DIY Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

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Pumpkin Carving Cookies from @KatrinasKitchen

Two years ago I was excited to sit down with my toddler and carve a pumpkin with him. I even bought a newspaper to put down because that’s what all of the cool parents do, right? This was going to be his first real jack-o-lantern and I wanted it to be perfect. Nevermind that I very much dislike carving pumpkins and hadn’t done it since I was in grade school. We were going to do the whole sha-bang right down to toasting the pumpkin seeds and eating them.

Have you ever carved a pumpkin with a toddler? He was interested for about 3 minutes. And my little man just so happens to be very opinionated about messes. He dislikes messy things almost as much as I dislike carving pumpkins. This was about as messy as he had ever been at his 1st birthday. He seriously picked off every single sprinkle and then wanted to be finished.

So here I am having this super-special mommy and son bonding experience covered in pumpkin slime while my son doesn’t even want to be in the same room because he can’t stand the smell. I persevered. I did it all with a joyful heart. When I was finished I placed a candle in the bottom, turned down the lights, and asked him to come and see our masterpiece.<

Surely he was going to shower me with compliments and tell me that it was the coolest thing he had ever seen in his two and a half years! Instead I heard, “Where’s the nose?” Then he promptly went back to playing.

Pumpkin Carving Cookies from @KatrinasKitchen

Sigh. I gave up on noses a long time ago. This applies to all smiley faces, not only pumpkins. I just can’t make a nose look good. There is no room for creative license for a toddler, however. You either have a face with a nose or you don’t have a face at all.

Well, with these cookies you are free to add a nose or not. Just use melted black or dark chocolate to draw pumpkin face parts on a piece of parchment paper. I piled them all up and let my little guy decorate the way he wanted- no slime, and no stink! Noses optional.

Pumpkin Carving Cookies from @KatrinasKitchen

I made a few too…sans noses, of course. I had a hard time choosing my favorite design. But my little man stole the show with his beautiful-nosed pumpkins and won the blue ribbon. I just LOVE baking with him! We had so much fun together and it was much better than the ill-fated pumpkin-carving fiasco of 2009.

Pumpkin Carving Cookies from @KatrinasKitchen

You can find my favorite basic sugar cookie and buttercream recipes here.

- Katrina

47 Responses to “DIY Jack-O-Lantern Cookies”

  1. #
    Bake Your Day — October 25, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I only carve pumpkins for the seeds! These look so fun. I love how you made the eyes and mouths. So creative and the orange color of the frosting is perfect!

  2. #
    Jessica | Oh Cake — October 25, 2011 at 1:20 am

    These are so cute and fun! I love the different textures in the frosting.
    My recent post Cloak, Dagger, and Meatballs – A Family Sunday Recipe

  3. #
    Kiri W. — October 25, 2011 at 1:21 am

    When I came to the states, I'd never seen the inside of a pumpkin before. So naturally I was all enthusiastic about carving my first one. Nasty surprise…
    Adorable cookies!
    My recent post Apple-Picking and All-Natural Applesauce

  4. #
    Alida — October 25, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Super fun! I love this!
    My recent post Pumpkin Banana Bread

  5. #
    stephday — October 25, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Oh, how cute! What a great way to get your little one involved! His are the best!
    My recent post Crockpot BBQ Shredded Chicken

  6. #
    Danielle — October 25, 2011 at 1:48 am

    What a cute idea! And better yet, they don't get all squishy and gross in a couple weeks — mostly because they are looong gone by that point. 🙂
    My recent post Cider-Roasted Pork Loin for Steph's Virtual Bridal Shower

  7. #
    bakingjenn — October 25, 2011 at 2:16 am

    These are super cute. I don't like carving pumpkins either! I hate the smell of pumpkins.
    My recent post Creamy LIGHT Mac &amp; Cheese

  8. #
    joy — October 25, 2011 at 2:26 am

    They are so cute.
    My recent post HALLOWEEN with DailyBuzz Mom 9×9

  9. #
    Ashley — October 25, 2011 at 4:54 am

    So cute what a great idea!
    My recent post Halloween Decor

  10. #
    Hester — October 25, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Aw, what an adorable story. Your son's cute 🙂 I want to see a picture of the pumpkin! Would you believe I've never carved a pumpkin before? I think I need to change that this year. The cookies look great, too.

