Witch’s fingers: you are still in time for a creepy but cool Halloween treat!

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!

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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.

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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”

DIRECTION

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!

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 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!

Much thanks,

Silvia

Ghosts and black cats crust pastry cookies

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Many of you may be wondering if we celebrate Halloween in Italy… A few years ago, Halloween was something completely foreign to us.  The closest kind of celebration we had (in which everybody dressed up and wore a mask) was, and still is, “Carnevale” which is a festivity very similar to the Brazilian Carnival celebrated in February. Thanks to the media and the globalization in Italy, we now celebrate Halloween (in addition of Carnevale, of course!) but we still have plenty to learn from Americans about how to decorate our houses and yards for this spooky celebration. Now that I live here, I could not resist to the temptation of making some Halloween treats, and for the occasion, I used an easy and fast Italian recipe (in Italy it is used mostly for Christmas cookies)- so easy that my 4 year-old daughter could help me!

INGREDIENTS for about 40 ghosts

1 stick of butter

1 egg

1 pinch sea salt

5 oz. sugar

few drops lemon flavoring (or some lemon zest)

a pinch of baking soda mixed with 1/2 tbs of apple vinegar

1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

FOR THE FROSTING: 2 tbs. water and 1 tbs powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, mix very quickly together the flour, butter, sugar,  lemon flavoring,  the sea salt and the baking soda (already mixed with the vinegar). USE YOUR HANDS ;-).

cookies pastry

You should obtain a ball like this:

Put the pastry in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour.

Then roll out the dough on a floured board and cut it with a ghost shape.

Bake at 365 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, until they appear lightly golden.

Make the icing by dissolving the powdered sugar in the water.

Pour the icing on the cookies and allow it to dry. Paint the eyes and mouth with a black decorating pen or sparkle gel. For the black cats, I used the same recipe and steps but instead of white sugar in the cookies, I used brown sugar and instead of the lemon flavoring I used the almond extract. To decorate the cats, I also colored the icing with few drops of black food color. For the eyes, nose and whiskers I used a decorating pen and a tube of ready-to-use colored icing. HAVE FUN! LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe, and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia