Hands up if religious horror is your bag. I’m assuming everyone is waving their paws excitedly in the air? Good! I’m among my people, this is a safe space. Seriously though, I will watch anything with a religious undertone. Is there a sexy priest, a possessed person in need of an exorcism from said sexy priest, rosary beads out the wazzoo? Pop the popcorn, I’m in!
Rupert Wainwright’s Stigmata (1999) is an entry to the religious horror category that I feel doesn’t seem to get due attention and I’m here to remind you that it slaps! Yes, I may be biased as I love religious horror almost as much as I love late 90’s and early 2000’s horror, but I promise you, go back, give it a rewatch and prepare to be entertained. I mean, If Gabriel Byrne isn’t topping your sexiest priests in horror list, I don’t even want to read it!
These gruesome Stigmata Cookies are the perfect treat to snack on while watching along. A zingy lemon shortbread filled with blood red strawberry jam. You don’t need a cursed rosary to inflict yourself with these babies.
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Here’s what you’re going to need:
Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature before you start, this makes blending it with the sugar much quicker.
Caster Sugar – A fine grain sugar perfect for baking, the sugar crystals are perfectly created to dissolve quickly into your butter making sure the finished result isn’t gritty. Also called Superfine sugar in the US.
Eggs – Always large, always free range!
Lemon Extract – Use a high quality, pure lemon extract for the best flavour. You can also substitute in a teaspoon of lemon zest if you prefer.
Salt – Use fine table salt when baking. This will balance out your flavours.
Cornflour – What we refer to as cornflour in the UK is called Cornstarch in the US. US cornflour (known as cornmeal) is a yellow flour made from finely ground corn. Make sure you use the find white version you’d use to thicken stews, not the yellow version.
Plain Flour – Sometimes called All Purpose flour.
Strawberry Jam – Raspberry or cherry would also work, just as long as it’s as red as blood!
Icing Sugar – Or confectioners sugar in the US. This is just used for decoration at the end.
Tips for making Stigmata Cookies:
Can I use ingredients straight from the fridge? – As always, it’s important to allow your ingredients to come to room temperature before making these cookies. This speeds up the process and your ingredients will come together much easier.
Can I make these cookiesGluten Free – I haven’t tested these cookies with gluten free flour but if you want to give it a whirl I always recommend using Doves Gluten Free Blend, it’s the best GF flour I’ve used and a staple in my baking cupboard.
Do I need to chill the dough? – You don’t need to chill this dough before baking but if you’re planning on making the dough in advance you can split it in two and flatten each half into discs and keep in the fridge until needed. Just let it sit out on your counter for 30 minutes before rolling.
Can I freeze these cookies? – You can freeze this dough for up to 3 months. Just follow the steps detailed in the chilling section but place the discs in the freezer instead of the fridge and you’re good to go. You can also freeze the unfilled cookies, just follow the same method as above and freeze for up to 3 months.
Can I customise the fillings – You can use any kind of jam or spread in these cookies. I used strawberry so it looked like bloody wounds but any red jam will do the trick.
Can I use different sized and shaped cutters? – You can use any cutters you like for these cookies, they don’t just have to be hands. Every size and shape bakes at the same time, just as long as they stay the same thickness.
I don’t have a hand cutter, what do I do? – Here’s where you can get creative. If you have toddlers running around you can trace their hand onto a piece of card and use this as a template for the cookies. Or you can use a template from the internet or even freehand a hand (see what I did there…)
225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
225g (1 cup) caster sugar
2large, free range eggs
100g (3/4 cup) cornflour
450g 2 3/4 cup) plain flour
1tsbp icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 175C (350F) and line two large baking sheets with baking parchment.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat together on medium-low speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition. Stir in the lemon extract, salt, and cornflour. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing on medium-low speed after each addition.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to around 3/8-inch thick. Use a hand shaped cookie cutter or a hand template to cut little hands, re rolling the scraps until all the dough is used up. You should get around 20 hands. Use a small circular cutter to cut little windows in half of the cookie shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes or until barely coloured.
Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. once cool spread a teaspoon of strawberry onto the bottom hand cookies then top with the corresponding windowed cookies. Sift over the icing sugar and serve.
We have faith…in your baking abilities! Show us your Stigmata inspired Shortbread Cookies on social media (if you don’t eat them all as soon as they come out of the oven). Share your photos with us over on Twitter or in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord! Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.