  11. #
    Sylvie @ GITK — October 25, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Oh no, that is too funny! I have to admit carving pumpkins always sounds like a much better idea than it really is once you are actually doing it.
    My recent post My 7 Links Challenge | The Final Chapter

  12. #
    SarahCupcake — October 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

    These are adorable! My toddler can not stand being messy either, this year we did pumpkin painting since I had a similar experience with the carving. I love that your son just picked the sprinkles off of his 1st birthday cake, it's funny how different two kids can be!! My daughter shoved her cupcake in her mouth and tried to eat the whole thing at once, I can't even imagine what would have happened to a mini-cake!! Great pictures, I'll have to try these with her!
    My recent post Peet's Coffee and Apple Fritter Muffins

  13. #
    freshandfoodie — October 25, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Ohh! These are so cute. Great job with the decorations.

    My mom used to have my brother and I paint pumpkins rather than carve them. I think she had a few bad pumpkin carving experiences in her past. 🙂

  14. #
    Parsley Sage — October 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    No nose, Mom!? Come on! Heh. Sorry the pumpkin carving was a no-go. It was always my favorite part of Halloween. In fact, I've got a pumpkin carving party tomorrow night! So exciting! I was gonna take caramel apples but these seem FAR more fitting 🙂 Buzzed!
    My recent post Scones and Scandal

  15. #
    Lauren @ KeepItSweet — October 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    So funny about your pumpkin carving experience. I would have thought that it would be entertaining for kids. Your cookies are adorable, though, and they would surely be a hit for kids!

  16. #
    bakedbyrachel — October 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    So cute and I love how easy and probably totally delicious they are!!! I should do this with my girls. BTW your oldest and my oldest would be quite the pair! She hates messes too and if she gets the slightest bit of food on her fingers she wants to clean her hands oy… lol
    My recent post Jamaican-Spiced Pumpkin Pie

  17. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — October 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Adorable!! Sugar cookies + buttercream is like heaven for me. I'm out of butter though – please send me some.

  18. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — October 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    And by some, I mean cookies, not butter. I don't want to actually have to MAKE cookies. I just want to eat cookies. Thank you ma'am.

  19. #
    Kelly C — October 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Every year my daughter wants to carve pumpkins so every year a buy a few so we can all do one. Every year I carve mine and she decides its too messy so she draws faces on hers with markers. 🙂

  20. #
    Sabrina — October 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I can't stand carving pumpkins, so we have never done it. Three kids, and no carved pumpkins. Ever. And I don't think we're missing a thing. We paint them. But we might have to try these cookies. They are adorable!

  21. #
    grubarazzi — October 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    cuteness in a cookie!
    My recent post Red Devil Soup

  22. #
    eatlivelaughshop — October 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    So flippin' cute I pinned it!

  23. #
    Jessica — October 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    These are so freaking cute! Love it!!!
    My recent post Cinnamon Baked Cushaw

  24. #
    Krista — October 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    These are too cute! I had a similar experience with my two oldest boys while carving pumpkins. It was pretty funny.
    My recent post Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

  25. #
    Natalie — October 26, 2011 at 1:03 am

    I am running out of time to make everything that I want to make before Halloween. But, these cookies are a must.
    My recent post Celebrating Report Card Day &#8211; Recipe: Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

  26. #
    Ama — October 26, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Adorable! And perfect for Halloween, they look so tasty and cute! Something any kid, or adult, would love 🙂
    My recent post Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

