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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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  • Pedro
    February 6, 2009

    funkey idea

  • Pedro
    February 6, 2009

    i will try it with rasbery jam and cheese

  • Raymond Vampire
    March 10, 2009

    I took the time to make these and they’re not just asthetic.. They taste pretty good too 😉

  • momcat133
    April 8, 2009

    I tried to make these but the dough was too soft… didn’t roll. It seems like the cupcakes were successful, so I will try those next time.

  • organic fertilizer
    May 20, 2009

    I am going to bake them today so pray for me:)

  • Lindz
    May 20, 2009

    i’m going to make these and the vampire cupcakes for our True Blood season 2 premiere party!! thank you so much, if i can pull theses off it will be perfect! exactly what i was looking for!!

  • denise
    June 6, 2009

    I just found your cookies – I think I’m in love. These are perfect for the Twilight/New Moon party that I am planning.

    Hope you don’t mind but I posted about your creativeness over on my blog littleantdesign.blogspot.com

  • plip
    June 9, 2009

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


  • ally
    June 12, 2009

    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?

  • Nicole
    June 12, 2009

    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.

  • Lace Front Wigs
    July 13, 2009

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

  • julie
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • julie
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • julie
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Veronica
    October 11, 2009

    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!

  • nulf91
    October 25, 2009

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

  • =3
    October 25, 2009

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

  • Susan
    October 27, 2009

    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!

  • Kristin
    October 28, 2009

    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. 😀

  • Ed
    October 30, 2009

    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?)

  • Jacq
    November 3, 2009

    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

  • adaeestherada
    January 5, 2010

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

  • jina
    March 5, 2010

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

  • kattalak
    June 27, 2010

    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!!

  • Rachael
    September 14, 2010

    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! 😛 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.

  • jen
    October 13, 2010


  • Suzie the Foodie
    October 27, 2010

    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!

  • perelin18
    October 23, 2011

    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?

  • Chels
    October 25, 2011

    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?

  • Anna P
    October 30, 2011

    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

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