Okay, so after four blog posts on cleaning I am ready to stop cleaning. I think I need a treat for all my hard work, don’t you? Since Halloween is just a couple of days away I thought I would show you how to make really easy and really creepy Severed Finger Cookies (and one severed toe courtesy of farmkid #2). They are yucky and yummy at the same time, just like Halloween.
These are basically almond cookies meaning there is more ground almonds than flour. You have to buy sliced almonds because you need to use some of them for the fingernails. Try to use the biggest ones. The remaining amount of almonds you will grind up in the food processor but be careful because you want ground almond meal here not almond butter!
I make these cookies every Halloween but this year I decided to punch up the flavor a bit. The recipe calls for vanilla or almond extract (I always use vanilla) but this time I cut the vanilla in half and added eight drops of lemon essential oil and I’m so glad I did. The flavor profile went up dramatically. You could also use wild orange or even lime essential oil for a different twist. I only use certified pure essential oils and the brand I use you can take internally. Whatever brand you choose just make sure it says FOR INTERNAL USE on the bottle.
Even my Kitchen Aide mixer never seems to get all the almond meal incorporated. When it seems like it’s done all it can, I just pull the bowl off the stand and finishing mixing it by hand.
Here comes the fun part so call in the kids (or the grand kids, or the neighbor kids, or your cub scout troop, whatever, you get the idea). The dough is very pliable and easy to work with and even young kids can make a pretty realistic looking severed finger. Just follow the steps below and it’s easy-peasy.
Step 1–scoop out about a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball.
Step 2–on counter roll ball into a log about the length and width of a finger. Cut a slice off the severed end and then round out the nail end.
Step 3–dip the severed end in red sugar sprinkles to look like blood. Make a slight indentation on the other end.
Step 4–Place a reserved almond slice on the indentation and push it into the dough slightly to make the fingernail. Make three cuts halfway up the finger to mimic knuckles.
Severed Finger Cookies
3 cups sliced almonds
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (1/2 tsp. if you are going to use essential oil)
8 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups flour
decorative red sugar sprinkles
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
2. Select about 50 almond slices to use as fingernails and set aside. Put remaining almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground.
3. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla or almond extract, salt and essential oil (if using) until light and fluffy.
4. Turn speed to low and gradually add in flour. Add almond meal and blend until combined. Finish combining by hand if necessary.
5. Using about 1 tbsp. of dough, roll into a ball and then into a 2-3″ log. Make one end of the finger flat (the severed end) and dip this end into the red sugar. Make the other end slightly rounded. Make an indentation in the rounded end and place one of the reserved almond slices in the indentation to make the fingernail. Using a sharp knife, make 3 crosswise slits in the center of the finger for the knuckle Place the finger on the prepared cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough, placing fingers about 1″ apart.
6. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet and then carefully transfer to wire racks. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
NOTE: For high altitude baking (that’s me) increase the oven temperature to 350F and bake the cookies for 15 minutes.