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Frightening Fingers

These cookies have become somewhat famous at the school our children attend. One year, I made more than 150 of these "fingers" for their classroom Halloween parties.—Natalie Hyde, Cambridge, Ontario
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    about 5 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Red decorating gel
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Divide dough into fourths. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
  • Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll into 1-in. balls. Shape balls into 3x1/2-in. fingers. Using the flat tip of a table knife, make an indentation on 1 end of each for fingernail. With a knife, make 3 slashes in the middle of each finger for knuckle.
  • Place 2 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° until lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes. Squeeze a small amount of red gel on nail bed; press a sliced almond over gel for nail, allowing gel to ooze around nail. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 62 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 73mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • A
    Nov 1, 2020

    Used parchment paper, refrigerated dough before rolling out (do this quickly but if you take too long put them in the freezer do a few minutes) and cooked for 10minutes at 350*. Used raspberry jam under the nails and on the ends. Unfortunately I can’t post a picture- they were perfect!

  • cynkuen
    Oct 26, 2016

    I have made witch finger cookies before and they were so cute. I couldn't remember where I found the recipe so when the Taste of Home recipe popped up when I searched I thought I couldn't go wrong. However, these spread out and did not retain the shape of a finger even after chilling the dough a couple of hours. I realize now that it was because of the baking powder. I went and looked at other versions and I think the one I had great success with did not have any leavening of any sort.

  • cooks46
    Oct 24, 2016

    These are delicious and kids, young & old get a kick out of eating them. I also had issues with them spreading during baking but found that if I form them into a roll and don't push too hard when making the creases, they stay finger shaped. I like to add 2 drops of blue and 2 of green food coloring for that "dead" look. I also pick the craggy almond slices since not many witches get manicures ;).

  • Cook_aholic
    Oct 29, 2015

    I made these as a joke for our ladie's coffee. Mine did spread too much but people got a kick out of them. They taste more like what I would call shortbread than sugar cookies but I sure didn't leave with anything on my cookie plate.

  • PhillyGirl64
    Oct 28, 2015

    These were easy and fun to make, but I have to agree, they aren't sweet enough. I did my fingers green and, with a toothpick, spread chocolate frosting on the knuckles and wrinkles then spread it so it didn't goop up. It looked neat and it added a little more flavor. I wish I could submit a photo.

  • Jennerick
    Oct 26, 2015

    Made a batch for my family and friends and they were a hit - everyone loved them!

  • Maddie671
    Oct 19, 2015

    Tried making these with my grandson and was totally disappointed. They came out of the oven looking more like mummies than fingers. They spread so much even after putting them in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking. Will not use this recipe again.

  • PenelopeWin
    Oct 18, 2015

    The dough was easy to work with. I used gluten free cup4cup flour. I made mine way too big and did not get the amount of cookies stated in the recipe. They tasted good but tasted better the next day and thereafter.. They seemed to get sweeter the older they got. They looked great! I will make them again. I did put red frosting with some red sprinkles on the other end to show a severed look and make them sweeter. They were a hit at school for my children. Several friends had requested a severed cookie for their lunch.

  • 4Huskers
    Oct 29, 2014

    I made these the other day and found they were pretty easy to make. Only problem I had, and it was my fault, they came out looking like thumbs. Ha ha. I will make them again and just shape them better, more like the picture here. They really are cute.

  • donron
    Oct 28, 2013

    If you break a cookie as I have done, just "glue" it back together with red icing. THe finger looks even scarier.