Halloween isn't the same without some creepy party treats! I'll show you how to make almond shortbread cookies shaped into frightful witch fingers with blood red jagged fingernails will melt in your mouth as well as add spooky fun to the holiday! This is a great Halloween treat for kids to help with too!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Who doesn't want food that looks like fingers for Halloween!!!
- So much fun for kids to make! They love "painting" the witch's fingernails!
- These Halloween cookies are made without eggs which is great news for those with egg allergies!
- Perfect treat for a Halloween party!
- Butter - both salted and unsalted work just fine. For best results don't use any kind of butter substitute though. Shortbread is very dependent on butter for their crumbly texture and buttery flavor.
- Powdered Sugar - please not this recipe calls for powdered sugar not granulated sugar. You cannot use granulated sugar in place of the powdered sugar.
- Almonds - You will need slivered almonds for the fingernails, but you can use any form of almond like blanched almonds for the cookie dough because you are just going to grind them up.
- Red Food Coloring - The gel food coloring works best for this especially if you're having kids paint the nails. The gel coloring doesn't run all over and doesn't spill. Please note that red decorating gel is a different thing and will not work.
- Vanilla Extract- If you want to do half vanilla and almond extract that works too!
How to Make Step by Step Recipe Instructions:
- Start by painting the "fingernails" (almond slices) with red gel food coloring.
- Lay a sheet of waxed paper down to paint the almond slices on.
- They don't need to look perfectly manicured. I think a witch's fingernails would be chipped and a little sloppy. You can see the little white edges that are left on mine. That is where I held onto the almond to paint it and is the end that I will stick in the cookie so it won't show. Let them dry while you prepare the fingers.
- In a food processor, pulse enough almonds to give you 1 Cup ground almonds. My general rule of thumb is if I want 1 cup of ground nuts I'm going to need roughly 2 cups of the nut to grind.
- Keep a close on your nuts while you process them. You want them ground up but not turned to nut butter. Here's a great guide on Measuring and Chopping Nuts.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper or spray them with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and powdered sugar (not granulated sugar).
- Add the vanilla and salt.
- Mix in the ground nuts and flour.
- As you can see from the picture, this is a stiff, dryer dough which is typical of shortbread.
- The dough should not be sticky, but it should also hold together. If you feel the dough is too crumbly try adding a teaspoon of water.
- Using a 1 ½ Tbs or #40 cookie scoop, scoop the dough into 36 -40 balls.
- Roll each piece of dough in you hands into a log shape until it is about the length and width of the average finger
- Since these are supposed to be the fingers of a witch you want them a little oddly shaped and crooked perhaps a little gnarled.
- Place them on prepared baking sheets with 2 inches space between each cookie.
- Take a sharp knife, not a butter knife, and make little lines for the knuckles.
- Carefully press each fingernail into the ends or nail bed of each of the finger cookies.
- Bake in your preheated oven (325 degrees) for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges.
- Cool completely before storing these spooky cookies in an airtight container.
Recipe FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes, you can substitute pecans for the ground almonds and pili nuts for the fingernails.
Yes, this sweet shortbread freezes extremely well. Just make sure the cookies are completely cool before you pop them in the freezer. When you're ready to eat them thaw them out at room temperature.
Related Halloween Recipes
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Halloween isn't the same without some creepy party treats! Almond shortbread cookies shaped into frightful fingers with blood red jagged fingernails will melt in your mouth as well as add spooky fun to the holiday! This is a great Halloween treat for kids to help with too!
- 40-45 Almond Slices
- Red GEL food coloring
- 1 cup Butter (softened)
- ¾ cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Ground Almonds
- 2 cups Flour
- Paint 40-45 (this will give you a couple extra in case you break some) almond slices with red gel food coloring to look like fingernails.
- Let dry while making the cookie dough.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or spraying them with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pulse enough almonds in a food processor to get 1 cup ground almonds. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, and salt.
- Stir in the ground almonds and flour.
- Using a 1 ½ Tbs. or #40 scoop, scoop the dough out into approximately 36-40 balls.
- In between your hands, roll out and shape dough pieces into "fingers" about the length and width of an average sized finger.
- Place on the prepared baking sheets with 2 inches of space between them.
- Place a painted almond on the end of each finger and use a sharp knife to make knuckle marks.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
- Cool on a cooling rack.
- Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.
- You'll need roughly 2 cups of almonds to get 1 cup ground almonds.
- You can substitute ground pecans for the ground almonds.
- These cookies do freeze well.
Keywords: witch finger cookies, scary cookies, bloody finger cookies, creepy long fingers, witch dessert, shortbread finger cookies
Adapted from: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/frightful-finger-cookies-recipe.htm
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