Happy Halloween! I’d wanted to bake up more spooky treats to share with you guys this week – but with just getting back from vacation, and then Hurricane Sandy – I just ran out of time. Luckily, it only takes a couple hours from start to finish to throw together these creepy cookies that are just perfect for All Hallows Eve. My little goblins had a great time helping to decorate the cookies with the almond fingernails.
This year Andrew is being a fireman, and William is being Elvis. Mucho cuteness is sure to ensue. We can’t wait to take them trick-or-treating tonight. I hope that everyone has a safe and spooky Halloween!
Witches’ Finger Cookies
1-2 tbsp. liquid red food coloring
32 blanched or roasted whole almonds
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
5 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
½ tsp. almond extract
Pinch of salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
green food coloring
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Place the food coloring into a small bowl. With a painbrush, paint one side of the almond with the food coloring. Set aside on wax paper to dry.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add egg, egg yolk, almond extract, and salt. Mix in the flour on low speed just until combined. Tint the dough with a few drops of food coloring. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Working with one half of the dough and keeping the other half chilled, divide into 16 equal pieces (a kitchen scale helps with this). On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece into a finger shape about 4-4½ inches long. Pinch each piece of dough in two places to create knuckle shapes. Use the back of a small paring knife to lightly score the surface of the knuckles. Transfer the shaped fingers to the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
When finished forming all the fingers, lightly brush with egg white and place an almond nail at the end of each finger, pressing lightly to attach. Bake until set, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.