The Kitchen Prep: Willow Bird Baking Challenge #3: Black Widow Bite Cookies

Monday, October 15, 2012

Willow Bird Baking Challenge #3: Black Widow Bite Cookies

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope the weekend was filled with all sorts of good stuff for you and that you're recharged for the week! :) I am super excited to announce that the winner of the NatureBox giveaway is... Christina Fitch!

Congratulations, Christina, I hope you enjoy your prize... and that you report back to us & let us know what you receive in your NatureBox!

{If you didn't win this time, don't be bummed...remember you have access to a 25% NatureBox discount code - APPLE25- just for being a reader of The Kitchen Prep!}

Well... we are halfway through October and and I'm just going to come right out with it and be straight with you: Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays.

There, I said it.

I know a lot of you are probably super disappointed by this confession. I can tell because I see something come over many of you around this time of year... something that turns the sweetest, classiest people I know into gore-seeking, ghoul-loving, walking-dead-watching fiends.

We all have our things. I won't judge.

I've thought about why I'm not particularly fond of Halloween, and I've only been able to come up with one good reason: One of my earliest memories of having the bejeezus scared outta me.

A 3-year-old me. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. Not being mentally mature enough to understand that it was fake. And a lifelong fear of dead people, cemeteries, and pretty much anything dealing with ghosts or scariness thereafter.

I have enjoyed some parts of Halloween throughout the years. In fact, when I was in elementary school, I couldn't wait for the Halloween Carnival we'd have each year {though I'd stay away from the Haunted House put on by the 8th graders at all costs. Not a "double dog dare" could get me step foot near it until late middle school.}. I loved trick-or-treating in my neighborhood. Adored being allowed to wear makeup & high heels outside the house for no real reason. Thoroughly enjoyed coloring pumpkins and bats and black cats.

But that's about as far as my Halloween appreciation grew. {Except, of course, for that short time in college when Halloween was an excuse to go out mid-week in minimal clothing and maximum makeup without anyone so much as batting an eye. Sort of.}

Nurse Kristin, me {Officer D.}, & Kelly the Kitty at The Swamp in Gainesville. Hey, I didn't judge you.
So, yeah, I am not the biggest fan of spooky things. I still avoid horror movies because I will have nightmares for months on end {and because under-eye bags are not my best look}. I save my money for general "Fall" decor rather than on mummies, vampires, and goblins.

Go ahead, you can say it: I'm a party pooper.

But, since I like you guys so much, and I know that lots of you are Halloween Lovers... I decided to bake up a little something just for you.

This week's Willow Bird Baking Challenge was to make stuffed cookies. So, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone {no pun intended!}, and whip up a little something that would serve both purposes.

These Black Widow Bite Cookies are about as creepy as you will see me get for Halloween. {Mostly because spiders are extremely frightening to me in general.} These dark chocolate cookies are stuffed with raspberry jam so that when you take a bite...

You get your gory, Halloween special effect. ;)

I am not going to lie to you, the cookies pictured above were the only 3 cookies I decorated this way out of the entire batch. I have no patience for this type of decorating, and I don't know how some of you out there make such gorgeous and elaborate baking creations!

Though I threw in the towel after 3 black widows, you are welcome to make an entire family of creepy crawlers if you please. As for the rest of my cookies, I turned them into lovely Dark Chocolate-Raspberry  Thumbprint Cookies...

That's as dark as my "dark side" gets.

Whether you're into the spooky fun, or are a scaredy cat like me, I hope these cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Black Widow Bite Cookies

1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder {I used Hershey's Special Dark}
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks

For Filling:

1/2 cup raspberry jam

For Decoration:

1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
Malted Milk Balls {about 15}
Semi sweet chocolate chips for faces {about 15}
Red sprinkle balls for eyes {about 30}
Red decorating icing
Other helpful tools: Piping bags, toothpick
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a sheet pan by lining with parchment paper or a silicone backing mat. Set aside.

2. Sift together all dry ingredients.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and egg yolks until smooth. Slowly add dry ingredients a little at a time until fully incorporated.

