Pink Carnation Cookery: Vampire Cookies

This month, in honor of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla and its mysterious hero, Christine brings us… vampire cookies!

I love sugar cookies (and Halloween), so I am very excited to make these.

One other genius bit about this recipe? These cookies contain jam. Raspberry jam.

What more appropriate ingredient could there be for a cookie connected to a member of the Fitzhugh family?

And now… over to Christine!

I’m usually not a huge fan of vampires. In fact, this vampire craze drives me insane. There are a few exceptions, notably Deanna Raybourn’s “The Dead Travel Fast” and Deborah Harkness’ “A Discovery of Witches.” The latest addition to my short list of “vampires” I love? The Duke of Belliston. Is he? Isn’t he? What is going on with that charming, secretive man? In honor of the Duke, and Halloween, Pink Kitchen brings you vampire cookies (brought to you by!

Note of warning: this recipe requires you to refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, so best not to promise the kids they can help make Halloween cookies only to realize a few steps in that your plan has fallen through. Then you’ll have no cookies and upset children. I made and refrigerated the dough first, then told the child he could help with the cookies.

3/4 cup butter softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup red jam (strawberry, raspberry, etc.)

1. Cream together sugar and butter. (I typically cut back on the butter called for in recipes. I used 1/2 cup and it was fine.)
2. Beat in egg and extracts to the mixture. (Also realized once I opened the lid that the bottle of vanilla extract was completely empty, so I just added more almond.)
3. Add flour and salt and mix everything together until ingredients are just combined.
4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
6. Take out half the dough and roll out on lightly floured surface to about an 1/8 inch. (The comments on the recipe say to only take out as much dough as you need at a time because the dough should be as cold as possible.)
7. Use a cookie cutter (or small glass) to cut 2 inch rounds.
8. Put half the rounds on a cookie sheet then put a teaspoon (or less) of jam in the middle of each round.
9. Cover each with a second round then press down on the edges gently to form the cookies.
10. Use a toothpick to poke two small holes into each cookie, like vampire bites.
11. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set.
12. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.
13. Optional: dip a toothpick into jam and re-insert into the “bites” to emphasize them, and create a “blood” trail with some of the leftover jam.

Cookies are best the day they’re made (according to the recipe). There’s a sweet spot between when the dough is too hard and when it becomes too soft, so you’ll have to work quickly. The recipe made 25 rounds for me, so I made 24 vampire jam cookies and 1 jam taco cookie. I’m really bad at estimating measurements, but I’m pretty sure I used a lot less than a teaspoon of jam per cookie. I just used whatever looked like a good amount in the middle that wouldn’t ooze out too badly from the sides. I made the “blood” trail on just a few of them to see what they would look like.

photo (42)

Verdict? Good. Really good. Like shockingly way better than expected. Enjoy!

Thank you so much for these, Christine! (And I’m very relieved I’m not the only one who always winds up putting in way less filling than the recipe calls for.)

Do you think we could get Miles to abandon his ginger biscuits for a day and try these instead?

One thing I do know: Turnip is a fan. You had him at raspberry jam….

(Or you would have if Parsnip hadn’t gotten to the cookies first and eaten all the jam out. But I digress.)

Happy almost Halloween, all!

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