Witches' Fingers

Happy Halloween!

When Annie posted these witches’ finger cookies last year, I immediately bookmarked them and I have been not so patiently waiting 350-some days to try them myself this year. I mean, they’re completely creepy but so utterly perfect for Halloween! And as if the fingers themselves weren’t fun enough, you can get creative with the styling of them to really drive home the point. I filled a bowl with rice then propped the fingers up in it before sprinkling crushed Oreos on top as dirt to make it appear the fingers were sticking out of the ground.

I assembled and photographed these over 4 days ago and still have them sitting out on the coffee table exactly as you see in the pics. After putting in the effort to make them, I figured I might as well enjoy the “decoration” for a few days. Besides, the cats are fascinated with them, which I find hilarious :)

Witches' Fingers

Whether you’re taking the kids treat-or-treating or staying home to hand out candy, hope you have a safe and fun night! I’m not expecting any kids here at Shane’s parents’ house but there’s a big bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups in the pantry just in case. I’ve been here for over 10 days and haven’t touched a single one of them, if you can believe it. It’s definitely the most restraint I’ve ever shown around Halloween candy in my life, but comes tomorrow all bets are off with whatever is left!

Witches’ Fingers
adapted from Martha Stewart (via Annie’s Eats)

1-2 tablespoons red liquid food coloring
32 raw whole almonds
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
pinch of salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg white, lightly beaten (to glaze the cookies)

Add the food coloring to a small bowl. Use a small paintbrush to paint one side of each almond with the food coloring (I did a few coats on each one). Set the almonds on a sheet of wax paper and allow to dry completely.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg, egg yolk and almond extract, beating until well combined. With the mixer on low, add the flour and mix just until combined. (If you want to dye your fingers, now is the time to add the food coloring to the dough.) Turn the dough onto your work surface, shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Remove the dough from the fridge and divide in half. Place one half back in the fridge while you shape the other. Divide the half you’re working with into 16 roughly equal pieces (I just eyeballed it). Working with one piece at a time, shape the dough into a cylinder about 4-4 1/2 inches long (it’ll look like a really skinny finger, but trust me, it’ll expand in the oven). Place on one of the prepared baking sheets, then pinch in two places to create knuckles. Use the back side of a small knife to create lines in the knuckles. Repeat with remaining dough, placing 16 fingers on each baking sheet and leaving about an inch of space between them.

Use a pastry brush to lightly brush egg white over the shaped cookies. Gently press one almond into the end of each finger to create a fingernail. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until the cookies are set. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks. If the cookies have expanded or lost their shape, you can gently shape them while they’re still warm. Allow to cool completely.

To style them as I did – fill a bowl with rice or beans. Gently place the fingers in the bowl with the tops sticking out. When you’ve arranged all of them as desired, sprinkle crushed Oreos to cover the rice/beans and mimic dirt.