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Frightening Fingers Recipe

Frightening Fingers Recipe

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. YIELD: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


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Frightening Fingers

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cynkuen User ID: 2647241 255971
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2016

"I have made witch finger cookies before and they were so cute. I couldn't remember where I found the recipe so when the Taste of Home recipe popped up when I searched I thought I couldn't go wrong. However, these spread out and did not retain the shape of a finger even after chilling the dough a couple of hours. I realize now that it was because of the baking powder. I went and looked at other versions and I think the one I had great success with did not have any leavening of any sort."

cooks46 User ID: 621605 255876
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2016

"These are delicious and kids, young & old get a kick out of eating them. I also had issues with them spreading during baking but found that if I form them into a roll and don't push too hard when making the creases, they stay finger shaped. I like to add 2 drops of blue and 2 of green food coloring for that "dead" look. I also pick the craggy almond slices since not many witches get manicures ;)."

Cook_aholic User ID: 797539 235886
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."

PhillyGirl64 User ID: 8582731 235779
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."

Jennerick User ID: 6487252 235696
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2015

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

Maddie671 User ID: 7006298 235231
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."

PenelopeWin User ID: 5924001 235151
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."

4Huskers User ID: 5191012 90451
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."

donron User ID: 1207340 83016
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."

ericafm User ID: 5601302 39649
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2013

"Do these cookies spread at all?"

brandyhannah User ID: 6352126 204630
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?!)"

maamapat User ID: 4953690 33338
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."

christmasbaby User ID: 1156384 101951
Reviewed Sep. 4, 2012

"I've made these several times. They are always a huge hit. Kids and adults love them. Thanks for a great recipe. I follow it as is and it's great."

kat83 User ID: 2934264 101860
Reviewed Nov. 2, 2011

"id make it again for its appearance, very gruesome and great for halloween, but would be better w some frosting of some sort, the cookies are rather dry."

MaryIda User ID: 357747 34137
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2011

"These are awesome! Was asked to bring "finger" food to a Halloween party. They were a hit!!"

ashleyvictoria19 User ID: 3524124 130032
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2010

"One of my favorites. easy to make and everyone loves them! The perfect degree of creepiness for Halloween. I just wish I could make them all year long! However, although they look great, I'm not that fond of the flavor personally."

Kathilee5 User ID: 4269313 204629
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2010

"This is one of my MOST requested recipes!

♥ it!"

beckihomecki User ID: 1537566 52141
Reviewed Sep. 20, 2010

"These cookies are great for all kids, young and old. I made a batch of these when I was working with my church youth group, and the teens just loved them. They didn't think they were eatible at first! So I ate one and showed them they were really cookies. Some of the girls still wouldn't try one. They look so fun!"

cruisen User ID: 4548004 34043
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2009

"I first made these for my book group's review of "Devil in the White City" They have been a favorite of my daughters for Halloween ever since. They are almost too real for some. (Husband and son). Giant Gold Star for the person who developed the "creep-tacutlar" idea!"

monafreeman User ID: 445154 83014
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2009

"These turned out great! They are not as sweet as some sugar cookies."

kel dehnert User ID: 4315865 90450
Reviewed Oct. 16, 2009

"Love this recipe! easy to make and everyone raves about them. I tint the dough green for witches fingers."

mumser User ID: 3471408 41384
Reviewed Sep. 11, 2009

"I make these cookies for our church coffee hour between services on Sunday. Although a mostly adult group, everyone goes crazy over them and they taste great too!"

Patti924 User ID: 3864883 204628
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2009

"I found this recipe years ago and have been making them every Halloween since. They are just too cute and the cookie recipe is very good. Love the almond flavor. Definitely a 5 star recipe and very easy to make!

Patti Stagner
Ardmore, TN"

Gramma Cariol User ID: 3926760 82494
Reviewed Jun. 5, 2009

"I was looking through your recipes and came across this one.I too have been making these for years and they are always a big hit at Halloween parties. They are always requested by friends. The grandchildren love them. I give them a 5 star rating."

MsLucy User ID: 202068 34029
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2008

"I have made these cookies several years. When my granddaughter was in 3rd grade I took a batch to her Halloween party at school. The boys loved them. Halloween is a favorite holiday for me. It is so fun to make something spooky. Maybe I am strange, but at 70 years old I will probably still celebrate. I am thinking of making these with the grandkids when I "baby"sit tomorrow with them. They are now 7, 8, and 10. What a fun recipe."

Cocoflower User ID: 2634065 57740
Reviewed Oct. 18, 2008

"I made these last year and they were a hit at the office, and with my friends, both for looks and taste. I had to make another batch.


w.pender62 User ID: 2830636 34027
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2008

"These cookies are awesome! I started making them for Halloween many years back when this recipe first appeared in TOH and they've been a HIT ever since! easy, delicious, fun, and like a ghost, they disappear fast!"

Tipster User ID: 242875 39646
Reviewed Feb. 1, 2008

"What a cute idea, these would be great at Halloween."

jtheoharous User ID: 1580321 75268
Reviewed Feb. 1, 2008

"Try standing these fingers up in a see-through bowl with raspberry cake drizzle in the bottom and up the sides of the bowl for a "bloody" effect. The raspberry compliments these cookies wonderfully! These were a great hit with both kids & adults at our Halloween driveway party!!!"

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