This is Halloween,
This is Halloween,
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night… 

This song and the movie it comes from are a Halloween tradition for many people, including myself.  I haven’t always appreciated the greatness of The Nightmare Before Christmas.  The first time I ever saw it was in eighth grade English class.  Back then I was a newly branded teenager and way too cool to watch some silly cartoon movie.  As soon as the lights were out and the movie started, I fell asleep on the floor and that was that.  I didn’t think much about the movie again until med school, when a group of my friends and I began the tradition of what would become our annual pumpkin carving party.  We watched the movie, carved pumpkins, ate snacks and had a blast.  Ever since then I knew what Ben had been trying to tell me for years – this movie is awesome.  (We also watched Labryinth, another classic if you ask me :))

So in honor of this Halloween favorite, I thought some cookies would be in order.  I had a lot of fun sketching out the designs for the different characters.  I used this chocolate sugar cookie base and decorated with royal icing (see this tutorial to get started).  The iconic hill with Jack Skellington’s silhouette turned out to be my personal favorite.  Ben likes evil Jack and Andrew was partial to Sally.  If you’re a fan of the movie, consider trying your hand at some Nightmare Before Christmas cookies for Halloween.   Which design is your favorite?  And if these cookies are too involved for your taste, stay tuned for one more super quick Halloween treat on Monday :)

Past Halloween sugar cookies:
  • they are great. i loved that movie. (:

  • I adore these! My favorite Halloween movie :)

  • Love! I saw that movie when it came out into theaters originally…three times. I was 9. I have loved it ever since and so these are my favorite new cookies of the year! They’re beautiful.

  • Those are so adorable! I am terrible at decorating cookies. Going to check out the tutorial!

  • Those look amazing! I am in awe :)

  • These are so awesome – I better start practicing my icing skills so I can make something like this next year! Jack standing on the curly hill is my favorite – well done!

  • Ashley C

    As always, love your sugar cookies, such great detail!

  • heather k.

    hahhaha they come off more cute than scary to me ^^
    i like the evil jack design- the one where he’s smiling creepily. lol.

  • You are disgustingly talented. And I mean that in the nicest of ways…

  • Awesome cookies. I have been in love with this movie since it came out when I was a kid. I look forward to watching it every year around Halloween, and Christmas :)

  • Jean

    Those are awesome! I have to make them this weekend! For the hill, did you flood the black on top of the flooded ? The hill looks almost puffy… very awesome!

  • Liss

    These are beautiful! You are so talented!

  • These are so great! Your cookies impress me more and more every time! I haven’t seen this movie yet, but hopefully I’ll knock that out this year :)

  • those are so great!!!! love it :)

  • I love these; especially the Oogie Boogie Man. This is my favorite Halloween movie, and I’ll definitely be making these.

  • Wow! Your Jack Skellingtons have come out so neat. I am still having trouble getting that perfect smile(?) on my pumpkins. I am carving out a few of those Jack Skellington faces on my pumpkins this year. It is difficult to compare really, and the silhouette cookie does look beautiful but a plate full of those Jack-O faces will look especially good on the table. Thanks for posting the idea. I am going to borrow it and carry the theme from my pumpkins to the table.

    This is one of my favorite movies too. As a child, I loved the fact that there are a group of trees, one representing each holiday and that Santa and the Easter bunny all live in them and sleep it away until their season/holiday arrives. That part was fascinating for me!

  • Nicky

    Amazing! You must have the steadiest hand ever. How long did it take you to decorate these? They look great!

  • Patti

    These are terrific! The perfect treat to enjoy while watching NMBC this weekend! Making….Cookies!

  • You Have some serious Talent with sugar cookies! these look amazing! i could never get mine to look so detailed, lol! Thanks for posting them, my brother is going to love it he’s a Huge fan of the movie!!

  • Annie

    I did a Jack Skellington pumpkin one year and I loved it so much! Fun times.

  • Annie

    Yes, it was a double flood process…first yellow, then outlined the hill, then flooded it. I liked the raised up texture rather than it being an even layer (and I didn’t want the colors to bleed).

  • These are great Annie, you are so talented! Happy Halloween!

  • EXCELLENT! Happy Halloween.

  • Patience

    You’ve got some mad decorating skills girl! Job well done! I have still not tried the royal icing yet due to intimidation!

  • Seriously amazing decorating! Talk about fine motor skills. And to design, create and make these fantastic looking cookies with a job, baby under one and a 3-year-old is simply mind-boggling. My (witch) hat’s off to you!! :-)

  • Most awesome cookies EVER!!!!!!!!

  • I’ve never seen The Nightmare Before Christmas, but everyone loves it so much I think I’m going to have to jump on the bandwagon one day and see for myself!
    These cookies are pretty darn cute! Again, so much attention to detail make these really great! Love the way you styled them, too :)

  • Amanda V

    Annie, I love you.
    That’s really all I have to say.
    Other than my favorite is the Jack on the hill.

