Witches' Fingers Almond Cookies



You want to bake something that looks creepy but tastes delicious...
Make cookies that look like fingers and taste like almonds!

Usually, I'm sort of a grinch about Halloween.  Horror movies terrify me, I'm not the greatest at planning costumes, and I don't really care about orange-colored sweets.  This year everything changed. The Halloween spirit took over me. I have parties to go to, a costume all set, candy to hand out to kids, and a planned menu.

A friend asked me to co-host a party with him. He's curating the entertainment: magicians, psychics, storytellers, arial acrobats, and a punk band.  You know, the usual.  He asked if I could be the headliner of the "food" part of the party.  It's a potluck, but we decided I'll make four dishes in large quantities. I knew I wanted to make something Halloween-y that looked kind of gross, but tasted good.

I researched different kinds of Halloween-themed desserts, and decided against making a cake that looked like kitty litter and cat poop. Instead, I found this recipe by Sandra on Allrecipes (or see below).

I followed the recipe mostly as written, and it works quite well.  I didn't use the wax paper to form the fingers.  You don't need it.  You can simply scoop a teaspoon of chilled batter into your hand and mold it into a finger shape.  I used a knife to make the knuckle lines.

Next time, I might add a little more almond extract to the batter.  I also might substitute half the flour with almond flour.  This cookie has a subtle almond taste, but I think it could use a little more almond flavor. My sister in law suggested adding fennel seed, and that might be delicious as well.  This is a simple sugar cookie recipe, and it's easy to add other flavorings or spices to it.

Whatever you do, don't forget to add the red icing.  Once the cookies cool, the almonds pop off. To glue them back into place you use the icing.  Bonus: the icing looks like blood! Ewwww!

All that said, this recipe makes a perfectly gross-looking, lovely tasting, and holiday appropriate cookie. Boo!

Happy Halloween!



INGREDIENTS:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 (.75 ounce) tube red decorating gel
DIRECTIONS:
1.Combine the butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer; gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt, continually beating; refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
2.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
3.Remove dough from refrigerator in small amounts. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon at a time onto a piece of waxed paper. Use the waxed paper to roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped cookie. Press one almond into one end of each cookie to give the appearance of a long fingernail. Squeeze cookie near the tip and again near the center of each to give the impression of knuckles. You can also cut into the dough with a sharp knife at the same points to help give a more finger-like appearance. Arrange the shaped cookies on the baking sheets.
4.Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are slightly golden in color, 20 to 25 minutes.
5.Remove the almond from the end of each cookie; squeeze a small amount of red decorating gel into the cavity; replace t