Saturday, May 21, 2005

Severed Finger Cookies

Severed Finger Cookies (Adapted from Rachael Ray)

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks or 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
sliced almonds
about 1/2 cup raspberry jam

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy and smooth. Mix in confectioners' sugar until well combined. Beat in egg, vanilla and almond extract. Add dry ingredients and mix until a smooth dough forms. Cover dough and place into the refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes.

Using a tablespoon scoop worth of dough (work with 5 or 6 pieces at a time, keeping the rest of the dough chilled), roll dough into balls. Roll each piece back and forth with palms into a finger shape, about 3" long. Pinch dough roughly in the middle to form a knuckle, then transfer to a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining dough.

Using the back of a knife, score the finger cookies lightly in two or three places (making the knuckle shapes stand out, using two or three slits per), then stick a sliced almond on 1 end of each to create fingernails. Place baking sheets into the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

When oven is heated, bake cookies until pale golden, about 18 to 22 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cook for 2 minutes before transferring them to wire racks. Allow to cool completely.

To finish, warm raspberry jam in a small pan on the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl just until softened and smooth. Dip the end of each cookie (opposite of the sliced almond) into the sauce.

Makes about 38 severed fingers.

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