I got this recipe originally from a long-forgotten holiday website for pre-schoolers - ironic since it's been my experience that little kids won't touch them...they're too creepy! I substituted powdered sugar for the granulated sugar called for, increased the butter and ended up with a tender shortbread. It's important to use a concentrated food coloring paste for the 'blood' to keep the gore factor up. It's not candy but it's definitely Halloweeny and great for trick-or-treat. p.s. It just hit me that I was watching Dexter while submitting the recipe :-) —svbooker
3-4 dozen, depending on size
almond extract, or more to taste
2 3/4 cups
salt (less if using salted butter)
whole, blanched almonds
red food coloring paste
red decorating gel, if needed to attach nails
In This Recipe
Cream butter,sugar and egg, beat in extracts.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt (I don't sift this). In two additions, mix dry ingredients into creamed mixture until well combined.
Wrap and refrigerate dough for 30-45 minutes. You don't want it to get so hard that the cookies are difficult to form.
Put your feet up and study one of your fingers for a minute.
Using ~1 T dough, roll into a finger-length cylinder and place on a parchment covered baking sheet. You may want to experiment with the amount...for me, a narrower shape looks more realistic. If you use much more dough, they tend to flatten out.
Press an almond into the dough to make a fingernail, positioning it so that 1/3 of the almond extends beyond one end of the cylinder. Push a small amount of dough over the edges of the almond by gently pressing in the sides of the cylinder at that point.
Make slight indentations on either side of the cylinder above and below where you want the knuckle to be.
Using a paring knife or the bottom (large) end of a piping tip, make shallow cuts on the surface just below the nail and on the knuckle. The piping tip makes a more realistic, curved mark.
Bake in a pre-heated, 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly colored. Best if the cookies don't darken at all.
When cool, using a fine brush or a q-tip, apply the food coloring to the bottom end of the finger - and anywhere else you want! Allow the 'blood' to dry before covering.
TIPS: 1) If a nail falls off, glue it back on with a little red gel decorator icing (in the cake mix aisle). I haven't tried this yet, but it might work to apply a little egg wash to the back of the almond before you first press it into the raw dough. 2) Rough up the bottom end of the finger with a knife before baking...looks a little gorier that way. 3) This looks like a lot of work, and it is, but it goes pretty quickly if you do each step on a tray worth of cookies at once...in other words, don't make each cookie individually from beginning to end, make all the cylinders, insert all of the almonds, etc.