I make these every Halloween and despite the oddity of their looks, they are quite tasty. The simple shortbread dough is molded and shaped and adorned with a “fingernail” for its authentic look. This recipe comes to me originally from the Epicurious website, March 2002.
The recipe makes about 50 fingers.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. water
In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla and mix well. Set aside.
In another small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the butter mixture until thoroughly mixed in.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap or transfer dough directly to plastic wrap and wrap up tightly. (I usually wrap it in a log shape, like for slice and bake cookies) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325º F.
Pull off about 1 tablespoon of dough of the log. Squeeze the dough into the top part of your fingers to form the finger shape of each cookie. (The space between each of your fingers will make the “knuckle” shape on the fingers.) Make them thinner than you want them to look as they will puff up in the oven when they bake. Place the fingers on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2-3 inches apart. Flatten one end of each finger for the fingernail. Use a butter knife to make knuckle lines on the rest of the finger.
Bake 20-25 minutes until the cookies are just barely golden. Remove and let cool.
Mix together the 1/4 cup powdered sugar and water to make the icing glue for the fingernails. Dip each sliced almond into the icing and then attach to the flattened front of the finger. Let icing glue dry for about 10-15 minutes.