I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by! Here we are at the end of August, quickly approaching the holiday season (which I love). There’s something about the holidays that really put me in a great mood. I think that part of it is the spirit of it all. You know, decorating, crafting and all around good family fun.
One of my favorite things to do with the kiddos, is baking. We like to try out new and exciting recipes. Not only does this allow us to spend some quality time together, but it teach them how to work together. Obviously, their favorite part is eating the goodies that they make.
Since Halloween is “creeping” in, we thought we’d share one of our favorite spooky recipes with you. These ghoulish (and affordable to make) cookies are called “Ladies Fingers”. The photo included in this post, is a photo of the ones we made last Halloween (and devoured within an hour lol). You can see the larger version at the bottom of this post.
While i’d love to take credit for this recipe, credit goes to Martha Stewart. I just love her creativity! One thing to note though. Instead of doing what her recipe says and dying the nails (the almonds) with red food coloring, we kept them as is and instead, put strawberry preserves underneath. It gave the effect of bloody fingers.
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 30 blanched almonds
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats (French nonstick baking mats) or parchment paper, and set aside.
2. Place food coloring in a shallow bowl. Using a small paintbrush, color one rounded half of each almond. Set aside to dry.
3. Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk, remaining egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add egg mixture, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Divide the dough in half. Work with one piece at a time, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and chilled. Divide the first half into 15 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece back and forth with palms into finger shapes, 3 to 4 inches long. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with the back of a small knife. Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
6. When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white. Position almond nails; push into dough to attach.
7. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.