Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lady, er, LADIES' Fingers

Halloween is in one week.

In honor of that fact, I give you the finger.

Well, fingerS.  Creepy lady fingers.

I've had these on my to-make list for a few years now.  They come from Martha....the Queen of Halloween.  I think I could happily spend a year making projects from Martha's Halloween issues and books.

I adapted the original recipe and technique just a bit based on the comments from Martha's website.  While the fingers did "fluff up" a bit, I still think you can tell they are fingers.  The original recipe is here.

Ladies' Fingers

red gel paste food coloring
30+ blanched, slivered (but not chopped) almonds
2 eggs
1/4 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), cold
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3 TBSP granulated sugar
pinch of coarse salt
1 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
Place the almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Mix together a couple of drops of food coloring with a couple of drops of water.  Using a small paintbrush, color one side of each almond. Set aside to dry.

"Painting" the fingernails is a great project for kids.

Use a toothpick to hold the almond in place or it will scoot across the cookie sheet.

{Please excuse all of the pictures of kiddo...I can't help myself.  I love pictures of those hands working.  Trust me...there are 14 more on my computer that you aren't seeing here.} 

Separate 1 egg. Place the white in one bowl and set aside.

In another small bowl, whisk together yolk, remaining egg, and vanilla. Set aside.

Cut the butter into chunks and combine with confectioners' sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined.

Add egg yolk mixture, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour in two additions;  mix on low speed just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

Divide the dough in half. Work with one piece at a time, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and chilled. Divide the first half into 15 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece back and forth into finger shapes, 3 to 4 inches long. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with a small knife.

Place the cookies on the cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Lightly beat the egg white with a fork.  Remove the cookies from the freezer and immediately brush lightly with egg white. Position almond nails; gently push into dough to attach.

Bake until lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Creepy Lady Fingers...MWAHAHAHAHA! <---that's my best sinister online laugh.

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