Jack o’ Lantern Sugar Cookies

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Sugar cookies are not just for Christmas, although this dough is my go-to during the ho-ho-holidays. Let’s let pumpkins steal a little sparkle from the yuletide for a change, shall we? Halloween deserves its own day. Yet, just getting to Halloween items in stores requires wading through acres of fake pine swags and elf statuary – and that begins in September. Don’t even get me started on the premature assault of pine/peppermint/cinnamon candle scents that saturate the aisles and leave me wishing for a surgical mask.

In the famous words of Last born, “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet!” (Blondes, cough cough.)

Here’s a revolutionary idea: Let’s celebrate the holiday that the calendar says we’re actually on, instead of giving short shrift to everything after Labor Day in the wake of the retail rush to commit our Christmas dollars. Some great reading on this subject: Hundred Dollar Holiday, by Bill McKibben, and Unplug the Christmas Machine, by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli. Read them now, before the spores of panic lurking in all that Christmas swag affect your judgement.

I found a box of jack o’ lantern face cookie cutters at Target last week. They’re perfect and fun for making Halloween treats at home. Go look for yourself, I didn’t buy the last ones. Roll your cookie dough about 1/4-inch thick, and cut the large, pumpkin shapes first. Transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and then cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth. Sprinkle liberally with orange sparkling sugar. Chill trays of unbaked cookies about 15 minutes to set the shapes, then bake as usual. This size took about 18-20 minutes cooking time; your time may vary.

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Bruiser the Pirate says, “Arrrrr!”

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