Monday, October 31, 2011

Witches Fingers

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
250g butter
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?


  1. Marcy sono bellissime!!!! Devo assolutamente provare a farle!

  2. Marcellina ma che belle le tue dita!!!!!!!!! Complimenti cara e buon Halloween!

  3. I love playing with witches fingers - your are especially spooky. Wonderfully spooky! And ghoulishly delicious!

  4. Sorry that first batch didn't turn out, but the others look great- and particularly the last ones with the almond nail s- almost look like real old lady fingers. happy halloween.

  5. Happy Halloween! What a shame about the first batch but your other ones look great!

  6. There is nothing more disappointing than a recipe that does not turn out.

  7. There is nothing more disappointing than a recipe that does not turn out.

  8. What a fantastic and festive treat! Totally love it! :))
    I hope you had a wonderful holiday!


  9. These are really wonderful for the holiday. I'd love to make these for my grandchildren who I know would enjoy them. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Blessings...Mary

  10. The witches fingers look amazing! So life like - they'd scare me!

  11. Very cool! I love both kinds of fingers :) Sorry to hear the "bones" didn't work out though, the method is really intriguing.

    I think the whole "trick or treating" thing really depends on the suburb. My suburb is mostly apartment blocks so no trick or treaters (much to my children's dismay). But the suburbs around us are mostly houses, and every year I see more and more dressed-up kids going house to house. And people are getting right into it, decorating their houses and carving jack-o-lanterns. All a bit of fun I reckon.

  12. Halloween is not celebrated in my country so I always enjoy watching themed recipes on my favourite food blogs during that time :) And you're no exception! I love your cute fingers maybe even more than the scary fingers (which are perfect, too!). Happy Halloween sounds great and funny :D


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