Halloween cookies are a must-make treat for any mother this October, and the Stepmother Fingers Halloween Cookies recipe is a perfect, simple, and spooky way to celebrate this awesome holiday with your friends and family. I first came across this recipe when I was looking for a unique halloween cookie that didn’t involve store bought dough or plastic googlie eyes (as much as I love those things!).
The cookie crust for these fingers is absolutely perfect. It allows you to really get those gnarly details in without breaking the dough. That said, I have to admit that shaping the fingers is pretty much the most time- and labor-intensive step. The dough can be a bit fragile and sandy at times, but trust me, with a bit of elbow grease (and Stepmother’s blood!), you’ll have the perfect set of creepy halloween cookies.
Stepmother’s Blood (Cranberry-Merlot Coulis)
- 3 cups of red wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 pods of cardamom, crushed
- 5 clover (you can buy whole dried clover in your store’s spice section)
- Optional: 2 whole star anise
- 2-4 pods of black pepper
- Pinch of fennel seeds (approximately 10-15)
- 1 cup of sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
- 1 bag (12 oz) of fresh cranberries
- Baking parchment paper
- 3 cups. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 large eggs (or 3 small eggs), room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- egg white from 1 large egg (for brushing on top of fingers)
- sliced almonds (for spooky nails)
- Preheat oven 350F
- In a bowl, with mixer on medium, mix butter and peanut butter until thoroughly combined. With mixer on low, add eggs, extracts and sugar until completely blended.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine the two bowls.
- Chill dough for at least 30 min.
- Heat up the wine and the spices in a saucepan. Let it bubble on medium low heat for approximately 10 minutes. Strain the wine, discard the loose bits and spices and return the hot wine into the saucepan.
- Put the cranberries into the infused wine (make sure that cranberries are clean, and there are no stems or dirt, of course) and set the heat to medium or lower. You’re looking to heat them until they all burst, helping along with your spatula against the sides of the pan and stirring regularly. Your cranberries should start to separate from their skins after about 7 minutes (if you feel it’s happening to slowly, turn up the heat, as long as you’re not getting splattered with hot cranberries).
- Continue to pop cranberries and stirring until the mixture is homogeneous (about 10 minutes). Taste and add sugar as needed.
- When you’re happy with the taste, and the texture and consistency is like a thick/brothy soup, take your cranberries off the flame and strain them through a fine sieve. You want to keep all the cranberry skins for later. So don’t throw them out. They make beautiful, realistic flesh!
- Set you Cranberry-Merlot Coulis and “flesh” to chill in the fridge until you’re ready to dress your beautiful halloween cookies.
- Take your cookie dough out of the fridge and begin shaping your “fingers.” For each finger, with floured hands, roll 1 tablespoon slightly rounded dough into a 4 1/2- to 5-inch rope; transfer to prepared cookie sheet (if rope breaks, just squeeze back together). Continue making ropes to fill sheet, spacing fingers 1 1/2 inches apart. Use the back of a small knife to make knuckle marks on fingers. Brush fingers with egg white and press an almond “nail” in place.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and cracked in places. Cool on sheet 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- And now the fun part, arrange your fingers in a way that you will serve them. Add “flesh” (cranberry skins) to the bottom of each finger and drip blood where your imagination tells you. Drop a few pieces of flesh around the fingers and a few random “blood” splashes. Enjoy!
Check out our other posts on Holiday recipes – happy cooking & baking!