This is my favorite Halloween treat recipe ever! The “fingers” are a gruesome and spooky addition to a Halloween party, and kids absolutely love them too. Unlike most Halloween novelties, these are actually a delicious cookie—a buttery shortbread with a hint of almond.
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspooon salt
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds
1 tube red decorator gel
1. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond and vanilla extracts.
2. Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add to wet mixture and beat just until moistened. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or lightly grease them.)
4. Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and keeping the remainder refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoonful of dough into finger shape for each cookie. Press almond firmly into 1 end for nail. Squeeze in center to create "knuckle" shape. Using a small knife, make slashes in several places to complete the look of the knuckle.
5. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pale golden. Let cool for 3 minutes. Lift up almond, squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back in place, so gel oozes out from underneath. If you want to get really gross, you can also make slashes in the finger and fill them with "blood."
6. Remove from baking sheets and let cool on racks (and let the red gel set).
*How to blanch almonds: Place almonds in a bowl. Pour boiling water over to barely cover almonds. Let sit for just 1 minute (if you wait longer than that then the almonds will break apart). Drain, rinse quickly under cold water, and drain again. The skins should slip right off. Pat dry.*