Fingers, Three Ways
If you're squeamish, you may want to look away from these "finger food" recipes!
Years ago, I bought the cookbook “Ghoulish Goodies” by Sharon Bowers purely because of its amazingly creepy-but-cute illustrations.
Sadly, I’ve never tried many of the recipes, so this year I decided to remedy that by making three ghoulish “finger foods” because 1) They sounded simple and 2) You gotta have a theme!
Joss “helped” in the kitchen as he always does, and once again, I can only say that these recipes would be fun to try with older children. Two-year-olds just can’t make choux pastry, and a bag of M&Ms is more likely to go in the mouth than on the cookie. Ah, well.
- 1 c. water
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1 c. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 4 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
- Dried rosemary leaves
- 9 pepperoni pieces, quartered (I used small pepperonis so some of my nails are different shapes. But it would be easier to just quarter large ones.)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Put butter and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in flour, salt, cumin and chili powder. Return to heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove from heat and stir 1-2 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, incorporating each egg well. Stir in mustard and cheese.
- Place the dough in a ziplock or pastry bag and cut a 1/2″ hole in one corner (or the tip, if using pastry bag). Pipe batter onto baking sheets in 3″ strips. Brush with egg yolk mixture, then place a pepperoni quarter on to each tip (this is the fingernail). Make knuckles by placing two rosemary leaves midway down the “finger.”
- Bake 15-18 minutes, until fingers are golden brown. Serve hot or warm. Store in a sealed bag in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
*Notes: Don’t forget the egg wash! I’m used to eliminating egg washes from recipes because, if it’s just for eating at home, it seems like a waste of an egg. But the egg wash here helps the pepperoni and rosemary stick. Also, placing rosemary leaves is tedious–so feel free to outsource this part to a child *wink*
- Cocktail wieners (I used Eckrich Li’l Smokies Cheddar Cocktail Smoked Sausage)
- Large flour tortillas
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by lining it with parchment.
- Cut a “nail bed” into the sausages by making a 45-degree-angled cut on the top of one end of the sausage. (I experimented without doing this–it probably works either way)
- Cut tortillas into 1/2″ strips.
- Wrap tortilla strips around the sausages, cutting off any excess so that the end of the “bandage” is held down by the sausage. Place sausages on baking sheet.
- Add a small dollop of ketchup to the “nail bed,” giving them that nice, bloody look. (Yuck!)
- Bake for 10 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice (we used Dijon mustard–delicious!)
Swamp Creature Claws
*Note: in “Ghoulish Goodies,” these are called Swamp Creature Toes–but since they’re so thin, I’m convinced they’re fingers.
- 1/2 c. whole, skinless, salted almonds (I bought almonds with the skin on–as you can see in the picture, this makes it harder for the green food coloring to cover the almond fully.)
- liquid green food coloring (bright green is preferable, for that “atomic swamp” look)
- 1 12oz. bag semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
- About 12 8″ pretzel rods
- Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment or wax paper.
- Mix almonds in about 10 drops of food coloring in a bowl/container (not plastic, as it could stain).
- Melt chocolate chips, either in a microwave or in a double boiler on the stove. (Or, if you’re like me, in a makeshift double boiler consisting of a glass bowl resting on top of a saucepan.)
- Break pretzel rods into three pieces. Dip each piece into the melted chocolate, leaving about one inch of pretzel visible at the broken end.
- Lay dipped pretzels on baking sheet, and place green almond “nails” into the chocolate. When finshed, put your swamp creature claws in refrigerator or freezer to harden.
Before we get to the bonus “Toes” recipe, here is Joss trying to convince me to make bat or spider cookies. Sorry, kid–we’re baking toes toe-night.
Guess which one of these I had help with!
- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 1/2 c. peanut butter, crunch or smooth
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/8 c. all-purpose flour (I might consider adding a tad more next time, as the dough was pretty sticky)
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Peanut M&Ms (about half of an 11 oz. bag)
- Extra sugar, for rolling cookies in
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars until fluffly. Beat in egg; add vanilla.
- Mix in flour, baking powder and salt.
- Grab chunks of dough and roll into ovals about 1 1/2″ long. Roll these in sugar (I recommend putting some in a flat-bottomed bowl). Place on baking sheets. When baking sheet is full, add an M&M “toenail” to one end and use a fork to add “knuckles” midway down the cookie. (If you have a two- or three-pronged fork, that would probably look better than the four prongs I used.)
- Bake 8-10 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on wire racks and store in airtight container up to a week.