Finger-licking good (hee, hee, hee-hee)

Witch’s Fingers


Witch’s Fingers

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup whole blanched almonds*

1 tube (.67 ounces) red decorator gel

1. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Beat in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Working with a quarter of the dough at a time and keeping the remaining dough refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoonsful of dough into a finger shape (don’t forget to make a shorter, fatter one for a thumb). Press an almond firmly into one end for the nail. Squeeze the center to create a bulbous knuckle shape. Using a paring knife, make slashes in the middle to give the appearance of a knuckle.

3. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 20–25 minutes, or until pale golden. Let cool for three minutes.

4. Lift the almond, squeeze a dollop of decorator gel on the cookie and press the almond back in place so the gel oozes around its edges. Drizzle gel on the other end to give the appearance of a severed finger.

5. Remove from baking sheet and cool on racks. Makes about five dozen.

*If you can’t find blanched almonds at the store, make your own by pouring boiling water over whole natural almonds so they’re barely covered. Let them stand for one minute (any longer and they’ll get soggy), then rinse them with cool water and drain. Peel off the almond skin and pat them dry.

Poor witches. They really get a bad rap. Aside from some recreational mayhem and evil plotting, all they seem to want is a little peace and quiet (with the occasional snack of a plump first-grader).

Then along come trespassing kids, villagers with torches and pitchforks, Cotton Mather — the usual headaches. It’s enough to make a mistress of darkness gag on her lizard tails.

Poor witches. It’s sad.

Unfortunately, Halloween’s not the time for compassion. Witches aren’t going to get any breaks this year. Keep your hands in your robes, ladies, because we’re coming for your fingers.

A delightfully gross Halloween treat, this tasty shortbread cookie has all the appearance of a real finger, complete with a blanched almond for a crusty old nail and red decorator gel for blood.

It’s horrifying. It’s Halloween.


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