This recipe is from Martha Stewart, so not only do they look cool but they taste good--not too dry or hard. Soft inside, but they aren't too fragile.
30 blanched almonds
2 large eggs
1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup butter, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup confectioners' sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
1 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons red food coloring
- Heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with Silpats (French nonstick baking mats) or parchment paper, and set aside.
- Place food coloring in a shallow bowl. crack each whole almond into halves. and toss them into the bowl with the food coloring and stir them until the color is evenly distributed. leave them in the bowl and stir them every so often until the color is as dark as you like.
- Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk, remaining egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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 fifteen 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.
- When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white. Position almond nails; push into dough to attach.
- Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
- note: To make the knuckles more creepy just shape them big and uneven. To keep them from puffing out too much roll the fingers extra skinny (skinnier than you want them to look if that makes sense). I also try to get them out of the oven before they brown. I sometimes add a bit of almond extract to dough.
Have fun. 'Happy Halloween'.