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15 Halloween cookie recipes to bake this spooky season

From spiderweb cookies to pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, these recipes are scary good.
/ Source: TODAY

The scariest thing this Halloween season isn’t the horror movies we’ll be watching or the costumes we’ll be wearing — it’s going through the season without eating enough sweets. And while candy gets all the hype at this time of year, we're firm believers that baked goods are an essential part of Halloween, too. After all, why do we have to save all the cookies for the December holidays?

Enter this collection of our most popular cookie recipes for Halloween. In addition to being downright delicious to eat, baking these easy recipes is a great activity for your little ones. Plus, many of these cookies also do double duty as a clever way to use up excess candy. Some of these desserts are even festive enough to even act as decorations for your Halloween party table, like the chocolate mummy cookies or Martha Stewart’s genius werewolf paws.

Not a lover of fall flavors? Don’t click away! While there are absolutely some pumpkin cookies here, seasonal skeptics will find plenty of cookie flavors suited for them, like butterscotch, toffee and chocolate. There’s sure to be a cookie recipe that will please any little witch, monster or gremlin.

While desserts are important, they’re not the only thing you’ll want to serve at your Halloween or fall party. After you’ve decided on the perfect cookie, make sure your menu is complete with plenty of Halloween appetizers and spooky snacks to balance out all the sweets.

These spooky cookies take relatively low effort to pull off. Surprised? We thought you might be. The dramatic “web” is spun by taking a spiral of black frosting and pulling a skewer from the center of the cookie out to several points on the edge.

Who said dessert can’t be healthy-ish? This better-for-you cookie recipe is made with the use of pure pumpkin purée instead of the typical oil and butter, which keeps the cookies extra moist.

Baking cookie dough in a cast-iron skillet cuts out the tedious work of scooping out individual cookies. A combination of orange, yellow and brown M&M's give this otherwise classic skillet cookie a fall feel.

Here’s one genius way to use up extra Halloween candy: Chop it up and toss it in these cookie bars, which are a super simple take on a classic blondie.

Even pumpkin skeptics will be tempted by these vegan cookies. The autumnal squash adds a subtle flavor to the cookies while making them almost cake-like, while a bit of almond butter adds an irresistible nutty taste.

Chocolate Mummy Cookies

Don’t be precious when frosting these mummies — the messier, the better! Use a fork to drizzle the frosting back and forth over the cookie for a wrapped-up look. Using different sized candy eyeballs also gives each cookie their own unique personality.

Chocolate Toffee Hobnobs

Christina Tosi’s recipe is based on England's famous Hobnob cookies, which use oats to create a buttery, almost granola bar-like texture. Our version covers them in chocolate and coats them with bits of toffee.

Only dessert amateurs consider marshmallows a summertime campfire treat. These decadent cookies make use of sweet, toasted marshmallows to balance out the slightly bitter dark chocolate. Try adding crushed peppermint sticks to make them even more wintry!

Pumpkin Spice 'Ghoulmen'

Dust off your gingerbread cookie cutters a bit early this year for a spooky take on the classic cookie. They start with a spiced batter that’s got more of a fall vibe than a holiday one. The result is these pumpkin-spice "ghoulmen," which make the perfect fall party treat.

Fudgy Brownie Cookies

These cookies are darker than that creepy space under your bed where the monsters live. They’re made with three types of chocolate: melted bittersweet, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. The result is a gooey, crinkly cookie that’s somewhere in between a brownie and a cookie.

Little Monster Macarons

Shortcut your way to a cute party spread with these festive macarons. Just start with a variety of store-bought cookies and use edible markers to draw on faces and other seasonal designs!

This cookie dough is a great neutral base for leftover candy. Give it a try with your Halloween stash, then again during Christmas using red and green M&M's and bits of crushed candy canes.

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cookies

This isn’t your grandmother’s butterscotch recipe: Creator and baker Allison Carlock adds brown sugar to the batter for a deeper layer of flavor.

Don’t let the word “buckwheat” fool you — these cookies are plenty indulgent. The inclusion of toasted wheat and buckwheat flours adds a natural, earthy sweetness to each bite.

Be careful when you reach for these prank cookies — they might reach back! Martha's vanilla madeleine recipe is a good base for any number of flavors, and can be refrigerated for up to two days. Tricks aside, if you’re not up for making the madeleines from scratch, opt for a store-bought version.