Creepy Witches’ Fingers
Yield: 5 dozen
1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp Almond extract
1 tsp Vanilla
2 2/3 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking powder*
1 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Almonds, whole blanched
1 Tube red decorator gel
(optional, not pictured)
Gross everyone out with these creepy cookies.
In bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Beat in flour, baking soda*, and salt. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and keeping remainder refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoonful of dough into finger shape for each cookie. Press almond firmly into 1 end for nail. Squeeze in centre to create knuckle shape. (Accompanying picture showed long rolled shape with bulge at centre for knuckle; you puff it out rather than squeeze it in.) Using paring knife, make slashes in several places to form knuckle.
Place on lightly greased baking sheets; bake in 325F (160C) oven for 20-25 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for 3 minutes. Lift up almond, squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back in place, so gel oozes out from underneath. You can also make slashes in the finger and fill them with “blood.”
(ed. note – I opted not to go for the bloody effect as you can see in my picture above, and my guests were still grossed out! – Britta)
Remove from baking sheets and let cool on racks. Repeat with remaining dough.
(Collected by Bert Christensen, Toronto, Ontario)
*The recipe is reproduced above exactly as I found it, but please note the stars I added. I used baking powder for several years just fine, assuming the baking soda listed in the instructions was an error. However, when I moved to a new place with a different oven, my witches’ fingers kept puffing during baking and not keeping any detail, which was disappointing! I finally realized that the dough was very similar to a Christmas cookie recipe I had, so I just used neither baking powder nor baking soda and had a more shortbread-like recipe that keeps the detail perfectly, since it has no leavening ingredient. I recommend that method as most reliable. – Britta