- Holidays and Celebrations
Creepy Severed Lady Fingers
Are you looking for a scary but delicious Halloween Cookie to serve at your party?
**These are NOT the traditional Lady fingers- these are the gory Halloween cookies- not for those with a weak stomach!**
These cookies also are known as "Lady Fingers", "Severed Fingers", and " Zombie Fingers"
I love making severed Lady fingers! These are simply cookies that look like severed fingers. They are inexpensive to make and depending upon how realistic you intend to make them can be fairly quick!
You can make them out of a few different types of dough as long as it is thick enough to hold it's shape while baking!
Making them look realistic is very important! When I make lots of them, I find it is faster and easier to make female fingers that look realistic, I will show you the techniques I use and my favorite recipe for them! One year I had done a very good job making them look real- so good that a few guests refused to eat them at first!
You have a few options! Here is a basic sugar cookie recipe, you can use pretty much any cookie recipe you want though!
The best doughs for Severed Ladyfinger Cookies are Sugar Cookie, Gingerbread cookie, spice cookies, some peanut butter cookie recipes work well or any "cutout cookies".
If it is a recipe that does not hold it's shape, just add a little extra flour and use the tin foil technique (see below) BUT if you are really busy you could try using a premixed, refrigerated sugar cookie dough! You can just knead in a little bit of extra flour to keep it from spreading sideways too much!
I rarely ever share recipes as I have always been one of those cooks who does not measure exactly and I tend to wing it based upon how it smells or (if safe to taste) how it tastes. I hope that the way I describe it is not too confusing!
Prep Time: 30 minutes making dough, refrigerate 2-24 hrs, shape 30 minutes, bake at 350*11-15 minutes
Total Time: varies, about an hour of actual work.
Serves: Can make 24-48 cookies depending upon finger size
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks cold butter
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- sliced almonds
- food coloring
- coco powder or chunks of chocolate- crumbled oreos works as well for "dirt"
- Cut the butter into small pieces (less than 1/2 inch). Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to soften the butter on low to medium.
- Slowly add the sugar and the vanilla, then add the other ingredients while mixing. Increase to medium or high speed.
- Keep mixing until the dough is well blended and sticky.
- Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
- When it is time to shape the cookies, leave 1/2 of the dough in the fridge while you work to keep it nice and firm until you are ready for it!
- All of the other details are listed with photos below!
Break up the dough into small sections
Knead different strengths of food coloring into each section
Everyone's fingers look different so to get the maximum ick factor, no two cookies should look the same!
Break up the dough into a few small groups- this part is art so there is no right amount!
Mix together 2 drops of red food coloring, 1 drop of green and 1 drop of yellow to make brown. Gently touch a corner of one ball of dough to the brown and then knead it in until the dough is a consistent color. Dip the next ball of dough into the brown color and knead it, if it looks the same as the first, dip it a second time! You can leave one ball of dough uncolored.
Do this until you have a few different colored balls of dough!
Roll the dough into the shape of a finger
Start by making a sausage kind of shape and then gently squeeze dents on each side, leaving a bump in the center and each end.
Gently pull a small piece of dough off of the back and do not smooth it! This side will be where the finger was detached from the hand!
Add an almond to the tip of each finger cookie
I like to create different colored fingernails and shapes! I get a bag of sliced almonds and pick out a few that have a good full shape to them. The long ones, I usually soak in red food coloring to look like manicured nails!
I also cut the pointy tips off of some of the almonds with a paring knife and soak them in green and yellow. I do rinse the green and yellow almonds in water and rub the coloring in, it gets on your fingers and will transfer to the cookies as you hold them to place the almonds, but that adds to the ick factor as well!
Gently press the almonds into the tip or each of the finger cookies!
Bend a few small pieces of foil and lay a few cookies across them - this way some of the fingers will be bent!
Again, differences are good! I fold a few pieces of foil into a wedge and lay a few fingers across to give the final plate a little bit more variation!
When I make 24 cookies, I do this to about three of them as they can be a bit harder to bake correctly (without burning) and too many of these starts to just look silly on the plate! They really are a great touch in moderation though!
Gently brush some red food coloring on the ends of the cookies
With all of you Zombie or Lady fingers on the baking tray, it is time to start the really gory effects before baking! Gently brush some red food coloring onto the jagged ends of each cookie.
This is an important step as the decorative icing gel is transparent and when used on the cookies without this step, will look pale pink! Baking the coloring right into the cookie is what makes them more realistic and creepy!
When the end is painted with food coloring, the icing gel looks more realistic!
I took this closeup right after brushing the coloring onto the dough as it was soaking into the tip before baking, see how it is already looking pretty gross!
Add a small sliver of almond to the back of a few of the cookies - to look like bone!
Before putting these cookies in the oven- remember, differences are good! Pick a few out for an extra touch.
Find a few long sliced almonds and gently slice the rounded sides off, creating a skinny rectangle. Snap off the very bottom of the almond, leaving a somewhat jagged appearance and tuck it into the back of a few (but not many) cookies to look as if bone fragments are protruding from them!
Finger Cookies Baking
Here they are, baking at 350* F for 11 minutes! When they bake, they may poof up and spread sideways, there are a few ways to handle that!
If they have gotten wide, take 2 spoons when they first come out and are still soft, gently press in on either side to help them back into the right shape!
Another option, if your first batch is spreading way too much and you don't have time to make new dough, is to take small squares of foil and fold them into rectangles, place your own finger inside each one and squish the foil around your finger like you are making a boat! Lay your dough fingers in these little pieces of foil and the foil will prevent the widening!
Arrange the cookies on a plate
I like to sprinkle on some coco powder or even flaked chocolate or crumbled oreos to give a dirty appearance!
When you arrange the cookies, try to avoid lining them up, a scattered look is best here and will allow the guests to see more of the cool details!
Squeese a little bit of red icing gel at the back end of each finger cookie - Now try these Halloween Cookies in the right lighting and watch your guests look d
Hopefully you have an area that will have some Halloween mood lighting. This picture was taken in a dark room next to two flameless candles which illuminate it perfectly for a spooky night!
Notice that they look a little bit more like real fingers because the light does not pick up on the imperfections, rather it lights the plate and creates interesting shadows!
How do you want to serve these Severed Fingers cookies?
Are they dirty fingers? If you want to add a little "dirt" just lightly sprinkle a little coco powder over them and make a couple small mounds of it on the plate. You can even stir a little water in with coco powder in a bowl until it is a very thick paste and add chunks of mud to the plate as if you had dug these finger cookies up in the garden earlier!
The "dirt" also helps you to hide any areas that did not come out as you had hoped- If a cookie looks great except for a crate in the center, just plop a little coco dirt on the crater to cover it up!
The plate you use can add to the creepiness. If you have an old sad looking wooden carving board and don't mind potentially ruining it- a few drops of red decorating gel here and there might be a really nice touch! I usually use either a white square plate for the added contrast because of the mud and blood or a plain fake silver platter (I don't know if the coloring would ruin real silver so I do not try!)
If you do not have time to shape the cookies by hand....
This molded cookie sheet is awesome! All you need to do is get a bit creative when you decorate!
I love this molded finger cookie sheet because not only does it make the process faster, but it is easier to use different types of cookie dough that would not otherwise hold their shape!
You can still decorate these fingers to each look unique as well- especially is you use the different coloring for each one.
EDIT to create a Halloween poll relevant to your topic.
Would you eat one of my Severed Lady Fingers?
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