Day of the Dead cookies

This is a quick variation of the Day of the Dead Bread or Pan de Dia de los Muertos. These one-bowl cookies have only 6 ingredients and are done in a flash.

This is a quick variation of the Day of the Dead Bread or Pan de Dia de los Muertos. These one-bowl cookies have only 6 ingredients and are done in a flash.

A wooden bowl filled with cookies on a table, perfect for celebrating Day of the Dead.

About this recipe

The Day of the Dead, or “Día de los Muertos” as it’s affectionately known in Mexico, is a luminous and profound celebration that seamlessly intertwines the past with the present, life with death, and sorrow with joy. Originating from ancient Mesoamerican traditions and evolving through time with Spanish influences, this celebration is a testament to the resilient spirit of Mexican culture.

Central to this celebration is the vibrant array of foods, each with its own story and significance. Among these delicacies are the enchantingly designed “Day of the Dead” cookies, resembling the iconic sugar skulls or “calaveras”. These cookies are more than just sweet treats; they’re edible canvases that carry the essence of the holiday.

Handcrafted with love and adorned with intricate patterns and bright colors, each cookie is a bite-sized homage to the departed. It encapsulates the festivity, reverence, and deep-rooted traditions of Día de los Muertos. Whether you’re familiar with this celebration or are diving into its depths for the first time, these cookies offer a deliciously artistic gateway into understanding and appreciating a cornerstone of Mexican heritage.





The ingredients for a Day of the Dead cake are shown on a marble table.

Ingredients

  • Butter, vegan butter
  • Cane sugar
  • Salt
  • Vanilla and orange zest
  • All-purpose flour

how to make dy OF THE DEAD COOkies, step by step

  1. Prepare the Cookie Dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter (or vegan butter) until smooth and slightly fluffy using an electric mixer on medium speed or a spatula.
    • Gradually add the cane sugar, continuing to mix until the mixture is well combined and creamy.
    • Mix in the salt, vanilla extract, and orange zest.
    • Gradually add the all-purpose flour, mixing until the dough comes together.
  2. Shape the Cookies:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
    • Using your hands, take small portions of the dough and roll them into balls roughly the size of a walnut. Place each ball on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they’re spaced out as they’ll spread a little while baking. Then, make the “bones” and the “skull” to top each ball.
  3. Bake:
    • Bake the cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden. It’s important not to overbake them, as you want them to remain slightly soft in the center.
    • Allow the cookies to cool until safe to handle, then transfer them to a bowl filled with sugar, cover them completely, and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips for making the cookies

Quality Ingredients: Use the best quality ingredients you can find.

Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure your butter is at room temperature before creaming it with the sugar. This ensures a smoother dough and better incorporation of ingredients.

Zest It Right: When adding orange zest, use only the colored part of the peel, as the white pith underneath can be bitter. Use a microplane or fine grater for the best zest texture.

Don’t Overwork the Dough: Mix the dough until it comes together. Overworking it can develop the gluten in the flour, leading to tough cookies.

Consistent Size: When shaping your cookies, keep them all the same size so they bake evenly.

Use Parchment Paper: Line your baking trays with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to prevent sticking and ensure an even bake.

Keep an Eye on Them: Bake the cookies until they’re done or slightly underdone to keep them soft in the center. They’ll continue to cook from residual heat after you take them out of the oven.

Celebrating Life and Memories: Day of the Dead Cookies

Creating Day of the Dead cookies is more than just baking; it’s an invitation to stir joy into every ounce of dough and to sprinkle happiness with each dash of decoration. As you gather the simple ingredients – the creamy butter, the sweet cane sugar, the zest of sun-kissed oranges – you’re not just preparing a treat; you’re crafting a tribute to a tradition steeped in remembrance and celebration.

Sharing these cookies is the culmination of this joyous process, a gesture of sharing not just a handmade treat but also sharing stories, memories, and laughter. As you pass these cookies to family and friends, old and young, you’re doing more than offering a sweet bite; you’re offering a piece of history, a token of shared humanity, and a reminder of the vibrant lives that have touched your own.

In the spirit of Día de los Muertos, these cookies are a delicious homage to those we hold dear. Let the joy of making and sharing them be a beacon of light, honoring the past as we continue to cherish our lives. Let every bite be a reminder – to remember, celebrate, and live fully.

Other vegan cookies you will love

A wooden bowl filled with cookies on a Day of the Dead themed table.

Day of the Dead Cookies

This is a quick variation of the Day of the Dead Bread or Pan de Dia de los Muertos. These one-bowl cookies have only 6 ingredients and are done in a flash.
3 de 2 votos
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Baked goods
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 16 pieces
Calories 89 kcal

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Electric mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup butter vegan butter, 1 stick
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • cups all-purpose flour

Dusting

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter (or vegan butter) until smooth and slightly fluffy using an electric mixer on medium speed or a spatula.
  • Gradually add the cane sugar, continuing to mix until the mixture is well combined and creamy.
  • Mix in the salt, vanilla extract, and orange zest.
  • Gradually add the all-purpose flour, mixing on low speed, until the dough comes together.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Using your hands, take small portions of the dough and roll them into balls roughly the size of a walnut. Place each ball on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they’re spaced out as they’ll spread a little while baking. Then, make the “bones” and the “skull” to top each ball.
  • Bake the cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden. It’s important not to overbake them, as you want them to remain slightly soft in the center.
  • Allow the cookies to cool until safe to handle, then transfer them to a bowl filled with sugar, cover them completely, and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition

Serving: 2piecesCalories: 89kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 1gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 45mgPotassium: 21mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 12IUCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword vegan butter cookies

information

Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?Tag @piloncilloyvainilla on Instagram and hashtag it #alecooks so we can all see your creations.
Alejandra Graf
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3 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
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