Thursday, October 20, 2016

Creepy Finger Cookies

It’s almost Halloween and we’ve got the perfect baked dish for you to bring to a costume party: Creepy Finger Cookies. Kerry Hammond is here to tell us how to make these delicious treats.

Our Denver-based Crime & Beyond Book Club is made up of avid mystery fans who take book club seriously. Each member who volunteers to bring the monthly snack takes great care to match the snack to the book we’re discussing. 

One of our most creative book club members, Lorraine Masonheimer, brought the snack when we read Alex Marwood’s The Killer Next Door. I won’t explain any further, since explaining the snack might be a spoiler. You will just have to read the book to find out why these Creepy Finger Cookies were such a great choice.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg, whole
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Blue food coloring & small paint brush
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Step One: Create the Dough 

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Beat in one whole egg and extracts until combined. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture just until incorporated. Divide dough into fourths. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or until firm yet easy to handle. 

Step Two: Paint the Fingernails 

Place a small dab of blue food coloring onto a small piece of parchment paper or wax paper along with a small clean paintbrush that has not been used for any purpose other than painting with food safe products. To paint the fingernails/slivered almonds slightly blue, dip the paintbrush into a dab of blue food coloring.  Brush a little coloring off onto the parchment paper to create a more realistic dead finger color.  Lightly brush the larger end of the almond slivers with the blue food coloring fading to very little color at the narrow end.  Set aside.

Step Three: Create the Glaze 

Separate one egg.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and set aside.  This will be brushed onto the cookies prior to baking to ensure the cookies have a light golden color.

Step Four: Roll Your Cookies & Form Your Fingers 

Preheat oven to 325 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into 1-inch balls. Shape balls into 3-in. x 1/2-inch fingers. Keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and chilled.  On a lightly floured surface, roll each 1-inch ball back and forth between your palms to form finger shapes, 3 to 4 inches long.  Place each finger onto the cookie sheet and pinch dough in two places to form two knuckles. For a creepier look, shape the knuckles big and uneven. Using the back of a knife, score each knuckle lightly.  Place each cookie 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Using the flat tip of a table knife, make a slight indentation on one end of each finger for the fingernail/slivered almond. When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white.  To set the fingernail, position the almond sliver by sliding the larger end slightly into the bottom of the indentation to “set” or attach the nail to the cookie.  Select slivered almonds that look most like fingernails.  For a creepier look, select a few slivered almonds with ragged edges.

Prior to placing cookies into the oven, make sure the dough is still cold to the touch.  If not, place the loaded cookie sheets into the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill so the cookies do not overly spread while baking.

Step Five: Bake 

Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cook before serving. Makes about 5 dozen fingers.

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