Frightening Fingers Recipe
Frightening Fingers Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Frightening Fingers Recipe

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These cookies have become somewhat famous at the school our children attend. One year, I made more than 150 of these "fingers" for their classroom Halloween parties.—Natalie Hyde, Cambridge, Ontario
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min.
MAKES:30 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min.
MAKES: 30 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Red decorating gel
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Nutritional Facts

123 calories: 2 each, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 156mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0g fiber), 2g protein .


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Divide dough into fourths. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
  2. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into 1-in. balls. Shape balls into 3-in. x 1/2-in. fingers. Using the flat tip of a table knife, make an indentation on one end of each for fingernail. With a knife, make three slashes in the middle of each finger for knuckle.
  3. Place 2 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 3 minutes. Squeeze a small amount of red gel on nail bed; press a sliced almond over gel for nail, allowing gel to ooze around nail. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 5 dozen cookies.
Originally published as Frightening Fingers in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001, p234

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Reviewed Oct. 29, 2015

"I made these as a joke for our ladie's coffee. Mine did spread too much but people got a kick out of them. They taste more like what I would call shortbread than sugar cookies but I sure didn't leave with anything on my cookie plate."

Reviewed Oct. 28, 2015

"These were easy and fun to make, but I have to agree, they aren't sweet enough. I did my fingers green and, with a toothpick, spread chocolate frosting on the knuckles and wrinkles then spread it so it didn't goop up. It looked neat and it added a little more flavor. I wish I could submit a photo."

Reviewed Oct. 26, 2015

"Made a batch for my family and friends and they were a hit - everyone loved them!"

Reviewed Oct. 19, 2015

"Tried making these with my grandson and was totally disappointed. They came out of the oven looking more like mummies than fingers. They spread so much even after putting them in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking. Will not use this recipe again."

Reviewed Oct. 18, 2015 Edited Oct. 26, 2015

"The dough was easy to work with. I used gluten free cup4cup flour. I made mine way too big and did not get the amount of cookies stated in the recipe. They tasted good but tasted better the next day and thereafter.. They seemed to get sweeter the older they got. They looked great! I will make them again. I did put red frosting with some red sprinkles on the other end to show a severed look and make them sweeter. They were a hit at school for my children. Several friends had requested a severed cookie for their lunch."

Reviewed Oct. 29, 2014

"I made these the other day and found they were pretty easy to make. Only problem I had, and it was my fault, they came out looking like thumbs. Ha ha. I will make them again and just shape them better, more like the picture here. They really are cute."

Reviewed Oct. 28, 2013

"If you break a cookie as I have done, just "glue" it back together with red icing. THe finger looks even scarier."

Reviewed Oct. 21, 2013

"Do these cookies spread at all?"

Reviewed Oct. 14, 2013

"I, too have made these several times. They are truly a labor of love but well worth it. After they have come out of the oven, I dusted a little bit of cocoa powder on the knuckles which emphasizes the knuckles and kind of makes them look like they're dirty from digging (up from the grave?!)"

Reviewed Oct. 9, 2012

"This is such a fun recipe but after I made the Fingers, I took a little cocoa powder and brushed it in the slashes to make it a little more creepy."

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