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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Witches' Fingers

I almost couldn't find the paper this recipe was written on, leading to a moment of panic as I realized I hadn't yet posted it here, and I really, really wanted to make them.
Witches' Fingers
courtesy of Arta Johnson

1 C butter, softened
1 C powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 t almond extract
1 t vanilla
green food coloring
2 3/4 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 C whole blanched almonds
1 tube red decorator gel

Cream butter and sugar, then add egg, extracts, and food coloring, scraping bowl so color distributes evenly. Stir in dry ingredients until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate (not too long--the dough breaks apart during shaping if it's too cold).

Roll a small ball (heaping teaspoon) into a snake about three inches long and no more than half-inch in diameter. Bend to oblique angle as shown, pushing dough a little toward bend, so the knuckle is slightly fatter. Press almond into one end for fingernail, then use paring knife to slash wrinkles at the knuckles.

Bake on parchment paper 20-25 minutes (uninsulated v insulated baking sheets) at 325. Let cool on trays 3 minutes, then carefully lift almond, squeeze a dab of decorator gel underneath, and press back in place so the gel just squeezes out around the edges. Remove from sheets and let cool completely on racks.

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