Back when I first decided to make an Edgar Allan Poe menu, I knew I wanted to include a tribute to The Masque of the Red Death, but there were almost TOO many options for how to include it! Should I make red velvet skull cake? Pan de muerto? A grim reaper cocktail? Then I saw a recipe for skeleton cookies on Pinterest developed by Donna Hay, and I knew I’d found my inspiration!
Instead of using a ginger cookie recipe as my base, I used this awesome chocolate cookie recipe from A Baking Moment and added red food coloring to turn it into red velvet. Once I’d baked my “red velvet men,” all they needed was a little icing to give them skeleton bones. Easy and tasty!
Red Velvet Skeleton Cookies
“And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes (you can also use coconut oil)
- 1 tbsp mild olive oil (another mild oil like canola or sunflower can be used too)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 – 3/4 tsp red food coloring, plus extra if necessary (I used 1/2 tsp red liquid food coloring and 10 drops of magenta gel coloring I had on hand)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- a white icing writer or some powdered sugar icing (you can make powdered sugar icing by mixing milk into 3/4 cup powdered sugar 1 tsp at a time until it just reaches drizzling consistency—if you add too much milk and it’s too runny, just stir in more powdered sugar)
- You will also need a 4-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter.
Makes 10 cookies
- Preheat your oven to 375°. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil, sugar, vanilla and salt just until smooth.
- Add the egg and coloring and beat just until the egg is fully incorporated.
- Beat in the cornstarch, cocoa powder, and flour. If desired, beat in extra coloring. I wanted mine to be a rich red-brown instead of a brighter red, so I didn’t add any extra.
- Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough out until it is 1/4-inch thick. Remove the top sheet of paper and cut out 6 gingerbread men.
- Place the “red velvet men” on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 9 minutes or until the top is dry and the edges are set. While you wait, re-roll your dough and cut another 4 men from it.
- Allow the first batch to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. While they cool, bake the remaining 4 cookies.
- When the cookies are completely cool, use the icing to trace bones on the surface of each cookie.
- Serve your skeleton cookies at the ill-fated party from The Masque of the Red Death…or at your own Halloween party! 😉
Still craving cookies? We’ve got you covered! 🙂