I've been eyeing Aisha's breakfast table for a while now... Breakfast, and tea are always so so beautiful in her home!! They really are!! And if you don't believe me... you've got to check her flickr images...
Anyway, here is something she made for her kids Halloween party... She successfully petrified a few kids.... (ha ha ha)... The moms and dads were super impressed.. And honestly, so am I!!
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2-4 drops of almond extract (optional, but I add it)
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 2/3 cups plain flour, sifted
For the Fingernails:
- About 20 blanched almonds, split in half
- Red food colouring
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
To make the fingernails:
- Simply put the split almond slices in a small bowl, add in the red food colouring, few drops at a time, and stir till they are all evenly coated and you have the desired shade of red. Set it aside.
To make the biscuits:
- Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white (for later) and whisk the yolk with the 2nd egg in another bowl, add in the vanilla and almond (if using) extracts and set aside.
- In another bowl, add butter, icing sugar, granulated sugar, and salt and beat on medium speed until well combined.
- Add in the egg mixture and beat until smooth, for about 2 minutes.
- Add the sifted flour and mix on low speed just until it is all incorporated (the dough will be very sticky)
- Wrap the dough in plastic and put it in the fridge to chill until firm for at least 1 hour. (I scrape the dough in a big ziplock bag, seal and into the fridge)
- Work with small portions at a time (I cut the dough in quarters and work with one quarter at a time, keep the remaining dough covered in plastic and chilled in the fridge.)
- Make about 12 balls from each portion.
- (I never had to flour my hands or the work surface but if you find your dough is still sticky to work with, which shouldn't be, then lightly dust your hands and surface with flour.)
- Roll each piece into finger shapes, about 3 inches long, pinch dough in two places to form knuckles and score each knuckle lightly (I make 3 lines on each knuckle) with a table knife.
- Transfer the fingers onto the baking tray and work with the rest of the dough.
- Make sure you leave a bit of space between the fingers since the biscuits do spread out a bit while baking.
- Also, if you want thinner witch's fingers, then shape them extra-thin. (I still haven't mastered the shaping part yet though.. mine look more like big, fat toes than fingers.)
- Add in the almond nails to the fingers by gently pushing it into the dough so they don't fall off.
- Lightly brush the fingers with the reserved egg white (whisk before brushing).
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. DO NOT OVER-BAKE.
- Remove from the oven and the carefully transfer the fingers onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.