Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Creepy Witches' Fingers

Oh, we are so into my favorite time of the year!!!  Halloween may be just about my favorite holiday for no other reason that it's sweater-weather.

These witches' fingers made their debut years ago but I still get a hoot out of looking at them.  It's a simple shortbread-like cookie recipe that you make indentations and cuts to resemble fingers.  The whole almonds really give the look of a fingernail and the red icing/gel underneath definitely give that creepy-blood look.  Oh, and they're good!

Lots of recipes on these.  Some call for granulated sugar, some for confectioner's sugar.  This time I used 1/2 and 1/2 to give it a more "shortbread" consistency.  For a tutorial on how to roll them out, see this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdwpFp5zhzo.  Believe me, their results are "prettier" than mine.

CREEPY WITCHES' FINGERS (makes about 5 dozen)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (granulated, confectioner's, or a combo)
1 large egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
about 3/4 cup whole almonds
red decorating gel/icing

In a bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond and vanilla extracts.  Beat in flour, baking soda, and salt.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes (I chilled it several hours and only took out what I need to roll one baking sheet at a time, otherwise it is too soft to work with).  Roll a heaping teaspoonful (I weighed mine at 10 grams each) of dough into a finger shape for each cookie.

Cookies will spread slightly, so roll thinly (mine measured about 2 1/2" x 3/8").  Squeeze in the center to create a knuckle shape (squeeze almost until finger and thumb meet, or watch above tutorial for another method).  Using a very sharp paring knife, make slashed in between the knuckles for the wrinkled-look.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment or a Silpat; bake 20-25 minutes in a 325F oven until pale golden.  Remove from oven.  Wait a few minutes and when warm enough (but not hot), remove the almond and squeeze the gel or icing onto nail bed and press almond back in place so the gel/icing oozes out from underneath.  

Remove from baking sheets and let cool on racks.

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