Wickedly witchy, and a little creepy. Halloween is the time to let your imagination go wild, and these cookies can be made not-too scary, or as gory as you want. These Halloween cookies are actually a delicious almond shortbread-like cookie, with a blanched almond for the 'fingernail' and a bit of red decorating gel for the ‘blood.'
½ cup blanched almonds, finely ground
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
½ cup whole blanched almonds
Red Decorating Gel
- In a medium bowl, combine ground almonds, flour, and salt; whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar together until well mixed. Add eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and almond; beat until well mixed. Add the flour mixture, beat just until thoroughly mixed.
- Divide dough in half; place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Form dough into two 6 inch flattened disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare 2 large baking sheets, lightly grease with shortening, or line with parchment paper, or line with a non-stick baking mat.
- Remove one of the dough halves from the refrigerator, keeping remainder refrigerated. Roll heaping teaspoons of dough into a finger shape. Place one blanched almond into one end of cookie to form a nail and squeeze in the center of the dough to create a knuckle shape. Use a small knife to cut a few small ridges in the knuckles. Return unused dough to the refrigerator.
Tip: Because the dough puffs while baking, make the fingers skinnier than you want the final cookie to be. The fingers and placement of the almonds don't have to be perfect, the more imperfect and crooked ones will often look the creepiest.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, and then check on them. If the fingers have spread too much you can pull them out of the oven and press and reshape the partially baked cookie. Use the end of a wooden spoon, or a rubber spatula, to push the cookie dough back into a ‘finger’ shape. Careful though, the cookie dough is hot! Return to the oven to finish baking another 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet 2 to 3 minutes. Lift up almond, squeeze red decorator gel around the edge of the nail bed, (also a drop of gel on the nail bed to ‘glue’ the almond back) and press almond back into place, so gel oozes out from around the edges. When they seem firm enough, remove cookies from baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on a wire cooling rack to cool. The cookies will be fragile until cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
Description: Shaped Cookies
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets
Pan Prep: Lightly Greased or Parchment Lined
Oven Temp: 375o
Prep Time: 3 Hours
Baking Time: 16 Minutes
Yield: 4 Dozen
Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature
Recipe Type: Cookie, Almonds, Halloween
Help: Cookie Hints
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