Witch Fingers Cookies
- 20 whole, blanched almonds
- red or green food coloring
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup almonds
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- egg wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water, well beaten)
1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. With a small brush, paint one side of the almonds with red or green food coloring and let dry thoroughly. These will be the "nails".
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar until well combined and fluffy. Beat in salt, vanilla and almond extracts.
3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the remaining 1 cup of almonds 2 or 3 times until finely chopped (do not overprocess); Add the flour and cinnamon; pulse a few more times to sift the ingredients together.
4. Reduce mixer to low and add flour mixture a little at a time until just combined. Dough will come together but remain somewhat crumbly.
5. Roll a small amount of dough in the palm of your hand to form a small, thin log, about the size of your pinky. Shape into a "finger" by pinching to form two "knuckles". Place on prepared baking sheet. With the blunt edge of a knife, lightly press creases into the cookie (use your own finger as a guide). Dip the unpainted side of an almond into the egg wash and push the rounded end into the tip of the cookie. (For very ghastly touch, press dip the "cut" ends of the fingers into the egg wash and then into red colored sugar.) Refrigerate fingers 30-40 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 350º. Bake for 15-20 minutes until very lightly golden. Let cool completely then dust with additional powdered sugar. Makes about 20 cookies.
Tip #1: The dough may spread a little during baking so make sure the fingers are on the thinner side.
Tip #2: If you can't find blanched almonds (almonds with the brown skin removed), they are easy to make at home. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Drop almonds into the boiling water for 45-60 seconds. Immediately scoop them out and submerge them in ice water. Dump onto paper towels, patting dry and slipping off the skins.