Although I usually have a lot of Halloween spirit (no pun intended!) 😉 this year I have been quite indifferent to it all, a little bit as if I still lived in Italy. I think it is because we’ve been seeing Halloween decorations, costumes, and candy in the stores since the day after “unpack your backpack” night at the kids’ school. Lucky my little girls brought me back to reality, reminding me that in the next few days there will be Halloween parties at schools and daycares. And although treats are not expected, they’re definitely welcomed!
So, I decided to give this very popular recipe a try (I bet you have already seen these cookies in Halloween articles, blogs or magazines.) After picking this one from my favorite Italian cooking blog (giallo zafferano), I created these (BELIEVE ME!) super fast, easy, and awesome creepy butter cookies! Well, truth to be told, I should not take all the merit, since Letizia (6 years old), Livia (almost 4 years old) and Lorenza (almost 2 years old) helped a lot! Because this recipe requires very few steps, and the modelling part (I mean to give the dough a finger shape) is really easy, the kids loved helping! Plus, the pastry doesn’t need to rest in the refrigerator before to be worked: you can start making the cookies right away!
If you’d like to to refresh your memory on how Italians celebrate Halloween, take a quick look at my past post about Black cats and Ghosts Halloween pastry cookies.
INGREDIENTS FOR ABOUT 20-22 FINGERS
1 stick of butter (cut into pieces)
14 oz. (or 1 and 3/4 cup) all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 medium sized egg
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1 pinch of salt
22 blanched almonds
1 Tbs. light colored preserve (apricot, orange or peach) to attach the almonds to the cookies
strawberry preserve for the pretend “blood”
In a big bowl, mix the sifted flour with the baking powder, powder sugar, butter pieces, egg, salt, and vanilla or almond extract. USE YOUR HANDS!
Once the dough reaches a compact and uniform consistency, form a loaf and make small balls of dough, using about 0.8 (25 gr.) of dough for each one. I have to be honest: since it was the first time I’ve tried this recipe, I use the kitchen scale to make balls of the right weigh/dimension.. ERGO, my daughters helped me ONLY in the next steps.
Now, you (and your kids!) can start rolling the dough balls into fingers. With the palms of the hands, roll each ball until it creates a tube shape of about 4 inches (10-12 cm). I have to be honest again: I didn’t have the patience to take out the ruler, so I used MY index finger as a model! To make the fingers look lifelike, I suggest making them thinner just before and after the knuckle joint and then, to add detail, using the dull edge of a knife to create the wrinkles in the knuckles. Again: I used my index finger as model. You can do the same!
To finish the fingers, take one of the peeled, blanched almonds and dip one side in the light colored preserve of your choice, and apply it to the tip of the cookie finger with a little pressure: it will look like a fingernail.
Pre-heat the oven to 365 F. (180 C.). Cover a baking sheet with parchment and arrange the fingers at least one inch apart.
Cook for no more than 12 minutes…. and before serving, dip the end of the fingers in strawberry preserves to make it appear even more horrific!!!
HOW COOL! YOUR KIDS WILL ADORE THESE COOKIES!!! Now it will be even more fun deciding how to present your cookies… Arranged next to a skeleton skull? Covered with creepy spiders? Your choice!
LEARN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
Tip: – These cookies can last a week if stored in a cookie jar or in a dry and cool room.
– My favorite way to enjoy these cookies is soaking them in warm milk or tea, for a perfect SPOOKY HALLOWEEN TEA PARTY!
I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,
share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to receive a new recipe each week for free,
and help support my blog!