Saturday, October 29, 2011

Creepy Witches' Fingers

This is a Halloween inspired take on the traditional Lady Fingers. They're so creepy to look at, not to mention fun and delicious to eat. I first saw these in Martha Stewart Living, and thought they were so clever, I had to try them! I've changed the coloring of the "finger nails" to green because they seemed more witchy. I also added a few warts here and there, because every good witch has plenty of warts.

These are a nice cookie to throw in the mix because they're not too sweet or filling. Let's face it, Halloween is all about the cookies, cakes, and candy, but with so many other sugary treats on the table, I wanted to give everyone's taste buds a break. I tried these out today with a cup of coffee, and as you might expect, they're finger lickin' good!

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

1 tbsp. green liquid food coloring
30 blanched almonds (see notes below)
2 large eggs
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup confectioners' sugar
5 tbsp. granulated sugar (see notes below)
Pinch of salt
1- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Place food coloring in a small shallow bowl. Using a small paintbrush, color one rounded half of each almond. Set aside to dry. Separate 1 egg and set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk, remaining egg, and vanilla and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add egg mixture, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half. Work with one piece at a time, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and chilled. Divide the first half into 15 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough back and forth using your palms to create the "fingers," about 3 to 4 inches long. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with the back of a small knife. Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator to firm up for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

When all the fingers are formed and cooled, brush lightly with beaten egg white. Position almond nails; push into dough to attach. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Yield: 30 cookies


  • To blanch almonds, first place them in a small bowl. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, remove from heat, and pour over almonds. Let soak for 1 minute, then drain and rinse with cold water. The almond skins should peel off easily. Let dry on paper towels before using. 
  • As an alternative to painting each almond, soak the blanched almonds in food coloring for a few minutes, then remove to dry.
  • If you decrease the granulated sugar to 2 or 3 tbsp., the fingers will hold their shape better, but be slightly less sweet.

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