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devilish delights spooky treats for your Halloween fete by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 3

witches' fingers
(almond cookies)

Adapted from britta.com (a great source for general Halloween party inspiration), this recipe is essentially an almond-flavored sugar cookie dough, but instead of using a cookie cutter, you'll be shaping the dough into creepy finger shapes. Yes, they'll gross folks out with their disturbingly realistic look, but the cookie itself is surprisingly tasty. You can make the cookies up to a couple of days ahead of time, and just store in an airtight container.

1 cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened to room temp
1 cup of confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup of whole blanched almonds
a tube of red cake decorator's gel
additional confectioner's sugar for sprinkling

makes about 5 dozen cookies

1 Preheat the oven to 350F.
2 Beat the butter, sugar, egg and extracts together in a big bowl until creamy. Add a little of the flour and the baking powder, stirring well. Keep adding the remaining flour in batches, and continue to beat until the flour's all incorporated and you have a smooth dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and pop in the fridge to chill for an hour or so.
3 Meanwhile, take each almond and gently split it in half. The easiest way to do this is to hold each almond on its side on a cutting board, and wedge the tip of a short paring knife where the two halves of the almond meet. Do this very carefully, so as to avoid chopping off your little fingers. Alternatively, you can just use whole almonds (in which case you'll need about cup of almonds -- I like the look of the halved almonds better, though).
4 Take a quarter of the dough to work with, and keep the remainder in the fridge. Scoop out a rounded teaspoonful of dough and roll it into a long, skinny cylinder. You'll want it to be much thinner than the finished finger, say about " or so in diameter (the cookie will get flatter and a lot puffier as it bakes). Now create two "knuckles" by giving the dough a slight squeeze around either side of where you want each knuckle to sit, bunching up the dough to make a bump for the knuckle (make the bump fairly prominent). You'll basically just be pinching and squeezing and rolling the dough between your fingers until you have a vaguely finger-like form. Now place the cookie on a lightly greased baking sheet. Make a few light slashes at the knuckles with a paring knife. Press an almond firmly into the "fingertip" end as a nail. Repeat this step until you have enough fingers to fill the sheet, making sure to leave at least an inch around each finger to give it room to expand.
5 Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the fingers are a very lightly golden color. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a few minutes, then pull off each almond, squeeze out some red decorator's gel, and squash the almond back into place so that some of the gel oozes out around the "nail." Let the cookies continue to cool on baking racks, and shape and bake the rest of the cookie dough.
6 Lay the cookies out on a flat surface and dust with confectioner's sugar (pour some confectioner's sugar into a fine-mesh sieve, and shake over the cookies). Arrange the cookies onto a platter and creep out all your guests.


check out these related articles: 
eat, drink and be eerie
a halloween party | haunt your house | fright night costume anxiety + ideas | drinks that go bump in the night

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