  • That movie is completely awesome. As are these cookies.

  • These cookies are just FAB! My daughter would love them she is a Tim Burton fan and just went to his exhibit in Los Angeles.

  • I give big respect to people who have the patience to flood cookies and do the details and come out unscatched on the other side. I’ll leave lovelies like these to pros like you!

  • Jenn

    These are amazing! Your Zero design is my favorite, he’s too cute! I just got back from Disneyland where they change the Haunted Mansion into Haunted Mansion Holiday with Nightmare Before Christmas scenes and characters throughout. These cookies will help me relive the magic, thanks for sharing :)

  • My favorite is Jack on the hill too! My Belle loves Sally and Caleb picked Zero hands down! I’m gushing!!!!! I love these! Love, love, LOVE! And, the photos are exceptional, Annie! I am beaming! I love it when you cookie!

  • What amazing work!! Thanks for sharing! I’m a huge fan of Jack and love how your cookies came out :) It makes me want to try and make my own Jack face – out of embroidery though (!) since my squirmy 4 year old would try to “help”, lol!

  • Heather S.

    These are fantastic! I’m with Andrew, Sally is my favorite. What great timing, I made Halloween cookies today and was able to add Jack to the mix. Not as cute as yours but still a fun addition to the cookie platter. Thanks!

  • Melanie S (@LanieInCan)

    These look awesome, Annie! How long did they take you to decorate? (My favourite is Jack… :o)

  • Annie

    Actually not all that long (active time). It just took a bit longer than usual since some of them had two floods rather than one.

  • What a great idea for decorated cookies. These are awesome!

  • Wow these cookies look amazing. They seem like a lot of work but well worth every effort :-)

  • Elise

    wow!! The Jack silhouette on the hill has to be my favourite! Love the idea!

  • These cookies are unbelievable! I just made some cookies with royal icing, and I’ve got to say, I respect anyone that can make those cookies look like that! I can’t believe how much work goes in to those cookies! Its the first time I’ve made these cookies, so mine are just OK (I haven’t even posted them yet, but certainly will make mention of yours on my post), but your are unreal! Good Job!

  • Those are so cute! I’m working on a Nightmare Before Christmas cake right now. You did a fabulous job.

  • Annie

    Well thank you! Don’t worry, it gets much easier with continued practice. They really don’t take long for me anymore and I learn something with every batch. Have fun cookie-ing!

  • Celestial Elf

    Love those cookies, Great :D
    thought you might like my machinima version of Tim Burton’s
    This Is Halloween
    Happy Halloween

  • These are simply AMAZING!

  • Wow. Those cookies look great! I am a rookie cookie decorator. I made your chocolate sugar cookies for some Halloween cookies. They were great! Perfect for black cookies such as black cats and bats! Not to mention they are super tasty. Love your stuff!

  • Morgan

    They look so great! I do have one question, though–what type of black food coloring do you use? I bought Wilton’s black gel (in the teeny jar), but even the tiniest amount really ruins the flavor of my cookies (and, unfortunately, I need to use about a quarter of the container to achieve an acceptable black).

  • Annie

    I used the Wilton gels for these cookies. I’ve used it a lot and never had it cause a taste issue. You could also try Americolor.

  • So fun! I haven’t watched that movie in years…definitely need to change that in the next few days :)

  • hi annie!! these cookies are incredible!! you did such a fantastic job! im sure they were a big hit at your house:-) have a happy halloween!!

  • Wow these look amazing! You are so talented!!

  • my compliments, annie! these are a wonderful and impressive homage to an outstanding movie. :)

  • Patti T,

    You are one VERY talented woman. If I tried to decorate they would be a scary sight for a totally different reason than what I would be going for. These look awesome.

  • Wow you did an amazing job with these cookies!!

  • These are AMAZING. Nice work!

  • annie

    These are AMAZING! I can still make these for Christmas…..right?

  • Vicy

    WOW> i googled and found your blog. This is amazing. Planning to make this as gifts for my friends this xmas :D.

  • Caro

    awwwwwwwwww i like it!

  • Sarah

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I am a huge Nightmare fan and can’t wait to attempt these!

  • Aimee

    I have had these on my mind since I first read this post last year. I’m so glad the season has rolled around again so I can try my hand at these! I plan on making a batch this weekend.

  • Aimee Conrad-Hill

    I just posted these to my blog. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  • Kim


    I just have to thank you for breaking down scary-looking cookie making and giving me the confidence to try decorating with royal icing! I had my first success today and just can’t wait to try some of the other designs you have on the blog…I appreciate the time you put into this!

  • annieseats

    Aw yay! I love to hear that. Congrats on your success! You’ll be amazed at how quickly your skills and efficiency will improve with practice. It is such fun and so addicting!