I remember watching The Nightmare Before Christmas as a kid and falling in love with it. But much to my childish chagrin, I lost my VHS tape (remember those things?), and my small world collapsed, or so it seemed. Then came the time when DVD’s came into existence, and I received TNBC on DVD for my birthday. Jack Skellington, Sally, Zero, and the rest of the Halloweentown crew were back in my life once more. And from there, my love only grew.
Still to this day, TNBC holds a special spot in my heart. Quirky, classic, and just a little bit too creepy for its targeted age group, it’s one of those original and lovable gems, not unlike the rest of Tim Burton’s films. The stop motion animation, which Burton excels in, makes the whole film enchanting. There was nothing I wanted more as a child, or now as an adult, than to visit Halloweentown and pow around with its residents.
Even if you haven’t seen TNBC, you’re probably familiar with the movie’s main character Jack Skellington. As the people of Halloweentown say, “Our man Jack is king of the pumpkin patch!” He’s also the star of my latest edible artwork: Jack Skellington Brownie-Cookie Pie. I started with something already amazing on its own: a big, fat, fudgy brownie-cookie loaded with chunks of chocolate and slathered in fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting. Then, I added a few simple decorations to create Jack’s iconic grinning skeleton face.
You don’t need advanced decorating skills to churn this cookie pie out. Just about anyone can do it, and you’ll be sure to impress all the guests at any ghoulish Halloween get-together. Plus, the cookie pie itself is to die for. Crisp on the outside like a cookie, but fudgy on the inside like a brownie, it’s perfection!
Join me for my festive Halloween-themed video below to answer a few Nightmare Before Christmas trivia questions and see how easy this treat is to make.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- You will have some extra cookie dough. This is hardly a problem. As you’ll read in the recipe, you can just bake them up as individual cookies to keep to yourself.
- I recommend a mix of milk and semisweet or milk and dark chocolate because all one way or the other is too much. The contrast of the sweet and the bitter is delicious.
- Do not overbake! I have been guilty of this, and your cookie pie turns to a brick. You’re better off pulling it before you think it’s actually done.
- You can use any kind of cookie dough for this. Or, use the same decorations on a round cake.
Jack Skellington Brownie-Cookie Pie
For the brownie-cookie
Cookie dough recipe adapted from food.com
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate squares, melted & cooled to room temperature
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the vanilla buttercream & decoration
Buttercream by The Smart Cookie Cook
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp. heavy cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. almond extract
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- black frosting/writing gel
Combine sugar, oil, and melted chocolate in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Mix in eggs and vanilla on low speed.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add about 1/3 of dry mixture at a time to chocolate mixture, mixing on low speed until incorporated after each addition. Cover and let chill at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Reserve about 1/3 of the dough, placing the rest in an ungreased 8×8 pie dish. Flatten out into a thick disk; do not shape to the pan. Cover the edges of the pan with foil so they don’t burn. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until puffed and set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Do not overbake. Let cool completely on wire rack.
- While the pie cools, make the frosting. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter on high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides between each addition. Once butter is well-incorporated, beat in cream, vanilla, almond, and salt for 1 minute, or until light and fluffy. Spread out in an even layer on top of cooled pie.
- Use the black frosting to draw two large circular black eyes at the top of the pie. Draw two oval-shaped nostrils centered just below the eyes. Draw a long grin towards the bottom of the pie, then draw stitches through the mouth. Viola! It’s Jack!
- Do with the remaining dough as you like. You can bake it up into normal-sized cookies at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or freeze it for later use.