do you add a solid amount of extra nutrition, you also get the benefit of those plump starch granules keeping everything nice and moist. The cookies aren’t health food, of course, but the potatoes certainly are. Adding mashed potato to the dough lets you have your cookie and eat it too, as it were. I would say you’ll have a good 3-4 days of soft, delicious cookies, as long as you keep them tightly sealed. For longer storage, you’ll want to freeze them, but I’m pretty sure they will disappear in Short Order!
I made these black and white cookies for Halloween 3 times. Twice with different baking times and once with a bit of additional milk. I liked two of the three versions, and the only difference between them is the amount of liquid. I’ll give you a range, and if you use the smaller amount, you’ll have thicker cookies that won’t spread as much, and if you use the greater amount, you’ll have thinner cookies that spread a bit more. Both are soft and puffy and stay that way for a few days, so decide if you want larger and thinner or smaller and fatter, and then bake away!
Shop The Recipe
Before we get to baking these black and white cookies for Halloween, I’m suggesting some equipment and ingredients that can make your baking easier, whether you’re making these guys or not. Since I did some decorating on them, I’m suggesting some decorating tips and bags as well as just general cookie baking equipment. All links are affiliate links. Even though I will make a small commission on anything you purchase through my links, your price will not be affected.
If you plan on doing a lot of cookie decorating, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a set of decorating tips and some decorating bags and couplers. If decorating cakes or cookies is not something you plan on doing on a regular basis and you’re looking for convenience products, Wilton make bags of decorator’s icing that crusts over and gets hard upon sitting. This keeps your designs from smearing.
For cookie making, roasting vegetables, making jelly roll cakes, etc, you cannot go wrong with commercial half sheet pans. Sturdy and warp-proof, they’ll give you years and years of service.
Okay. Let’s make some Black and White Cookies for Halloween!
Black and White Cookies for Halloween
Keep in mind these are “drop cakes,” and not crunchy or even chewy. These guys are tender little cakes, so treat them fairly gently before you chomp them until they are gone! And remember you get some nutritional benefits from the potatoes as well: soft cookies that stay that way for days, plus a nice hit of Vitamin B6, potassium, copper, Vitamin C and more. Let me reiterate these cookies themselves are not health food. They’re sweet and buttery and definitely kid-friendly. And now you have a new way to eat potatoes. I know your whole family will enjoy these.
These black and white cookies for Halloween get a spooky fun makeover with Idaho Potatoes and some orange and black icing. The potatoes help keep the cookies soft and tender for several days at room temperature. Enjoy!
- 1 medium Idaho Russet Potato
- 5-6 oz whole milk use 5 oz for thicker cookies and 6 oz for thinner cookies
- 6 oz all purpose flour I used Gold Medal
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 stick unsalted butter at cool room temperature
- 6 oz granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
- 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice from the lemon you zested earlier
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (use clear vanilla for the truest color)
- 3-5 teaspoons water, as needed
- orange food color
- homemade or store-bought decorator's icing in white, orange, and black
Wash, peel, and cut the potato into 1" pieces.
Place in a saucepan in lightly salted water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until potato pieces are easily pierced with a knife. Drain, cover, and return to low heat for 5 minutes to dry a bit.
Preheat oven to 400F and set a rack in the top and bottom thirds. Line your cookie sheets/baking pans with Silpat or parchment and set aside.
Mash well with a masher and measure out 2/3 cup (6 oz) of mashed potato. Put in a bowl and save the rest of the potato for another purpose. I just make buttery mashed potatoes and eat them as a snack.
Stir the milk (cold is fine) into the reserved mashed potatoes and set aside.
Whisk the flour and baking powder together. Set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Add the egg and beat until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Mix in the mashed potato/milk mixture until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Add the flour/baking powder mixture all at once and mix on low until combined. Scrape the bowl. The texture of your batter should be like very thick cake batter. It should flow a little bit but not be runny.
Portion cookies using a 2 oz scoop for large cookies or a 1 oz scoop for smaller cookies. Leave a good 2 1/2" between the cookies, especially if using 6 oz of milk. You may need to bake a 3rd round, so don't try to crowd the pans or the cookies will run into each other and end up with some flatter sides, and we want nice, round cookies.
Bake large cookies for about 16 minutes and smaller cookies for about 12 minutes. Rotate the pans and swap racks halfway through baking. The cookies are done when they are firm and barely starting to color on the tops and are a warm, deep golden brown on the bottoms.
Let cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes, and then carefully transfer them to racks to cool completely.
Whisk together the confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, salt, vanilla and a Tablespoon of water until smooth. Add water a bit at a time until you have a spreadable consistency that will smooth out upon sitting--a very thick glaze.
Scrape half the glaze into a separate bowl. Color 1 bowl of glaze with orange color. Using an offset spatula, spread half of all the cookies with the white glaze and let set up about 5 minutes. Spread the other half of all the cookies with orange glaze. Allow the glaze to harden for at least an hour, and then decorate as desired with white, orange, and black decorating icing.
Y’all, these black and white cookies for Halloween are really, really good. The tender, soft, slightly lemony cake and the shiny, lemony glaze are lovely together. And if you ever want to make traditional black and white cookies, instead of whisking orange food coloring into half of the glaze, just whisk in some dark cocoa powder and a tiny bit of extra water so the chocolate glaze has the same texture as the plain. And adding cocoa powder to a lemony glaze doesn’t taste weird. I promise.
Fans of tender, cakey cookies will be in heaven. And fans of black and white cookies will appreciate their Halloween makeover. And as a parent (or just as a cookie lover), you can feel at least a little bit righteous that you were able to use some Idaho® potatoes into your cookies. And rather than hiding, they act to keep the cookies soft. Hooray!
Enjoy these black and white cookies for Halloween.
Here are some other recipes in which I used Idaho Potatoes. Both will make you happy.
Want more decorated cookies? Try these decorated shortbread princess cookies!
Thank you so much for spending some spooky time with me today. Have a lovely day. And thank you again to the Idaho® Potato Commission. It is always a treat to work with you.