A friend of mine posted a picture of severed witches finger cookies on Facebook. It prompted me to try own version with my grandkids. With Halloween just a few days away, this is a perfect recipe for the occasion. The fingers are shaped with shortbread cookie dough and the fingernail is an almond sliver.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- Almond slivers
- Red gel food coloring
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
If you own a Mixmaster of Kitchen Aid mixer, you will want to use it. You can mix the dough by hand, but it will take generous effort.
Mix together butter, sugar, egg and extracts. Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments, add the salt. Mix together well. This is a shortbread dough, so it will firm and mold easily.
Remove dough from bowl and form into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Now comes the fun part, shaping the fingers. The grand kids, ages 5 and 7, had a blast rolling out the dough and inserting the fingernail.
Keep your shapes the size of actual adult fingers to make them more realistic. I helped the kids shaped the knuckle areas and used a kitchen knife to make three slashes in each knuckle.
Firmly press the almond sliver into the tip of each finger. Randomly dust cocoa powder over the dough and fingernail area. The cocoa powder is optional but I like the look it lent to the final cookie.
Place cookies on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. You can apply the red coloring gel before or after baking; I applied before. Squirt a very small amount under the nail bed and push down on the almond so that the red gel oozes out.
Bake cookies at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Immediately remove from the cookie sheet and set on a cooling rack.This recipe makes around 60 fingers. Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. The cookie dough can be refrigerated for up to one week.
Work with the dough in small batches. Cut the dough in quarter and work with 1/4 at a time. Keep the remaining dough covered in the fridge. You want the dough should cold when you work with it so that the fingers hold their shape when baking.
Don’t use sugar cookie dough because your baked cookies will come out looking like this:
Trust me on this one. A shortbread cookie dough is best because it is unleavened and will hold its shape.
Unfortunately, shortbread cookies are somewhat dry tasting which is why I served them with a red jam dipping sauce. You could sprinkle the fingers with white sugar before baking to help sweeten the taste. I noted a few online posts that premade sugar cookie dough (the kind in a tube) works if you add in one cup of white flour. I haven’t tried it.
I’m not even going to give a guesstimate on the calories per cookie. Come’ on…flour, powdered sugar, butter…they are definitely not low fat; but, sometimes you just have to toss calories to the wind.