Peanut Butter Spider Cookies are super easy to make and are cute beyond imagination! By themselves, the peanut butter cookies are amazing. Top them with Reese’s Miniatures for the spider bodies, candy eyes and spider legs and you have a Halloween treat that is sure to WOW family and friends.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Peanut Butter Spider Cookies
I used typical ingredients for the peanut butter cookies – butter, egg, granulated and light brown sugar, creamy peanut butter, vanilla extract, baking soda, Kosher salt and all-purpose flour.
For the spider cookies, I used baked peanut butter cookies, Reese’s miniatures for the spider bodies, candy eyes and chocolate melting wafers.
Making the Peanut Butter Cookies
The peanut butter cookies were super simple to make.
First, I added the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda to a large bowl. Then, I beat the ingredients until the mixture was creamy. This took a minute or two.
After that, I used a silicone spatula to scrape down the bowl.
Next, I added the flour and beat the mixture on low until the flour was incorporated. This took another minute or so.
I used a 4-teaspoon cookie scoop to scoop dough and rolled it into a ball. Then, I rolled the balls in some granulated sugar.
I placed the dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. After that, I used my fingers to slightly flatten each ball.
I baked the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for 13 to 14 minutes until they barely started browning around the edges.
I repeated this with the remainder of the cookie dough.
Making the Spiders
As soon as I removed the cookies from the oven, I placed an unwrapped Reese’s miniature upside down in the center of each cookie.
I lightly pressed down on the Reese’s miniature. The heat from the cookie started melting the chocolate.
This served two purposes. First, once the Reese’s miniature cooled, it would stick to the cookie.
Second, the melted chocolate made it easy to stick the candy eyes on the Reese’s miniature.
Once I had finished sticking the eyes on the Reese’s miniatures, I placed the cookies in the freezer for about 10 minutes start hardening the chocolate.
During this time, I melted the chocolate melting wafers. I placed them in a pastry bag fitted with a #3 piping tip. You could also just use a pastry bag without a tip or a Ziploc bag with the tip or edge snipped off with scissors.
I piped four chocolate spider legs on each side of the Reese’s miniature.
I ended up with two dozen totally adorable Peanut Butter Spider Cookies. I had enough dough left over to make three more peanut butter cookies that I didn’t decorate.
The Master Taste Tester commented several times on how professional the actual cookies looked. Once he ate several of the cookies, the Master Taste Tester declared that the cookies were perfect in both appearance and taste – the ultimate compliment. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
The cracking tends to be one characteristic of peanut butter cookies. The baking soda causes the cookies to expand during cooking. This expansion causes the cracks. It’s also important to have the right amount of flour in the cookie dough. Too much flour will prevent the cracks from forming.
You can certainly use crunchy peanut butter in place of the creamy peanut butter in this recipe.
It’s best not to use natural peanut butter. Cookes made with natural peanut butter tend to be dry and crumbly.
The cookie dough can be made in advance and refrigerated, covered for 3 to 4 days. It should come to room temperature before baking. You can also freeze the cookie balls without the sugar coating for up to 3 months. The frozen cookie balls should be thawed before rolling in sugar and baking.
Rolling the cookie balls in sugar is really optional. I like to roll the cookies in sugar because it produces a crunchy exterior.
I wouldn’t recommend using writing gel for the spider’s legs. The reason is that the gel doesn’t harden the way that the chocolate melting wafers to.
Other Halloween Treats
Halloween is that time of year where one can use one’s imagination to produce spooktacular treats. Here are some of my favorites:
- Halloween Push Pops
- Spooktacular Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Treats
- Pumpkin Patch Cookie Cups
- Halloween Surprise Bundt Cake
- Monster Munch
- Halloween Nutella Cinnamon Roll Ring
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Easy Peanut Butter Spider Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
- ½ cup (4-ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (3.5-ounces) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (3.75-ounces) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (7-ounces) creamy peanut butter (See Tip 1)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 ¼ cups (6.25-ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar to roll cookie balls in (optional)
- 24 Peanut Butter Cookies
- 24 Reese's Miniatures, unwrapped and liner removed
- 48 candy eyes
- ¾ cup Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers
Peanut Butter Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Beat together butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, peanut butter, baking soda and salt until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a silicone spatula. Add flour. Beat on low just until combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Scoop out cookie dough using a heaping tablespoon cookie scoop. Roll cookie dough into a ball and roll ball in granulated sugar. Place on prepared cookie sheet; flatten slightly with fingertips. (See Tips 2 and 3)
- Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven and make spider cookies as described below.
- As soon as the cookies are removed from the oven, place a Reese's Miniature upside down in the center of each cookie; press down slightly. Remove from cookie sheet to a wire rack to begin cooling. After about seven or eight minutes, the chocolate on the Reese's Miniature will have started melting from the heat of the cookie. Carefully place two candy eyes on the vertical part of the Reese's Miniature. (See Tips 4 and 5)
- Place chocolate melting wafers in a pastry bag or Ziploc bag. Melt the wafers in the microwave according to package directions. Snip off a very small part of the end of the pastry bag or Ziploc Bag. Pipe 4 legs on each side of the Reese's Miniature for the spider's legs. (See Tip 6)
- Allow the chocolate to harden. Yield: 24 Peanut Butter Spider Cookies (See Tip 7)
Chula’s Expert Tips
- May use crunchy peanut butter or creamy low fat, low salt peanut butter if desired. I would however recommend against using natural peanut butter.
- I used a 4-teaspoon or #40 cookie scoop (1 ½-inch diameter) to produce the perfect sized cookies.
- I flattend the cookie dough to about ¾-inch.
- When the chocolate on the Reese’s Miniature cools, it will harden and will hold the candy eyes in place.
- At this point, you can place the spider cookies in the freezer for about 10 minutes to speed up the hardening of the chocolate. Otherwise, let the cookies sit at room temperature to allow the chocolate to harden.
- May also use a #3 piping tip fitted to the pastry bag. In this case, melt the chocolate melting wafers in a microwave safe container and transfer to the piping bag. You don’t want to put piping bag with a metal tip into the microwave.
- I was actually able to get 27 peanut butter cookies out of the recipe. Enjoy the extra peanut butter cookies plain!