Celebrate Halloween by making this spooky treat your fingers won’t be able to resist.
Photography and recipe by Rosemarie Aquilina
I make spooky food for my children every Halloween. As they’ve grown, we make October our month of scary foods — usually desserts. These Witches; Fingers, or Ghoulish Fingers as my youngest son calls them, are fun to make, pretty to look at and taste great! These are as much a craft as a cookie and this a wonderful way to spend time with your children. My mother says they are too scary to eat and refuses them, but we think she eats them when we aren’t looking — they disappear fast! For Christmas, these can be made as Grinch Fingers!
Ghoulish Witches’ Fingers
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 extra large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt or salt substitute
50 to 60 sliced almonds, nail shaped, not broken
Butter-flavored Pam spray
Green gel food coloring
Red and blue liquid food coloring
Two new small watercolor paint brushes
Sheet of paper towel
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet, wiping any excess off lightly with a paper towel. In an electric mixer bowl, place room temperature butter, sugar, egg, almond and vanilla extract and beat until blended together. After first blending the flour, salt and baking soda together, add in dry ingredients. Add in a toothpick blob of green gel and mix until all dough is green. Add more green gel until you get the depth of green color you desire. Remove to a smaller bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate about 30 minutes. The dough just needs to stiffen a bit. If left too long it may be difficult to roll. Note: You could make half the dough green and half purple, or another color depending on your choice of ghoul. I have found green to be the most vibrant.
While dough chills, paint the “nails.” Place the sliced almonds on a sheet of paper towel, skin side down. Place several drops of red food color in a tiny bowl and several drops of blue in another tiny bowl. You may dilute the color with a few drops of water. Paint half the sliced almonds red, and the other half blue. (You can add other colors if desired.) Let paint dry.
When you are ready to make the fingers, roll a tablespoon of dough into a finger shape and set on cookie sheet. This will be about the size of a fat Learners pencil — they spread so you don’t want them too fat. For realism, I make longer, shorter, thinner and fatter fingers. Using a butter knife make indentions (tiny
slashes) where the joints and knuckle are. You can gently pinch the sides for a little finger bend so the finger is not completely straight. Stick the sliced almond nail into the dough near the top of the finger and push in to make it sit in the “nail bed.” If the dough gets too warm while you are working, return to the refrigerator as you work.
Place the fingers on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart because they spread. Bake about 15 minutes (the time may increase or decrease depending on the size of your fingers, so check on them.) Bottom will be just turning golden. Do not over bake. Remove from oven. Let cool 2 to 3 minutes and remove with a spatula to a plate. When cool store in an airtight container. Makes a wonderful centerpiece
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