I couldn't wait to give these cookies a try, but note they are fairly labor intensive, at least in the decorating department. The faintly chocolate (there is only 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder added) cookie dough comes together in a snap and is easily workable without needing to chill the dough first. The original instructions would have you roll the dough into rounds balls, then insert the pretzel legs - however, I found it was a bit tough to fit in eight legs. Shaping the two dozen pieces into rounded rectangles was much easier - think a fat, slightly flattened Tootsie Roll.
Instead of using the thin pretzel sticks as they were (perhaps ours were extra long?), I did snap off about 1/4" worth of each on one side. I did this because they seemed a bit too long sticking out of the dough. I'm glad I did this because the weight of the melted chocolate poured on top may have given them a reason to snap off while decorating if I had kept them that long. When these go into the oven, I found the easiest way to check for doneness was to watch for one or two small cracks to form on the top and if you gave them a gentle press in the center, the cookie would spring back. It can be hard to tell since the dough is stained from that dark cocoa powder.
When you go to drench the completely cooled cookies in melted bittersweet chocolate, what I found that worked for me was to place the cookie on top of a fork, hold it over the bowl of chocolate and use a small ladle (or spoon) to cover the top of the cookie and pretzel legs entirely. While the original directions asked you to line the baked spiders up on a wire rack and pour the chocolate over (faster to do, yes), I think this would have been more messy and then you'd have to deal with the giant amount of excess chocolate that created a flood below. Also, you would have a bunch of sprinkles mixed into all that chocolate left behind!
I found that coating three or four cookies at a time, then going back to give them their "hairy coat" with a blizzard of chocolate sprinkles, gave the chocolate enough time to barely begin to set, leaving the tops sticky enough to hold the sprinkles. The first spider I coated I watched in disappointment as some of the sprinkles (and Red Hot eyes!) drooped off. Depending on the temperature, it may take a few hours for them to completely set - I was able to pick up them without touching wet chocolate in about three hours. I did end up with plenty of pretzel sticks and melted chocolate leftover, all which ended up together (perhaps a few Oreo's went in for a dunk too, but I'll deny that) for a salty/sweet snack over the next few days!