  27. #
    Alexis — October 26, 2011 at 11:59 am

    these are so cut! i might make some to pass out to friends when we see shaun of the dead at midnight on friday 🙂

  28. #
    Shawn — October 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm
  29. #
    bridget — October 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    That is *such* a cute idea! You are so right….kids are interested in carving pumpkins for about 3 minutes. 😉

    And, your frosting looks SO incredible! I want to decorate pumpkins at YOUR house!!!
    My recent post Permanent Templates for Custom Cookie Shapes . . . Works for Me Wednesday

  30. #
    Sue — October 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Katrina, This is genius, and oh so CUTE! I love, love, love it! Glad your little man had fun too, without getting messy:)
    My recent post Jack O' Lantern Smile Cookie {on a stick}

  31. #
    MightyMorgan — October 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    These look like a lot more fun than carving pumpkins with my kids…I have a two and a one year old and I don't think they will be too into the whole carving thing..
    Although in my Mind…I wish they would 🙂
    Cookies look great, and yummy to eat~~~
    My recent post Little Girl Cake Topper

  32. #
    [email protected] — October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    These are so cute, love this!
    My recent post Olive Garden Bread sticks

  33. #
    Erin @Dinners, Dish — October 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    These are adorable! My noses are always the standard triangle, that is all I can handle. I love the pieces so the kids can just place them where they want – great idea!
    My recent post Ghost Pops

  34. #
    Erin — October 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    That's so funny! And so true! Love your cookies!
    My recent post Witch Finger Cookies

  35. #
    Kate from Scratch — October 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    These are very cute!

  36. #
    Alli — October 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    This is my kind of pumpkin carving.

  37. #
    Megan @ Pip and Ebby — October 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    These are adorable! I'm in love!

    And I have a little boy who is very similar to yours in the sense that he HATES messes. He wouldn't eat cake for the first 3 years of his life because he didn't want to touch it. 🙂
    My recent post Smoky Glazed Asparagus

  38. #
    nic010205 — October 28, 2011 at 10:46 am

    his neatness cracks me up!!

    My recent post Charlotte Motor Speedway- Charlotte Vacation {3}

  39. #
    Blond Duck — October 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Popped in from SITS! These look so cute and delicious!
    My recent post Friday Five and Blue Eyes 5

  40. #
    Trina — October 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I love the idea of being able to lick my fingers with your pumpkin idea. Don't want to do that when carving a real pumpkin. And they're so adorable.
    My recent post I am such a dork…..well, maybe not.

  41. #
    Becky — October 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Your story of you and your little man carving the pumpkin is priceless. That's the beauty of "toddler projects", they do it their way with their own creativity. One time with my granddaughter, we were making ghost cookies, but she insisted that they were "snowmen" , and put chocolate chip buttons on the ghosts.

  42. #
    Shell — October 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Those cookies are so much cuter than carving a pumpkin!

    I've taken the lazy way out with my boys and they paint their pumpkins!
    My recent post Things They Can't Say: CA Girl

  43. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — October 28, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    These cookies are adorable! So cute 🙂 I'm sure the little one had a blast decorating these cookies.

  44. #
    Liz — October 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, these are too cute, Katrina! I love the thick layer of icing…and you are such a sweet mom letting your little one help decorate. I need to make some frosted sugar cookies for my kids and hubby 🙂

  45. #
    Cakefairyblog — October 30, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    So cute, I love these!

  46. #
    Warm Vanilla Sugar — October 31, 2011 at 10:23 am

    These are so fun Katrina! Love it!

  47. #
    Nami — October 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Katrina, I saw this earlier and I was thinking, gosh your kids are so lucky! My kids are thrilled to see these cookies. I'm not very creative and baking does sound like a form of art whenever I see your post! Amazing job! I enjoy these seasonal creations of yours. Happy Halloween to you and your family!
    My recent post Thomas Keller’s Pork Tenderloin

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