A few months ago, I happened to find some Halloween linzer cookie cutters (those cookies that look like sandwiches, but with a shape cut out of the top part) while I was shopping for something else. They were so cute that I had to get them, but I had to wait forever to use them.
First I tried making them with the chocolate-cinnamon cookie dough and using pumpkin butter as the middle. They tasted great, but they didn’t look that cute. But the owl and witch hat shapes reminded me of Harry Potter… so I decided to make them again, this time as butterbeer cookies (still with pumpkin butter in the middle). Success!
Since butterbeer is a product of J.K. Rowling’s enviable imagination, I decided to go with something buttery and butterscotchy. And the “real” butterbeer is nonalcoholic, so I didn’t add any real beer to this batter. It’s basically just the sugar cookie recipe I use with a few tweaks — the biggest being a cup of butterscotch chips, melted.
I already had the pumpkin butter (I got a few jars at Trader Joe’s, but you can make your own relatively easily if you have the time and inclination), and I thought it would work well — especially since the boy wizard and his friends were always eating and drinking pumpkin things.
How cute is this owl? It looks just like Hedwig. You do need to sort of pull the circles apart (gently) to fatten him up when you put the cookies on the cookie sheet, though. They will spread a little toward the middle, so if you don’t start with fat owls you’ll end up with anorexic ones.
I also did Sorting Hats.
I apologize for being so far behind the power curve with these — I am actually in South Florida right now, and I was traveling most of the day yesterday. I know it’s too late for most of y’all to make these for Halloween, but they would work for any Harry Potter-related occasion. And if you don’t have/can’t find this cookie cutter set (it’s Wilton, but they’re out of stock online), you could just make them as Oreo-style sandwich cookies.
PS We are totally watching Harry Potter right now. If I had actually dressed up for Halloween, I would have been Luna — and my friend Tifin, who is a teacher, did dress as Luna. What did you guys dress up as? Let me know in the comments!
Butterbeer and pumpkin cookies (Makes 45 sandwiches, or 90 individual 2 1/2-inch cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 jar pumpkin butter
Place 1 cup of butterscotch chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 70% power for one minute. Stir. Microwave a few extra seconds if necessary to melt chips.
In a medium or large bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar together until fluffy. Add brown sugar and beat until very well combined. Beat in egg and vanilla, then add butterscotch and beat well.
Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture about a cup at a time, mixing just until combined.
Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate dough for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Flour a clean work surface and your rolling pin, then roll out half of the cookie dough. Use cookie cutters to cut out an equal number of top and bottom cookies, placing them on a greased or lined cookie sheet.
Bake cookies until golden and just starting to brown on the edges, 6-7 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then (working one cookie at a time) use a knife or the back of the spoon to spread pumpkin butter over the bottom of each bottom cookie (leaving a small border). Carefully press the bottom of the top cookie on top, making a sandwich. The sides that were on the baking sheet should both be facing in.
Store cookies in the refrigerator.