Check out Canadian Living’s Creepy Witch’s Fingers. This style of cookie shows up in all the Halloween mags and books. It is so popular I just had to try making them from scratch myself!
This recipe uses a very traditional cookie dough and I like that it adds some almond favour with some extract. I only did half the recipe which was a little tricky, but doable, and put the dough in the fridge to chill until I had some time to make them.
My one big pet peeve? Not a lot of instructions on how to go about making the fingers. It just says to use one heaping teaspoons of dough and shape into a finger. Really? That tiny amount of dough would make a super small finger with a GIANT almond fingernail on top. Maybe that is what they wanted but how would I know that?
I wanted realistic witches’ fingers so I took more like a generous tablespoon of dough and rolled it approximately into a 3 1/2″ long x 1″ wide log. With both my hands I squeezed the middle together so it would arch into a knuckle. Then I shaped the front into a knuckle too. With a pairing knife I sliced wrinkles into the top of the middle knuckle.
I wedged a whole blanched almond on top of the fingernail bed I made and to me, that looks like a finger! Right? Or am I totally off here?
Just to give you a sense of the size, here is the finger in the middle of my tiny hand. Can you imagine that finger a third of this size with the almond on top? I couldn’t so I just kept going.
I ended up with a dozen cookies but according to this recipe I should have had 30 (since I divided the recipe in half). Uh oh. Oh well, too late now! I baked them in the 325F oven for 20 minutes like the recipe instructed and they came out perfectly. If these had been a third of this size they would have burned. I don’t get it.
This part is super clever. The almonds will slip off after baking so, using some store-bought decorating gel, put a generous amount in the imprint and then re-attach the almond. You want to see the gel to give it a creepy feeling so do not be stingy. I had orange so that is what I used and I love the look. You could use black, green, red…
The fingers did inflate, bloating out a little, but still pretty darn realistic. Not to mention yummy!
Despite the instructions driving me crazy, this recipe was quite easy to make for such a realistic and impressive outcome. Had there been more of a helpful tutorial I would have given this recipe a perfect score but I was left in the foodie weeds which was annoying. I really hate recipes that look simple and clear but really do not have enough instructions.
The cookies are quite tasty, I love that almond flavour throughout. They are a little dry, kind of like a shortbread cookie, but are they ever good dunked in some Nutella. I give this recipe four out of five wooden spoons.