IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Pumpkin Spice 'Ghoulmen'

Halloween Cookies
Raymond Prado
Cook Time:
15 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins
makes 32 (4-inch tall) ghouls

Chef notes

If gingerbread men are sugar, spice and everything nice, these pumpkin-spice "ghoulmen" are sugar, spice and everything spooky. With just a hint of pumpkin spice, these cookies are the perfect fall treat.

Swap option: If you're short on time, you can use store-bought cookie dough.

Technique tip: Don’t overmix the cookie dough; mix until it just comes together.


  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
Royal Icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons egg white powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • red gel food coloring
  • black gel food coloring


For the ghouls:


Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 F.


In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice blend, salt and baking powder. Set aside.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the brown sugar and butter until very smooth. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix again until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low until just combined. Transfer to plastic wrap and fold over a few times to incorporate any stray bits of flour. Wrap well and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour.


Roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick. Stamp out the ghouls and transfer to the prepared sheet pans about 1 inch apart. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges just begin to turn golden-brown.


Allow to cool completely. Gently knead together extra dough and roll out again, stamping out the remaining ghouls.

For the royal icing:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and egg white powder. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth and is a stiff, piping consistency (you may not need all the water).

Divide the icing into 3 separate batches. Dye one with the red food coloring and a second with the black food coloring. Transfer the icings into small pastry bags fitted with a writing piping tip.

To assemble:

Decorate your ghouls in accordance with your most fiendish nightmares.