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.
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.
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.
LoriOctober 15, 2008
These are WONDERFUL! Cathy at NoblePig will love them, since she’s the Queen of All Things Halloween. Wow, those are really cool.
mamalooOctober 15, 2008
I love these! Maybe I’ll make a double batch for my son’s fright night bake sale.
MariaOctober 15, 2008
Fun cookies for this month!!
AnneOctober 15, 2008
Hahaha, oh, that is awesome. Must, must make 🙂
RachelOctober 15, 2008
These are fabulous! I’ll be linking to them.
YOctober 15, 2008
I’m in awe.. what a fantastic idea! I love the idea of sandwiching jam between two pieces of dough, and the vampire bite marks are just ingenius!
BridgetOctober 15, 2008
Whoa! Now THOSE are creepy!!! 🙂
aleta meadowlarkOctober 15, 2008
I’m with you on cheesey Halloween cupcakes, and these are inventive in addition to being just lovely. BOOKMARKED!
livOctober 15, 2008
Really cute idea…
PetiteKitchenOctober 15, 2008
The title of this post made me giggle.
PetiteKitchenOctober 15, 2008
The title of this post made me giggle.
KatrinaOctober 15, 2008
Amazingly clever! Love it. Great photo.
SarahOctober 15, 2008
Those look great! I made your vampire cupcakes for work last Halloween and they were a smash. I know what I’ll be making this year!
bethOctober 16, 2008
great idea. Will have to try this
MonetOctober 16, 2008
I’m a college student, and a few of my friends are obsessed with Halloween. I’m going to have to bake some of your Halloween-themed treats for them; they would be so tickled by this.
Patricia ScarpinOctober 16, 2008
These are so much fun, Nic! Adorable! Love the idea.
bobOctober 16, 2008
Oh, these are awesome! 😀 One question, though: does the dough have to be cut with a scalloped-edged cookie cutter? I’ve never made filled cookies before, so I was wondering if the scalloping helps keep them together…?
NicoleOctober 16, 2008
Bob – No, you don’t need a scalloped edge cookie cutter. It just so happens that my favorite set of cookie cutters has scalloped edges. You can’t really see the edges in the finished cookie, anyway.
MonaOctober 16, 2008
You could have a bunch of friends over on Sunday nights to watch True Blood on HBO and eat these cookies! 🙂
meganOctober 16, 2008
These are too cute! I’ll have to try them out on a group of teens who love Edward. Maybe I’ll call them Edward’s vampire cookies. 🙂
RachelleOctober 16, 2008
Ooh these are great too! I hope to be able to make these and your slime cupcakes for my little girl’s Halloween cakewalk at school. If so, I’ll be sure to blog about them and you!
Baking ChamberOctober 16, 2008
That’s such a cute idea! I love themed cookies! I can’t wait to see what else you make
AnjaOctober 17, 2008
I love this idea, the bitemarks just pull it all together.
Becca AOctober 18, 2008
I love this idea!
NenisQOctober 19, 2008
simples pero con el justo toque para halloween!!
seguro las hago!!
BethOctober 19, 2008
What a great idea, with the bite marks! Tasty looking, too.
hOctober 19, 2008
However, I’m having a really tough time making these cookies. My dough is very soft. I had a hard time rolling them out as it melted, even after I froze them for an hour. They also look half done, and they’ve been in the oven for 15 minutes.
What am I doing wrong?
NicoleOctober 19, 2008
h – The dough is very buttery and it will soften quite a bit the longer it is out of the fridge/freezer, which is why I suggested working in two batches. If your kitchen is warm, you may need to divide the dough in quarters to work with it.
The cookies will not brown in the oven at all (white/pale cookies fit with the vampire theme), although they will set and should not look wet. If your dough was thicker than mine, it make take a few extra minutes. If it continues to be a problem, raise the oven temperature to 350 and bake them at that temp.
Veggie WedgieOctober 20, 2008
This is such a cool idea! Love it! So much nicer and minimal than overload halloween decorations
Chez US - DeniseOctober 20, 2008
This is great! I made your cupcakes last year and have been on the fence about doing the same; but, thanks to you, we will be making these! Too cute!
JulieOctober 20, 2008
That’s really funny, in a creepy and disturbing sort of way.
LucyOctober 20, 2008
Gruesome… but loving them… I must make these for my son who is so into Halloween. He’s been involved in a haunted house since he was 12 yrs old and continues into adulthood.
LoriOctober 20, 2008
Those are some of the most fun cookies I have ever seen. 🙂 Such a neat idea! I was reading your site, and it’s nice to see another saddleseat rider around. I moved a couple of years ago, and haven’t been able to find a place around to ride… miss it so much!
Thanks for such a wonderful blog!
ColleenOctober 21, 2008
Thanks for the recipe! I veganized and made a batch yesterday. You really do have to work fast when rolling and cutting or they get too sticky to handle.
Colloquial CookOctober 23, 2008
Made them last night, the dough was a bit of a nightmare to roll out, so I stuck it betwen two wax paper sheets and froze it!
But my work colleagues all approved 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe!
KristenaOctober 30, 2008
This is brilliant!!! Thanks for the recipe.
LaurenOctober 31, 2008
i really loved this recipe! i’m not a very good baker, but i wanted to make my family something special for halloween. of course they loved them! plus… they do make me think a bit of twilight which is a bonus!
AislinnNovember 3, 2008
Just made this yesterday and the office already gobbled them up; they were delicious!
JDNovember 18, 2008
These ARE GREAT! I had them at a hotel in Providence several years ago and thought they were awesome! Great for any holiday! Just leave off teh fang bites and dust with confectioners sugasr for Christmas! YUM!
meganNovember 20, 2008
oh these are just too cute! the first photo actually reminded me of those uncrustables pb & j sandwiches 🙂 i can’t wait for twilight, wish i was going to the midnight premiere tonight…
karenNovember 22, 2008
what a great idea!
emilyDecember 13, 2008
awesome!! i’m going to try and make these for the Dexter finale tomorrow night!
ellieJanuary 9, 2009
I just made these for a party & everyone loved them! They were reaaalllly good warm too! excellent idea!