Boo!!! The days are getting shorter, darker, colder each day. The leaves fall down and not much of noise around. I hear the crinkly noise when someone keeps foot on the fallen dried leaves. I wonder who is it? Who is it? It’s that time of the year when we decorate the house with strange, weird, creepy things. We celebrate the ghost, skeleton, blood, tombstone figurines everywhere. We adorn ourselves with scary clothes, strange hair do’s, yucky makeup. It’s that time of the year when we let children eat unaccounted number of candies (well, not literally!). It’s when little boys love to become super heroes and little girls all become princess of some sort. We use pumpkin like no other time of the year in every possible way – from painting, carving, decorating, games, cooking, baking and more. Yes, I am talking about Halloween. One of the festival celebrated by all age groups with almost no boundaries for scariness. It is so much fun to dress up and go around the block and do Trick or Treat. I am dressing up my kids as little monster and a super hero. But it did not stop there, I wanted to bake something quick as always you know it by now. I came across Giada De Laurentiis, my favorite Food Network chef/host’s recipe for this Halloween which I am sharing today. Do not use store bought sugar cookie dough, I tried it, they expand way too much.
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup (/12 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp Flax seed mixed in 3 tbsp of water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
14 large sliced almonds
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the flaxseed mixture until smooth. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until a dough forms.
Using about1 1/2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms into 5-inch-long fingers about 1/2-inch thick. Firmly press a sliced almond into the end of each finger to make fingernails. Make several horizontal cuts, about 1/4 inch deep and 1/2 inch long, in the center of each finger to make knuckles. Press the dough on either side of the cuts to shape the knuckles. Arrange the fingers on the prepared baking sheet and bake until light golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer the fingers to a wire rack and cool completely.
In a small saucepan, heat the jam over low heat until warm, about 2 minutes. Dip the blunt ends of the fingers in the warm jam and arrange on a platter.
NOTE: I modified the recipe a little bit and also eliminated the use of an egg, replaced it with flaxseeds.