1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
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2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 package colored rope licorice, cut into short pieces, no longer than 2 inches
1 small tube of green (or color of choice) decorating gel
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine shortening, sugar, water and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add eggs to the mixture and blend. With a mixer set on low-medium speed, slowly mix in flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.
Drop tablespoon helpings of mixture onto ungreased cookie sheets and roll each helping into a ball. Bake 9 minutes at 375 degrees. The batch should produce about three dozen cookies. Let cookies cool for about 10 minutes. Then using a toothpick, create four small holes in either side of the cookie.
Still using the toothpick, push one end of piece of cut licorice into each hole, creating “legs” of the spider. Keep licorice pieces short so as not to harm braces. Create eyes or decorate at will using the green decorating gel.