Halloween is right around the corner which calls for a batch of the PERFECT Halloween cookies! These cute and spooky spider cookies won’t last for long at the dessert table.
No one will ever guess that these only need FIVE ingredients and take less than 15 minutes to prepare! That’s scarily quickly if you ask me…
These cookies last very well stored in an air-tight container. Leftover cookies (if there are any!) make the perfect lunchbox snack and will keep everyone happy for weeks after Halloween!
Ingredients in Spider Cookies
- Smooth peanut butter: the secret to high-quality peanut butter cookies is a high-quality PB brand! You want a smooth, rich and creamy peanut butter preferably without any added salt or sugar.
- This recipe uses a 500 g jar. American readers should use a 16 oz (453 g) jar.
- Brown sugar: I use standard Australian brown sugar which is equivalent to ‘light brown sugar’ in the US. You can substitute brown sugar with an equal amount of white sugar or caster (superfine) sugar – note that the cookies will be crunchier.
- Malted milk balls: I use Maltesers. Use any brand of malted milk ball (Whoppers, own brand etc.) OR substitute with other small round chocolate coated candy such as chocolate covered raisins or nuts.
- Chocolate chips: use high-quality chocolate chips suitable for melting. I use semi-sweet chocolate but you can also use milk chocolate if desired. Avoid compound chocolate.
- Sugar eyes (optional): sugar eyes are perfect to give a little bit of character to your spiders. Find them in the baking aisle at the supermarket or order online from eBay, Amazon or a specialty cake store.
How to Make Spider Cookies
It doesn’t get easier than this! Follow along with these simple steps to make the perfect spider cookies.
1. Add eggs and brown sugar to a large bowl.
2. Stir or whisk together until very well combined.
3. Spoon in the peanut butter.
4. Stir together well until a soft dough forms. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes or overnight until dough has firmed up enough to roll.
5. Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball using the palms of your hands. Place on tray and flatten down slightly. Repeat.
6. Bake until lightly golden around the entire edge of the cookie.
7. After the cookies have cooled for 5 minutes (don’t leave for any longer!), place two malted milk balls side-by-side in the centre of the hot cookie.
8. Leave the cookies to cool completely.
9. Melt your chocolate and place into a piping bag or a zip-loc bag with the corner snipped off. Begin to pipe on the legs of the spider.
10. I pipe four lines (two on each side) coming ‘out’ of each malted milk ball.
11. Use spare melted chocolate to attach the sugar eyes onto the front of one of the malted milk balls.
12. Allow chocolate to set completely, about 30 minutes. Ta-da! Your cookies are Halloween-ready.
Brown sugar: I use light brown sugar. You can you an equal amount of dark brown sugar, caster (superfine) sugar, or white sugar instead. Note that these sugars may slightly alter the flavour and texture of the cookies, but they will still be delicious!
Can I use crunchy peanut butter? Avoid using crunchy peanut butter or you will get a chunky cookie.
What can I use instead of malted milk balls? You can use one Reece’s Pieces placed upside-down on to the cookie as the ‘body’ of the spider. You can also use one large truffle-time chocolate such as a Ferrero Rocher or a Lindt ball.
Where can I find sugar/candy eyes? You should be able to find them in most major supermarkets in the baking aisle. Otherwise, try a specialty cake store or source them online via Amazon or eBay.
Top Tips for Cookies
Don’t under-bake your cookies! These cookies may take a little longer than similar cookies due to the high amount of peanut butter in them. Make sure they have a nice golden colour around the edge and are evenly risen.
Make your cookies round after they come out of the oven. You can shape your cookies immediately after they come out of the oven. Use the back of a butter-knife to smooth any rough edges or to shape the cookies into a circle.
You can keep these cookies stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 eggs
- 500 g jar smooth peanut butter (US/CA use 16 oz jar)
- 140 g (5 oz) bag malted milk balls e.g. Maltesers/Whoppers etc.
- 200 g bag (7 oz / 1 cup) dark or milk chocolate chips
- 1 jar of sugar eye decorations, optional
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced/convection) or 180°C/355°F (standard). Grease and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Add peanut butter and stir until well combined and a soft dough comes together.
- Cover the bowl with clingwrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes (overnight at most) or until the dough has firmed up.
- Take one large tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place on the prepared tray and flatten down slightly. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and evenly cracked on top.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes (no more!) on the tray. Press two Maltesers in a straight line down the centre of each cookie. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- Place the chocolate chips in a small, heat-proof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute on high (based on an 1100 watt microwave). Stir well. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well. Microwave in further 10 second bursts, stirring well in between, until the chocolate chips have completely melted.
- Transfer the melted chocolate to a piping bag or into the corner of a medium zip-loc bag. Twist tightly to secure chocolate then snip a small tip off the bag to make a small opening. Pipe eight legs onto the body of the spider (refer to step-by-step images).
- Optional: use the excess chocolate to attach two sugar eyes to the body of each spider. Allow 1 hour for chocolate to set then enjoy.
- Keep the cookies stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
Substitutions & Tips
- Brown sugar: I use light brown sugar. You can you an equal amount of dark brown sugar, caster (superfine) sugar, or white sugar instead. Note that these sugars may slightly alter the flavour and texture of the cookies, but they will still be delicious!
- Can I use crunchy peanut butter? Avoid using crunchy peanut butter or you will get a chunky cookie.
- What can I use instead of malted milk balls? You can use one Reece's Pieces placed upside-down on to the cookie as the 'body' of the spider. You can also use one large truffle-time chocolate such as a Ferrero Rocher or a Lindt ball.
- Where can I find sugar/candy eyes? You should be able to find them in most major supermarkets in the baking aisle. Otherwise, try a specialty cake store or source them online via Amazon or eBay.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 Cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 14.5gSaturated Fat: 4.4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2.9gCholesterol: 15.5mgSodium: 93.8mgCarbohydrates: 21.3gFiber: 1.4gSugar: 18.4gProtein: 6.3g