Cookies recipe

Best Witch Finger Cookies Recipe

PICTURED: RACHEL VANNI; FOOD STYLING: FRANCESCA ZANI

Ghouls, goblins and witches on the front, please! Spooky season is here, and we’re celebrating it in style with these spooky delicious witch finger cookies. A witch finger cookie is exactly what it sounds like: a shortbread cookie in the shape of a cut finger and adorned with an almond nail and a bit of blood red jam.

For a little more texture and flavor, I added chopped pistachios. Turns out pistachio chunks also make good witch warts. This recipe takes a bit of effort and some freezing time, but it’s worth it. The finished cookies make a macabre and eye-catching dessert centerpiece, but these cookies aren’t all flash. They are nutty, tender and perfectly sweet.

To make these look like real fingers, don’t skip cooling the dough! This is the most crucial step in baking shaped shortbread cookies. Getting the dough cold from the freezer means the butter in the dough will slowly melt in the hot oven, helping the dough hold its shape instead of spreading. Cold dough is also easier to shape and decorate.

Nut-free household? Forget pistachios and walnuts and instead use large coconut flakes to make monster fingers.

You can prepare the dough up to 2 days in advance and store it in the fridge, or store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store baked cookies in an airtight container in flat layers separated by parchment paper at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Yields:

50


portions

Preparation time:

0

hours

15

minutes

Total time:

1

hour

50

minutes

1 1/4 tsp.

(142 g.) powdered sugar

1 ea.

(2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 C.

pure vanilla extract

5 to 6 drops of green food coloring

2 3/4 tsp.

(330 g.) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp.

finely chopped pistachios (about 70 g.), more for decoration

3/4 tsp.

slivered almonds (about 85 g.)

1/2 tsp.

(135 g.) cherry, strawberry or raspberry jam

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  1. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric mixer) on medium speed, beat the powdered sugar and butter until pale and frothy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and continue beating until incorporated and frothy, about 1 minute longer. Add almond extract, vanilla extract and food coloring and beat until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and salt. Add to butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Stir in the pistachios. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  3. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove a quarter of the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into 12 to 13 balls (1 tablespoon). Roll each ball between your palms until it begins to form a finger shape, about 3″ by 1/2″, or the length of your little finger but slightly thinner. Arrange the logs on the prepared sheet and press an almond slice into each, where the fingernail would be on a finger. Gently pinch the dough just below the almonds and halfway up the log to create a shank. Using a sharp knife, cut horizontal lines of varying lengths into the seam. Place 1 or 2 pieces of pistachio in the finger to make warts. Repeat with the remaining dough. Freeze 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake, rotating trays back and forth halfway through baking, until edges are firm and tops of cookies are dry, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  5. Gently lift the almond nail. Add a small hazelnut of jam to the fingertip, then replace the almond-shaped nail, pressing down to make the jam flow. Spread the jam on the bottom of each finger. Let the cookies cool completely.

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witch finger cookies

PICTURED: RACHEL VANNI; FOOD STYLING: FRANCESCA ZANI

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