4. With a cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure, scoop out a ball of dough. Make an indentation with your thumb and fill with about a teaspoon {maybe a little bit less} of raspberry jam.

5. Scoop out a half tablespoon or so of dough and flatten between hands to form a "cover" for your cookie. Place on top on filled half of cookie and carefully seal the edges completely. Place on lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough. {Or if you get lazy, just make Thumbprint Cookies!} ;)

6. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until set.

7. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10-15 minutes on the baking sheet before moving. Once slightly cool, move to a baking rack to cool completely.

8. To decorate:
  • Using the red decorator's icing, make the classic black widow "hour glass" on each malted milk ball. Set aside and allow icing to set slightly.
  • Squirt a small dot of melted chocolate in the center of each cookie as "glue" for the body. Place decorated malted milk ball on top and push down lightly to adhere.  
  • Squirt a small dot of melted chocolate in the front of the malted milk ball. Place a chocolate chip there as the spider's head.  
  • Adhere red sprinkles as eyes onto chocolate chips using melted chocolate, or use red icing if desired. 
  • Create long "legs" by drawing 4 lines of melted chocolate on either side of the malted milk ball body.
Get as creative as you want, no two spiders are alike! ;)


Christina said...

Yay! I never win anything : ) thank you NatureBox!! Dianna, do you think these cookies are something that someone (like me) who rarely bakes can pull off without too much trouble??

The Kitchen Prep said...

Christina - I think the cookie recipe itself is pretty easy, especially if you're just making the thumbprints. The spiders are a little more challenging & would be easier with some helpers in "assembly line" fashion! ;) And congrats again on your prize!

Trina said...

I think I just might have to try these out!! But I'm thinking strawberry jam or cherry preserves instead ;)

Congrats Christina!!! Super jealous :D

Trina said...

you think Hershey's Cocoa Natural Unsweetened would be okay?

The Kitchen Prep said...

They'd be delish with Strawberry or Cherry! I had a hard time finding anything other than raspberry that was red enough for the look I was going for. :) And yes, you can definitely use regular cocoa! The dark chocolate just gave it a darker color & deeper flavor. Let me know if you make them!

Trina said...

They're in the oven right now!!! Super excited to see how they turn out!! :) I seriously need to invest in a stand mixer as soon as we get a house!! LOL

The Kitchen Prep said...

Yay, Trina! And yes... the stand mixer is my best friend! ;)

Trina said...

They came out a bit dry... But still tasty. Think they could have used more cherry filling

The Kitchen Prep said...

Mine were a little crumbly around the edges, sort of like a shortbread cookie with a little more moisture. I say pile on the jam! {Though it may get a little messy in the oven since it tends to bubble over!}

Trina said...

Um so the hubby and one of my girlfriends both loved them and didn't think they were dry! I am my own worst critic! LOL

The Kitchen Prep said...

Haha! Yay! I do the same thing... if I didn't have level-headed people around me to taste test things, I'd probably toss half the stuff I make. ;) Glad everyone enjoyed them, even if you weren't so sure!

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen said...

This is my kind of decorated cookie, not hard but straight to the point. Love them! Great job

LeAndra said...

1) I love these cute cookies (both styles). 2) I was relieved to see you write you have no patience for this type of decorating. My feelings of inadequacy disappeared rather quickly after that. 3) I too loathe haunted houses and refuse to step foot in them. Great post!

The Kitchen Prep said...

@Paula - Thank you! Your Snickerdoodle PB bites look scrumptious, too! :)

LeAndra - Thanks a bunch! As much as I love detailed and creative treats {I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to what I call "Adorably Impractical" desserts!}, I will leave that type of thing to people who don't get the urge to throw said treats out the window! And about your Dulce de Coco cookies... Oh my yum. I might have to give these a try. I loooove coconut!

Shema George said...

Thank you for participating in the Cookie Party at LifeScoops. These cookies are definitely delicious. I have added these to Pinterest (

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