Witches Fingers. Troll Toes. Alien Eyeballs. Tomato Gremlins. Apple Lips. These are going to come in handy when Halloween rolls around. They will dress up your buffet table and give everyone the heebeejeebees. Didn’t you do a double take when you saw those fingers? If you need to bring some little goodies to a party, make these and you’ve got the perfect hostess gift. So go mix up some green dough and get busy!
This green dough is great for modeling, just like clay. It doesn’t rise hardly at all, so you can make all the life-like details you want and they will bake off perfectly. I chose whole blanched almonds for the nails, but you could use skin-on almonds or sliced almonds. For the troll toes, I cut almonds in half with a serrated knife. I thought they looked pretty hoary and cool. Well, the trolls I know, that’s how their toenails look. Really.
I find these witches fingers to be seriously creepy. They’re just too lifelike. The blood on the ends (simulation) is Betty Crocker decorating gel from a little tube I got at Ralphs in the baking isle. If you are using sliced almonds for the nails, you can squeeze some of the gel on the finger ends and press the slices on it. A nice gory look. I used the decorating gel around the alien eyeballs also. There’s nothing like a little blood for Halloween gusto.
Here are my little Apple Lips with peanut butter tongues and sliced almond teeth. For some reason, these just make me grin. They are so silly. Kids of all ages love them, because they’re not only cute, but they taste good, too. Don’t they just look like a bunch of bad boys on that tray?
To keep the apples from turning brown, I submerged them in water that was saturated with ascorbic acid from the C-Gram Caps. I cut open one capsule, which has 1,000mg of Vitamin C and dumped the powder in the water. Then in went the apple lips for a 10 minute soak. I have tried lemon juice and vinegar, but they just didn’t work. After the Vitamin C bath, the apples stayed white for many hours until they were eaten.
As you can see, the Apple Lips are not the only ones who are big hams. Everybody wanted to be in every photo. Nag, whine, whine. Me. Me. Me.
One other thing. I seriously advise you to keep the Apple Lips away from the Witches Fingers.
Witches Fingers. Alien Eyeballs. Tomato Gremlins. Apple Lips.
Makes about 40 fingers
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract liquid
2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Green food color (I used Wilton icing color), about ¼ teaspoon
Blanched almonds, raw, unsalted, one for each nail (method below)
Red decorating gel (I used Betty Crocker, in a tube)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cover top baking sheet (double pan) with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a fork. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
3. Add enough green food coloring until the mixture is slightly darker than the color you like.
4. Add the baking powder, salt and one cup flour, and mix. Add additional food coloring if necessary.
5. Add the rest of the flour and mix thoroughly. Divide dough into four pieces and roll into cylinders. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until hardened but still malleable.
6. Working on one cylinder, cut into 8 pieces. Roll one piece into a ½-inch rope and cut into 3 ½-inch-long pieces. Save scraps to incorporate into next rope.
7. Shape 3 ½-inch length to look like a finger with 2 bumps for knuckles. Embed almond on nail end and mold dough around edges. With the dull edge of a knife, make three indentations on each knuckle bump and cross hatch on the bone stump end.
8. Place on parchment on double pan and bake at 325F for 15 minutes. The bottom should be barely golden and cookie set. Cool on parchment on rack. Nails may be colored with red food coloring.
9. May be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for 5 days. Or freeze in container wrapped in plastic wrap for 1 month.
1. To blanch almonds and remove skin, place raw unsalted almonds with skin in a small bowl. Pour in boiling water 2 inches above almonds and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove almonds to paper towels and remove skins. Allow to dry until use. Note: If allowed to sit in water for a longer time, almonds will split into 2 halves.
Green Alien Eyeballs
Green Witches Finger dough (recipe above)
Sugar eyeballs (I used Wilton eyeballs)
Red icing gel (I used Betty Crocker) (optional)
1. Roll piece of dough into 1-inch ball. Embed Wilton eyeball into ball and mold dough around it to desired shape. Bake on parchment double pan at 325F for 15 minutes. Cool on parchment.
2. Squeeze red icing gel around white eyeball if desired.
Tomato Gremlin and Red Eyeballs
1 large beefsteak tomato
Sugar eyeballs (I used Wilton eyeballs)
Great northern white beans, dry uncooked
Long root end from radish or carrot
X-acto knife (or very sharp little knife)
1. With the sharp blade, cut ¼-inch round eye and nose openings, and 1 ¾ x 1-inch mouth opening and remove small amount of tomato flesh from below.
2. Embed eyeballs in openings.
3. Cut 1-inch of carrot or radish from the root end and form it into a 5/16-inch pointed shaft. Embed in nose opening.
4. Make 2 slits in top of mouth opening near edge and 3 slits near edge on bottom. Embed larger white beans in top slits and smaller beans in bottom.
Note: Tomato gremlins will look good for about 2-3 hours. Then the sugar eyes soften around the edges and start melting. The white beans absorb liquid and the skin shrivels. The root end of the nose dries out.
Apples, red and crisp (I used Gala), each apple makes 4 mouths
Peanut butter, preferably Skippy
Sliced almonds (about 7 per mouth)
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) powder (I used capsules, cut open)
1. In a large bowl half filled with water, dissolve powder from Vitamin C capsules. Whisk until most particles have disappeared.
2. Cut apple into quarters lengthwise Remove stem, flower ends and seeds, removing as little flesh as possible. Cut out a wedge in center of each one. Lip edges should be about ½-inch wide.
Be sure to cut deep enough into apple so peanut butter tongue and teeth will have enough room.
3. Place apple lips in ascorbic acid water as each is cut and let soak for 10 minutes. Remove and dry with paper towels.
4. Place a scant tablespoon of peanut butter on spoon and scoop into mouth. Use a knife to help remove from spoon. My technique was not perfect. If you find a good way to do this, let me know.
5. With a small sharp knife, cut four small slits along edge of upper mouth and 2-4 slits along lower mouth. Insert almond slices for teeth.
Note: The Apple Lips are bad boys. They get into trouble. Keep them away from the Witches Fingers.