Witches’ finger cookies served with red velvet hot chocolate ‘blood’ make a spooktacular treat for Halloween!
This is my last Halloween post (for this year), I promise! These witches’ finger cookies are fun to make and very creepy looking, especially if you serve them with red velvet hot chocolate ‘blood’ for dipping them in!
There are a lot of recipes out there for varying kinds of Halloween finger cookies so I figured that I should probably give them a try to see what all the fuss is about. They are made from a delicious buttery shortbread dough which is moulded into a knobbly finger shape, the fingernails are halved blanched almonds, and a little red gel food colouring ‘blood’ and cinnamon ‘dirt’ complete the effect.
I served them with a thick red velvet hot chocolate for dipping them in. When I searched for red velvet hot chocolate recipes, I found that most of them were just regular hot chocolate with added food colouring; which doesn’t really reflect the taste of red velvet cake at all. Red velvet is vanilla with a hint of chocolate and a tangy flavour from the buttermilk. I thought that adding buttermilk to the hot chocolate might cause it to curdle, so I used a little cream cheese instead to add that classic hint of tanginess; it tastes very much like red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting!
The recipe I have given makes a thick hot chocolate which is perfect for dipping your witches fingers in! If you prefer your hot chocolate to be thinner then you can just omit the cornflour. I’ve given the quantities to make one mug of hot chocolate so you will need to multiply the recipe by the number of people you are serving.
The witches’ finger cookies are pretty easy to make, but it does take a while to shape them all and they need to be frozen before they are baked so that they don’t spread too much in the oven. You can make the dough and shape them in advance and then keep them in the freezer until you are ready to bake them if you like. Once the cookies are baked and decorated they will keep in an airtight container for at least couple of days so you don’t need to leave it until the last minute to make them.
Witches' Finger Cookies And Red Velvet Hot Chocolate
Witches' Finger Cookies
- 225 g (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
- 145 g (1 cup) icing (powdered) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 360 g (3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 110 g (3/4 cup) blanched almonds halved
- ground cinnamon
- red gel food colouring
- a little melted chocolate if needed
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate (per 1 cup):
- 2 Tbsp cream cheese (regular or low fat is fine)
- 240 ml (1 cup) milk
- 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 40 g (1.5 oz) dark chocolate chopped
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- red gel food colouring
Witches' Finger Cookies
To make the witch finger cookies: Place the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until just combined. Add the egg and vanilla and almond extracts and whisk again to mix.
Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and add to the bowl; fold it in until it forms a dough. Cover and place in the fridge for half an hour.
Line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment. Working with ¼ of the dough at a time, leaving the rest in the fridge, measure out ½ Tbsp quantities of dough (don't use more than this or your cookies will end up way too big). Roll each into a ball then roll out into a log shape.
Press a blanched almond into one end to form a fingernail, then lightly flour your hands and use them to shape it into a knobbly finger shape. The cookies will spread a little in the oven so you need to make sure that you make them quite thin – thinner than you want the cookies to end up. Use the back of a knife to make indentations in the knuckles to make them look more like fingers.
Place the shaped cookies well spaced apart on the prepared baking sheets then place them in the freezer for at least 20 minutes, until frozen solid (this helps stop them spreading in the oven).
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until pale golden. You will need to bake them in batches, keep the rest of the cookies in the freezer.
Leave the cookies to cool on the tray. When you are ready to decorate, use a little melted chocolate to stick on any fingernails that have come loose. Rub a little bit of ground cinnamon into the creases in the joints to make them look dirty.
Use a fine, food-only paintbrush to paint some red gel food colouring around the edge of the nails and on the 'stumps'. If you find that the colouring is too thick to paint or too dark in colour then you can thin it with a drop of vodka or water. Once the food colouring has dried, store the cookies in an airtight container.
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate:
To make the hot chocolate, stir together the cornflour and a drop of the milk to form a slurry. Place the cream cheese in a saucepan and whisk in the cornflour slurry until smooth. Gradually whisk in the rest of the milk. Add the chocolate, vanilla extract, sugar and salt to the pan and place over a medium heat.
Cook, stirring regularly, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in some red gel food colouring, a little at a time, until you reach the desired shade.
Recipe adapted from: https://www.recipegirl.com/2008/08/11/witch-finger-cookies/
I originally made these witches’ finger cookies for DIYs, check them out for some awesome craft and recipe ideas.
For more Halloween recipe ideas check out my monochrome cake, haunted pavlova, meringue bone palace cake, Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin pies, elegantly gothic cake, black cat doughnuts and mini bleeding heart cakes.