Sunday, September 30, 2012

Witches’ Finger Cookies


These cookies won the prize at last year’s Halloween party at my company. Of course they did. They were hilarious and just a tad creepy. Honestly, I was a little grossed out while making them, even though I knew full well they were perfectly harmless. More than that, they were actually quite tasty: matcha shortbread. Not too sweet. What’s not to like? I still found it hard to nibble on a crooked finger.

But nibble people did. They are actually quite nice – very nicely flavored with the green tea powder and not too sweet. If you’re a sugar junkie (we aren’t chez Monkeyshines), you might even want to sweeten them up a bit. The recipe is from a much more adult (in the grown up way, not the x-rated way) interpretation from Lovescool’s blog.

Green Tea Cookies

Yield:  Approx 15 fingers

3/4 cup (2.25 oz) Confectioners sugar
5 oz Unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 3/4 cup (8.5 oz) All-purpose flour
3 Large egg yolks
1.5 TBS Matcha (powdered green tea)
10-20 blanched almonds – optionally sliced in half across the width so that they are thinner
1 cup Granulated sugar (for coating)


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and green tea together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add the butter and green tea/sugar mixture to the sugar in the bowl. Mix until smooth and light in color.
  • Add the flour and mix until well combined.
  • Add the egg yolks and mix just until the eggs are fully incorporated and a mass forms.
  • Form the dough into a disk and chill in the refrigerator until firm (about 30 minutes).
  • Cut the dough with bench cutter into roughly 1 1/2” chunks (they don’t have to be perfectly even, as you want your fingers to vary in size).
  • Roll each chunk out into a rope that tapers smoothly on one end. Pinch the dough to make knuckle shapes. I lightly cut each knuckle with the dough cutter to put in the creases that fingers have. I also lifted some of the fingers at the knuckles just a bit so that they’d curve.

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  • Press an almond half into the end of the dough to form a ‘fingernail’. B esure to press firmly, otherwise they’ll fall out. (If this happens, you can glue them back on with a touch of icing.)
  • Gently roll each cookie in a bowl of granulated sugar to coat.
  • Place the sugar-coated cookie on a parchment lined pan. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges.
  • Cool on a wire rack

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Happy Haunting!

Baker’s Note: You can purchase Matcha (powdered green tea) from Asian grocery stores or specialty tea shops. In San Francisco, you’ll find it at May Wah grocery, among other places.  Store the cookies in a tin or other container that blocks out sunlight to preserve the color. The green color will fade when exposed to sunlight.

1 comment:

  1. Ha, they look brilliant! The almond nails are so gross, but the cookies (nails included) sound delicious.