Vampire Cookies

Vampire Cookies, bitten

Every year I see lots of Halloween cupcakes and cakes that are rather boring in their decorations. They may have faces of ghosts or vampires painted on top with colored icing, but that really doesn’t do much to set them apart from non-holiday cupcakes. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I think it’s fun to go over-the-top where ever possible and really take decorations as far as they can go. I did this last Halloween by creating Vampire Cupcakes – cupcakes filled with a blood-red cherry pie filling that “bled” when you bit into them. This year, I wanted to start a little collection of vampire Halloween goodies and opted to try my hand at making vampire cookies.

Like the cupcakes, I wanted the cookies to be a pale white color and filled with something bright red. I opted for a very simple butter cookie dough that bakes up to be a pale cream color (thanks to the use of real butter, even though shortening would have turned out a whiter cookie) and filled each of the cookies up with bright red raspberry jam. I finished them off with a little vampire bite on top. The cookie dough needs to be made at least an hour in advance of baking, because it needs to be chilled and rolled out. These are not sandwich cookies, but are made by sandwiching filling between two rounds of uncooked dough and pressing the edges together to seal the filling inside.

Vampire Cookies, assembly

I made the bite marks by poking two holes in the dough with a toothpick before baking. Even though the cookies spread slightly in the oven, the holes stay in place. I used a toothpick dipped in jam to draw the blood trickle from one of the holes after the cookies cooled. Any red jam or preserves will work for these. Don’t choose one with big chunks of fruit in it, as it will be a bit difficult to work with.

The cookies have a light vanilla and butter flavor to them, and are the perfect color to really set off the red of the filling. The have a slightly crisp edge and a soft, chewy center. When you take a bite and expose the jam, they really do look like they’re bleeding! They are baked at a slightly cooler temperature than some cookies, so they don’t really brown during baking. They are at their best the day they are made, as the jam tends to make the cookies a bit softer after being stored for a day or two.

These cookies are also good for those who are fans of the vampire genre in general, Halloween or not, so you might consider baking a batch for someone who is a fan of the Twilight book series, HBO’s True Blood or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Vampire Cookies

Vampire Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
approx 1/2 cup red jam (raspberry/strawberry)

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and extracts.
Add flour and salt to the bowl and mix them into the butter-sugar mixture at low speed until dough is just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325F.
Divide dough in half and keep the portion you are not using in the refrigerator.
Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 2-inch rounds.
Place rounds on a baking sheet, put a teaspoon of jam on each of them and cover with another round of dough. Press edges down lightly, pinching the edges onto the cookie sheet. Use a toothpick and poke two small holes (like a vampire bite) in the top of each cookie.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set.
Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dip a toothpick in some extra red jam and re-insert in the “bite” holes you made before baking to emphasize them, if not already red. Draw a blood trick down from one of the bites with the jam, if desired.
Cookies are best the day they are made.

Makes 2 dozen.


  1. i absulutly would love to try these for my twilight b bday thanks


  2. i loved this recipe, but when i tried to make it, it was horrible. i can’t get the dough to roll out. i’ve tried everything. it sticks, even with flour, and when i put it in the freezer, it breaks into pieces. i think i got maybe two circles out of it, and they turned into goo. should i add more flour? or just use a different recipe for the cookies?

  3. Ally – Try chilling the dough in the refrigerator for about a hour before working with it, if you’re having problems with it not being firm enough. Roll it out with some flour, or between sheets of wax paper, and work with smaller chunks of the dough (maybe 1/4 at a time) so it doesn’t warm up too quickly.

  4. I thought of your vampire cookies after watching twilight! Yummy!

  5. these cookies need a disclaimer. like, “do not make if you live anywhere remotely warm,” or actually, “do not make if you do not live anywhere but the north pole.” something like that.

  6. so i discovered a kind of work-around if you’ve made the dough and are about to throw it in the trash from frustration:

    slap down half the dough on some greased foil and put some wax paper over it. roll it out to cookie-sheet size and plop it on there. use one small enough to fit in your freezer. put it in the freezer for about 4 minutes, or long enough so that you can pull off the wax paper without taking half the “dough” with it. stick that in a 350 degree oven for about five minutes or at least until it’s somewhat set. now you can use your cookie cutter to cut out the circles and repeat it for the other half. they should be squishy enough to still mold together, but they can still hold their own and will actually not fall apart when you pick them up

    this method, unfortunately, makes about a dozen instead of the expected 2 dozen. if you want the 2 dozen, you can just build a walk-in freezer and make them in there, your choice.

  7. oops, don’t forget to stick them back in the oven after you squish them together! hah

  8. I will make this today I think… I have some red currant jam and some eggs I want to get rid off… I was looking through my bookmarks and this was the first I found with eggs in it!

    I really want to try half with cocoa as well. The vampire of course is pale white, but the bitten “victims” can be dark as well as white :D? Don’t you think? I can always send you a link when I have made them, so you can see how the came out!

  9. sorry, but…what means 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour?? about 5?? thanks!!!

