Severed Monster Finger Cookies are creepy yet scary enough to display for your Halloween party! A buttery shortbread dough, red jam, and simple shaping make for a bloody, scary, and delicious Halloween cookie treat. Have the kiddos help shape and decorate them!
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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the decorating and baking in preparation for the costumed kids visiting or Trick-Or-Treating. So, I had to share another Halloween recipe. This recipe (and photos) came about a few years ago when we spent the holiday with family, and I wanted to make cookies that were easy for little hands and looked spooky. This one was too much fun not to share – and was a big hit with everyone.
There was a bit of trial and error in the recipe. On my first attempt, the cookies spread too much, and I lost the shape of the finger. Removing the baking powder helped with this.
On my second attempt, the cookies held their shape, but the flavor was lacking. Adding almond flavor, in addition to the vanilla, did the trick. The final cookie held its shape and had a delicious flavor.
Making these holiday cookies will take you back to your childhood when you adored Play-Doh. Rolling and shaping the fingers is a throwback to that simple pleasure. Take the time to have fun molding each cookie into a gnarled, scary finger.
- Salted butter – if you use unsalted (sweet) butter, add another ⅛ teaspoon of salt to the recipe. Be sure to bring it to room temperature before beginning the recipe.
- Powdered sugar – sifting it beforehand prevents little lumps in your dough. Besides, your kids will love sifting it into a big bowl.
- Eggs – room temperature
- Almond extract
- Vanilla extract
- Sliced almonds – you could also use whole almonds, but biting down on a whole, toasted almond may be difficult for children and some older folks.
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Black or gray food coloring – I like using gel because it doesn’t change the texture of the dough. You could also use green instead of black or gray.
- Red jam – I used strawberry, but raspberry, cherry, or any red jam works. Use your favorite.
- Red food coloring to make the ‘blood’ color pop.
Steps To Make This Recipe
- Cream the butter and powdered sugar together.
- Mix in the egg, flavorings, and black food coloring.
- Add the flour and salt.
- Chill the dough.
- Stir the red food coloring into the jam.
- Microwave the jam to liquify it.
- Shape the dough into fingers.
- Dip an almond into the melted jam and press into the fingertip.
- Dip the end of the cookie into the jam.
- Bake until the cookies are firm and the bottoms are golden.
Tips For Making Severed Monster Finger Cookies
- Use real butter and not margarine. Real butter adds a ton of flavor and texture to this cookie.
- If you don’t have gel food coloring, use a drop of red, blue, and green liquid food coloring in a small dish. Mix and use a toothpick to add a drop to the dough. Keep adding the color until you reach your desired shade.
- Adding food coloring to the strawberry jam will bring more of a bright ‘blood’ color that will enhance the creepiness.
- Be sure to dip the almond ‘fingernail’ and the end of the finger into the red jam BEFORE baking. This will help the jam thicken and adhere to the cookie, making it look like blood.
- Don’t overbake the cookies. The tops should feel firm to the touch but have not browned on top. The bottoms should have a very pale brown tint.
- Allow the jam to set before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I leave out the food coloring? Yes. Omitting the food coloring will give you a pale, cookie-colored finger. You can dust the ‘knuckles’ with cocoa powder to create a ‘dirty’ effect. You can lightly rub melted chocolate coating on the knuckles for a similar ‘dirty’ effect.
- Can I make the dough in advance? Yes, the dough can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. You can also shape the fingers in advance and place them on the prepared pan. Wrap the pan with the cookies in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Be sure to bring the pre-made fingers to room temperature before baking.
- Can I use something else besides almonds to make the fingernails? Yes, you can use a sliced macadamia nut half or sliced Brazil nut. You could also shape a white coating disk into a fingernail shape and push it into the hot cookie. Finally, use melted white coating icing to paint a fingernail onto the cookie after baking.
- How do I store leftover cookies? Place the cookies into an airtight container and store them at room temperature for 4-5 days. Place the container into the refrigerator and store for 6-7 days. Alternatively, wrap the cookies in plastic and place them in a zip-top freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If You Liked This Halloween Cookie Recipe, Here Are A few More To Try:Print
A new holiday cookie classic! Your kids will love making these easy, Shortbread Severed Monster Finger Cookies. They are buttery, creepy, scary, gory, and very delicious.
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ⅔ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup red jam, like strawberry or raspberry
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
Add the egg, almond and vanilla extract, and black food gel. The dough should be very pale gray. Mix until well combined. Don’t worry if you have a streak of color or two; it will add to the creepiness.
Add the flour and stir in the salt in a large measuring cup.
Carefully, on low speed, mix the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture.
Remove the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.
Combine the jam and a bit of red or burgundy food gel in a small ramekin. Microwave on half power for 45 seconds to 1 minute or until the jam fully melts.
Working with a quarter of the dough and keeping the rest of the dough in the refrigerator, roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a finger shape for each cookie.
Dip the severed end into the melted jam and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Dip the bottom of an almond slice into the jam and place it on the fingertip.
Use a knife to make three slashes to resemble ‘knuckle marks’ on the finger.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until pale golden on the bottom. Don’t overbake.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a minute, and then remove from the baking sheets to a cooling rack. Allow the jam to cool and set.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: holiday cookie, Halloween cookie recipe, shortbread recipe, holiday cookie recipe, Halloween recipes, kid-friendly recipes, Severed Monster Fingers