[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

I love carving Jack-o-Lanterns. Growing up, I'd draw my desired face on the pumpkin, then my mom would cut out its insides. While I sorted the seeds from the goop for baking, she'd artfully cut out the face. By the time I was done, my pumpkin friend (I tended to go for happy rather than scary faces) was done. We always kept him a little too long, until his lips withered in and his nose shrunk, and poor Jack turned into Old Man Pumpkin.

I've continued to carve, with more limited success. I'm not as good as my mom at finessing the smaller shapes, and I've occasionally ended up with a scary pumpkin just because I accidentally mutilated his face. When I was living in Brooklyn, we'd put our carved pumpkins on our front stoop. One year someone bashed their heads in on Halloween night, and another year someone clean absconded with my freshly carved work of art. This year I'm turning to a different Jack-o-Lantern carving, and one at which I'm much more adept: cookies.

The base for these sandwiches is a pretty standard chocolate roll out cookie. Like other roll out cookies, the most important thing is to chill the dough before you plan to stamp out your shapes and try not to overwork the dough.

These cookies bake up thin—not crumbly thin, but will snap under force. They have a solid chocolatey flavor with an all important hint of salt. Why all-important? That's because the peanut butter inside isn't a peanut butter frosting, peanut butter icing or peanut butter ganache. Nope, it's straight up Jiffy's (or any other brand you'd like, though natural peanut butters that are likely to separate aren't a good choice.) It is Halloween, after all, the night of bold flavors. The amount you spread on the sandwiches is up to you, though I recommend about a teaspoon. The peanut butter will come up through the pumpkin's eyeballs and out through its mouth, creating a spooky Jack-o-Lantern if I ever saw one.

Get the Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Jack-O-Lantern Cookies »

About the author: @Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter carrievasios


Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: