It is only just starting to take on here in Australia however it is not something I have fully embraced. Moreover it is an event fuelled by clever marketing.
My family has never "tricked or treated" - certainly a 9 kilometre walk into the countryside to our home would put off most trick or treaters. Our country is spread far and wide and the idea of dressing up and walking door to door would not always work.
However on 2nd November my family does recognise All Souls Day - a time for remembering and praying for our dearly departed.
And it is with this in mind that I found a recipe in one of my cookbooks for Ossi dei Morti - Bones of the Dead. A traditional biscuit or cookie from Basilicata in the south of Italy. I was curious to try it out. It went something like this -
Mix 600g flour with 5 eggs, anise liqueur, oil, lard and a bit of sugar. Form into shapes and boil in water until they float. Drain then bake for 20 minutes.
I know, I know, the warning bells should have gone off. What would this recipe create?
Well, here is your answer. We have all tried to like them. I even sprinkled them with icing sugar (I mean, isn't everything better with a sprinkle of icing sugar?). Nup. Not these.
Ok, so after a disappointment you just have to climb back onto the horse ( or go back to the kitchen, as in this case).
So, with the latest Better Homes and Gardens magazine in hand and Halloween on my doorstep, I decided to give in to marketing pressure.
Oh, what fun I had!
These are the "cute" Witches Fingers. They are pretty aren't they?
The recipe is a simple shortbread:-
350g all purpose flour
100g icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Whizz in a food processor until it all comes together. Then form into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.
I let it soften a bit before I could form my shapes.
Better Homes and Gardens shows us the cute Witches Fingers which are made simple by rolling out the dough and cutting finger shapes. I used a little egg white to ensure the Smartie stuck to the dough.
Bake for 12- 15 minutes.
BUT..... I got bored making pretty shapes and remembered some Witches Fingers I had seen somewhere which involved rolling dough and using half an almond for a fingernail. I loved the result.
I'm not sure where I saw this but I thank whoever thought of such clever decoration. (If I knew where I saw it, I would make the link). I used the shortbread dough but I'm sure any plain cookie dough could be used. A dusting of cocoa completed the wicked look!
I love these fingers! What fun!
No wonder you fabulous bloggers are busy baking up crazy Halloween treats!
Happy Halloween... is that what one says?