  10. THANK YOU!! Going to use this at my halloween party!

  11. These look great but I am having trouble with the stage where you put two layers together. I just can’t seem to do it delicately and they look pretty ham-handed. Is there a trick to it? I was afraid if I just push the top layer down it will separate after they are cooked.

    Also, I read this a couple of weeks ago, then when I went to find your site again I found this same recipe published all over the internet – your pictures and everything – didn’t see anyone giving you credit. Wow, shameless!

  12. I, too, found the dough impossible to work with. No matter how much flour I used, how tiny the batch of dough was, or how long they stayed in the fridge, the dough ended up stuck to everything it touched. In an attempt to save the whole idea, I rolled the dough into a log and froze it overnight thinking I’d just slice them into the desired thickness the next day. Well, they did not freeze firmly at all. Slicing them created the same problem only with crumbled dough everywhere. I did what I could, pieced them together, and baked them for about 20-25 minutes. They taste pretty good but they were thisclose to being a complete disaster. Perhaps I need a tutorial on rolling out cookie dough. :D

  13. Finicky dough, but so far so good. First batch is in the oven. I doubled the recipe, but it looks like I’m only going to get two dozen instead of the expected four. Did you perhaps count each cookie as taking up two cookies? (one for each layer?)

  14. I made these for a friend’s Halloween party and I thought I would let you know they were such a big hit and gone in in a matter for seconds.
    Everyone loved them

  15. what a fantastic idea! I love the idea of sandwiching jam between two pieces of dough, and the vampire bite marks are just ingenius!

  16. wow, it’s really great idea, this weekend i will try it with my strawberry jam. thanks.

  17. hey i found an easier way to make the doagh instead i used pilsbery sugar cookie dough and just used cut those into small circles!!

  18. I just made these (test run for halloween) but took a shortcut and bought sugar cookie mix… just add butter and an egg… roll onto floured surface and whola! :P Also my red jam wasnt quite red enough so I think next time I will use the cherry pie filling that she used for the cupcakes.

  19. I may have screwed up the thickness of these cookies but it really doesn’t matter, they turned out fabulous! I added a white glaze on top which really makes the red jam pop out. Thanks so much for this idea, it’s a huge winner!

  20. Oh, come on guys – it´s just a normal cookie dough recepe after all (flour, butter, egg, sugar …) If it doesn´t work for you, just use your brain + add flour or whatever until you can use it… how old or you, five? No need to insult the person who posted this, how about saying thank you for this great idea instead?

  21. I have a lot of fun making these cookies with m twerd group and with my true blood group. Sometimes the dough can be difficult and sticky but just be patient. If you use too much flour when cutting them, they will come out very dry. Make sure you have about two hours to devote to them and dont give up. Cut the dough into quarters so it stays in the fridge for longer. My only issue is that sometimes when i bake them almost all the jam leaks out of the bottom or out of the two holes. Is there an easy way to prevent this? has anyone else come across this problem?

  22. I personally have not had trouble with the diugh and I’ve made this twice.
    be sure you lay out PLENTY of flour and keep it in the fridge for an hour and a half at least
    only complaint: the amount it makes. Even when doubling it; it makes a very small amount

  23. I made theses cookies for my twilight mad mother on her birthday. I don’t really bake that often, so I was a little worried at first as I’m used to exact measurement rather than cups, but this recipe was easy to follow and turned out great. The only thing I found was I needed to add more flour. I found it made plenty of cookies. I added some sweet fangs which looked great too. Thanks for the recipe my mum thought they looked fab :)

  24. I love how these look! Turned out great! I must try the recipe soon. :)

  25. I found your cookies on Pinterest. I made these today for my friends and myself to take to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn. I followed your directions exactly and they turned out great!! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  26. So cool!! haha I love this. Great for halloween or a Twilight party! :)

  27. I have two Halloween parties coming up and this looks rather tasty for the second one (an adult party, so they might be appreciated more). I’ll try making it tomorrow — bought a sugar cookie mix and I’ll try tha first. Maybe a lemon glaze to go with the strawberry jam filling?

  28. Cute! But an awful lot of work for something that tast like a pop tart

  29. Hey! Just wanted to let you know that we’ve made these a few times (in the South…where it’s hot) and I’ve had no trouble with the dough. We positively love them. A tip from my pastry chef friend: most folks have hands far too warm for working with butter intensive pastries/crusts/etc. Try running cold water over hands or dipping them in ice water before digging in. Unless you have corpse cold hands (which I sometimes do). :) Thanks for the recipe!

  30. I really like this idea and it seems simple enough for a high school student. I’m actually thinking of doing this for a Halloween party c: Thanks for the idea

  31. I made these cookies today. I have to say the dough is really delicate. You need to have patience and lots of flour to work with it. You can’t handle it like a sugar cookie dough, it’s totally different. But I got a little more than 2 dozens out of it. My boyfriend just tested them and he likes them :-) Thanks for sharing!

  32. These cookies look great! Thanks for sharing

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