I had my eye out this Halloween season for great cookie recipes. My thought was to incorporate the circular shape of cookies as a base for eyeballs. After trying a variety of cookie types and recipes (and filling my freezer with cookies), I settled on these iced oatmeal cookies. They tend to stay fairly thin and have very uneven tops - helping to give that gnarly really red-eye appearance.
For the cookies -
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- red food coloring
- 1/2 cup sugar
For the glaze -
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- chocolate chips
- green food coloring
Step 1: Preheat Your Oven to 350 Degrees (F).
Save yourself some time and get that oven warm while you do everything else.
Step 2: Process Your Oats
Load up your food processor with the oats and pulse about 10 times - or until oats are coarse. This is going to help us get that uneven top. Don't over-pulse those oats! They should still be coarse - not a fine dust.
Step 3: Combine the Cookie Ingredients
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Using a large stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. You can do this without a stand mixer, it just takes longer, and you'll get a great arm workout.
- Add in eggs one at a time. After each egg, stop the stand mixer, and use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla and 1 teaspoon of red food coloring. Feel free to adjust the amount of food coloring here to your liking.
- Add half the oat/flour mixture to the stand mixer. Once incorporated, stop, scrap down the side of your bowl, and add the other half.
- Mix until everything is incorporated.
Step 4: Form and Bake Cookies
- Put approximately 1/2 cup of sugar into a bowl.
- Form balls of dough approximately 1 tablespoon in size.
- Roll the dough in the bowl of sugar. See note below.
- Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should be able to get 12 on a sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Take the sheet out of the over and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes. You'll totally destroy the cookies if you attempt to move them right as they come out of the oven.
- Transfer the cookies from the sheet to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Don't omit rolling the dough in sugar. I decided to test this to see how important this is. In one of the photos above, there are 2 baked cookies side-by-side. The one on the left was rolled in the sugar and the other was not. The cookies rolled in sugar have way more cracks and bumps and uneven surfaces. This is really important to achieve gnarly looking eyes. There's a ton of resources out there that will explain what is going on when you roll the cookies in sugar first. I'll spare you the chemistry and suggest you google it, if interested.
Step 5: Ice Your Cookies
- In a bowl, mix together 2 cups of confectioners sugar and 3 tablespoons of water.
- Dip the top of the cookies in icing. Hold the cookie (still inverted) above the bowl of icing and left some of that icing fall back into your bowl.
- Put the cookies back on the wire rack and let any excess icing run off. I found putting a cookie sheet until my wire rack saved me a lot of clean up.
Step 6: Add the Iris and Pupil
- To your bowl of icing, add 2 more cups of confectioners sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and a drop of green food coloring. This is going to give you a much thicker icing. This shouldn't run very much.
- Fill a sandwich bag with the icing. You can using a pastry bag for piping, if you have one.
- Cut off the tip of the bag.
- Squeeze icing into circles in the middle of the cookie. This is the iris.
- Insert a chocolate chip into the iris. The flat size should be "up".
- There you have it! Zombie "Eye"-ced Oatmeal Cookies