1 ½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup cream cheese
2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 cups confectioners’ sugar + 1/2 cup more for black icing
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered orange food color
powdered black food color
24 California Giant blackberries
Sift together flour, salt, and spices. Whisk together in bowl to fully incorporate spices and set aside. Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Add lemon juice and cream cheese. With mixer on lowest speed, gradually add in flour mixture. Mix only until incorporated. Shape dough into disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Place dough in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a ¼ inch thickness. Cut 3 1/2" - 4” circles from the dough with a cookie cutter and place them on parchment lined baking sheets. Gather remnants as necessary, re-roll and cut. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown at the edges. Remove from oven, but allow to cool on the tray for 3-4 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Decorate cookies as desired and add ribbon if appropriate. Store in an airtight container.
Put confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk well. Place a few tablespoons of the white icing in a freezer bag for piping the eyes. Set aside. Divide the remainder in half in two separate bowl. Color one bowl with orange food color, whisking until fully combined. Add 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar to the other bowl and color with black food color, whisking until fully combined. Place the colored icings in two piping bags.
Cut the tip from the orange icing and make an outline around the circumference of the cookies. Allow this to harden, uncovered, at room temperature. When hardened, fill in the circles by piping icing into them and evenly distributing the icing with the end of a toothpick. Allow to harden.
Use the black icing to make a big hexagon inside the circles with the sides of the hexagon slightly curved. Make a smaller hexagon inside the first hexagon and then place a dot in the center. Connect the points of the hexagons with icing starting at the outside and working toward the center dot. Allow to harden.
Pipe a small line of icing near one of the outside hexagon lines and gently press a blackberry into the icing to hold the blackberry in place. Use the icing to create spider legs starting at the top of the berry and going down to the cookie. Use white icing to make two eyes on each spider. Allow to harden before serving.