Creepy Halloween Dessert – Spider Infested Chocolate Chip Cookies

Spiders have infested my chocolate chip cookies. Gross, right?

Why would I do this to a perfectly innocent, thick and chewy cookie?

Well, the other day I came across a picture of a cookie that had images of spiders superimposed on it. It really looked like the spiders were in the cookie. It was just a bit of Photoshop magic, but I knew baking up a batch of chocolate chip arachnids would be as easy as waving a wizard’s wand.

I figured if I was going to infest any cookies with spiders, I would use my absolute favorite recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. It makes the biggest, thickest, chewiest cookies bursting with caramel and chocolate flavors. My husband would love for me to make these every week and he was so happy to smell the fresh baked cookies when he got home from work.

He asked if he could have one. He always asks first. He knows better than to eat something before a photo shoot. I gave him permission and waited to see his reaction.

He lifted the tin foil off the plate of cookies. He jumped a little. Of course, he tried to be cool about it and jumped even further just for effect, laughing as he imitated my reaction to being surprised by a spider. Yes, I scream, every time.

A few years ago, surrounded by big furry stuffed spiders, a group of party guests were playing a game in our basement. Someone mentioned how lifelike our Halloween decorations had become. I turned to look at what he was pointing to and a live spider was dangling from a web right behind me. I let out a blood curdling scream.

Hilarious? It was to everyone in the room. I stood, red faced, heart racing, palms sweating, as everyone watched. After all the years of having the creepiest Halloween decor on the block, I still haven’t been able to concur my fear of the 8 legged creatures lurking in my basement. 

Thankfully my phobia hasn’t kept me from eating these cookies.

Spider Infested Chocolate Chip Cookies
                                   (recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, makes 18)


12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (white sugar)
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/8 cup all purpose flour (unbleached is best)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
                  (2 ounces for spiders, 10 ounces for in and on top of the cookies)

NOTE: I used Kroger’s Private Selection and Ghiradeli Chocolate Chips (I didn’t have an entire bag of either,) both of which are larger than standard size chocolate chips. They worked perfectly for this project.


electric mixer
baking sheets lined with parchment paper
optional: #16 ice cream scoop
squeezeit mold painter bottles, or a disposable pastry bag or zip top bag


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Melt butter in a mixing bowl. Allow it to cool slightly. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat on medium speed for about a minute until well blended. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. 

Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together then incorporate it into the wet ingredients. If using a hand held mixer, it probably wont be strong enough to mix this completely, so switch over to a spoon or spatula. 

Fold about 9 ounces (1 1/2 cups) of chips into the batter.

Scoop out 18 cookies, about 1/4 cup of dough for each. I used a #16 ice cream scoop. Place cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet with plenty of room to spread. Place some of the reserved chocolate chips on top of each cookie just to be sure you have chips with which you can make your spiders. 
Remember to keep about 2 ounces (1/3 cup) of the chips for the spiders.
Bake cookies one tray at a time, for 14-18 minutes. The cookies should begin to set around the edges, be light golden brown, yet still be soft in the center. 
Allow cookies to cool completely. 
Place the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20 seconds, stir, then for 15 seconds, stir. Allow the chocolate to sit for 1 minute, then stir again. If you need to, heat it for 10 more seconds, then repeat until melted. Pour into a squeeze-it mold painter bottle fitted with a #2 round pastry tip, or a disposable pastry bag or zip top bag with the tip snipped off. 
Pipe on spider heads and legs around some of the larger chocolate chips. Allow to dry. 

Serve with a glass of milk. Keep stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These can be frozen for up to a few months, but should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight, before being exposed to room temperature air.

If you prefer oatmeal raisin cookies over chocolate chip cookies, check out my tutorial to add raisin spiders to your cookies.

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– Beth
Items used to create this project that are available on (commission earned for sales)
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Thanks for sharing!


    • says

      That's so nice to hear. Halloween is definitely my favorite time of year to make edible crafts and it's the only time I can make something a bit gross!

  1. Anonymous says

    I always love your recipes and I finally got my letters so I can make the grave stones this year. You are so clever and are always my first go to site. Trish Butler

  2. says

    When I first saw these (unbelievably) cute cookies..i knew I would have to make them for my grandbabies. But when I read through your post, I realized how much more fun it would be to present them like you did..just pop the lid off and wait for the screeches! I love these!

  3. says

    These are awesome, but I don't know if I could bring myself to make them, I hate spiders and they look a little too real! Fun idea :)

    Stopping by from the Home Work Party, Dawn from I Think We Could Be

    • says

      It's funny, as I am soooooooooo afraid of spiders myself, but it didn't stop me from chowing down on several of these cookies. I know you can do it too:)

  4. says

    Thanks, Aida. I've been challenging myself to come up with some simple projects that are equally festive. I'm so glad you like the cookies!

    • says

      Hi Natalie, I did actually try that and it worked alright, but the legs weren't as defined as I wanted them to be. I thought piping on the chocolate took much less time and looked better. If you make them and use the toothpick, let me know what you think. I'd love to share a picture of your cookies too. Thanks:)

    • says

      In our grocery stores, we can buy small, medium, large, extra large, and jumbo eggs. They sort them by size. So, most baking recipes will call for large eggs.

    • says

      I'm so glad you like them and made some for Halloween. Thanks for linking back to my site. I'll share your cookies in my Reader's Gallery!

    • says

      Hi Kimberlyy, I'm so happy to hear you made these and really enjoyed them. I've made so many chocolate chip cookie recipes in my life, and these are my absolute favorite!

  5. Anonymous says

    I love that you made a great looking halloween dessert without adding any flavouring, gelatin, coloring… just a bright idea ! Thanks!

  6. says

    Hi Beth! Just wanted to let you know that I am still having fun with your spidery chocolate chip cookies. This time I made them shaped like gingerbread men with spiders crawling all over them. Thank you again for sharing this brilliant idea! Here are my gingerbread (or shortbread, really) men cookies:

    I also wanted to let you know that I saw this today and it looks like they forgot to credit your original idea:

    • says

      Hi River, your cookies are so much fun. I do appreciate you crediting my original cookies. Many other's have not and the cookies have now been duplicated so many times that it's impossible for me to ask all of them to do so. Oh, the life of a blogger!

    • says

      I do believe that some people don't really think they need to give credit, while other's just want to capitalize on the work of others. Either way, it's frustrating.

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