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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.

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  • Amy Reed
    November 10, 2011

    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 🙂

  • Stacy
    November 11, 2011

    I love how these look! Turned out great! I must try the recipe soon. 🙂

  • Judy
    November 17, 2011

    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!

  • Kate
    August 11, 2012

    So cool!! haha I love this. Great for halloween or a Twilight party! 🙂

  • Sarah
    October 18, 2012

    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?

  • Sandy
    October 25, 2012

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

  • Cristal
    October 26, 2012

    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!

  • Imelda
    October 28, 2013

    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

  • Jeanette
    October 18, 2015

    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!

  • Harry
    December 19, 2015

    These cookies look great! Thanks for sharing

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