Chef Susan Odell: I am Chef Susan Odell of Foodell.
com. I am a professional teaching chef and a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. Halloween is almost here and we are going to make something super spooky in honor of the event. Sweet Severed Finger Cookies. Kids love them because they look really spooky and adults love them because they taste delicious. The ingredient that makes these cookies really good are these almonds. I am using sliced almonds about 3 cups worth.
Then I process these in the food processor, but before I do that, I need to pull out almonds that look like fingernails. We're going to make about 60 cookies, so I need about 60 fingernails. We want to pulverize our almonds until they're finally ground. I just use a food processor to do that. I use the pulse feature and just keep pulsing away until they are finely, finely and chopped. Once your almonds are finely ground, just set them aside, these are going to be added to the cookie dough right at the very end before they go in the oven.
Let's mix up our cookie batter. This is cream cheese; we've got 4 ounces of cream cheese. I've got unsalted butter another 4 ounces that's one stick worth. And this is confectioner sugar or powdered sugar, 3/4 of a cup goes in with the butter and the cream cheese, and I've got a teaspoon of vanilla extract, but if you like you can use almond extract instead. Then I've got just a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. We're going to cream all of these ingredients together until they're light and fluffy, which is going to take about 3 to 5 minutes.
Our batter is light and fluffy, and I know that, because it doesn't have any lumps and it looks almost like whipped cream. I'm going to now add my flour. I've got a cup and a half of all-purpose flour. I'm going to put the mixer on low speed and add it slowly, about a third of the flour at one time. Once your flour is fully incorporated just add your almonds and stir, just until those get absorbed by the rest of the batter. Once all of your ingredients are incorporated, your batter is going to be very, very firm.
Perfect for making nice little fingers. To actually form the fingers, you want to take some dough in your hand and roll it into a log shape. Use a sharp knife to cut off the one end straight. That's going to be my severed end, then use your thumb on the other end to make a nice indentation where your fingernail is going to be placed. Just take one of your reserved almonds and place it right in the indentation to make a beautiful fingernail.
Use your knife to make some little horizontal lines and that's going to be your knuckle. The final touch for making these fingers really spooky is putting them in a little bit of a red sugar, so that you can see the blood pouring out. So you lineup your severed fingers on a parchment lined cookie sheet and you want to bake them in a 325 oven for about 18 minutes, just until they're nicely browned. Your severed fingers are done when they're lightly brown on top and they're starting to crisp up nicely.
Just cool them on a wire rack and then they're ready to eat. It's really spooky how these cookies come out. They are truly ghoulish and scary looking. But what's really scary is how would they taste. Bon Apptit my pretty!