I usually pride myself on whipping up appetizing concoctions in the kitchen. But this time, we’re trying out something different. Something really gnarly.
Not to say that these Halloween cookies are not delicious. How can you ever go wrong with a shortbread cookie? But they definitely have a serious gross-out quotient, nothing like our cute little spider cookies of Halloweens past. You should try, like I did, eating one while listening to a spooky podcast that mentions a flesh-eating bacteria. Ew. But also…yum!
I made a few adaptions to a recipe I found on pinterest and thought I’d include my revisions here. I especially like my strawberry jam blood. Darker and creepier, and the seeds look like little clots of blood. Grody!
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup whole or halved blanched almonds (I used Trader Joe’s Rosemary Marcona Almonds — the perfect size and color)
½ cup strawberry jam
In a bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment beat together butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add dry mixture to wet and mix until combined. Roll into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325°. Warm the strawberry jam in the microwave (covered) for about 20 seconds. Roll heaping teaspoonfuls of the dough into a finger shape. Squeeze in the center to make a knuckle. Dip the edge of an almond into the strawberry jam, then press almond firmly into one end of the cookie. With a sharp knife make lines on the knuckle and just under the almond. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 min. or until pale golden.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, then move to cookie racks to cool completely.
Makes about 40 gnarled fingers.