Witch Finger Cookies

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Witch finger cookies are creepy Halloween treats. They make monsters and goblins salivate, and fellow bakers green with envy. Be sure to keep plenty on hand for hungry ghouls. Because 1 digit just isn’t enough. Bwahaha.

📌 PIN WITCH FINGER COOKIES

Halloween witch finger cookies served in a black coffin serving tray next to spooky spiders, pumpkins and spell books.

Are you a fan of witch finger cookies from Williams Sonoma? Me too. But they’re super pricey. In 2022, the store is selling just 10 of these Halloween cookies for $24.95 plus tax and shipping. This is affordable for gifting, but it’s definitely not when you need enough of these treats for a Halloween party.

Today I’ll show you how to make a large batch of witch finger cookies at home for a fraction of the cost of store-bought. When compared to the Williams Sonoma version, these freshly-baked treats are 100% better.

With a few basic ingredients and this easy recipe, we’ll make 18 sinister witch fingers for a scary movie night or fall festivities. And there’s no need for a specialty baking pan or a witch finger cookie cutter to shape them.

When these Halloween cookies make their gory appearance, they’ll look more like hair-raising tricks than treats.

Green witch fingers cookies next to a black spider and a bowl of blood-red icing.

This recipe begins with a rich and buttery vanilla shortbread cookie dough. It’s tinted green and shaped into spooky witch fingers, knuckles and all. The nail beds feature oozing (red icing) blood and black-tinted (almond) nails.

Both eerie and sweet, these spooky Halloween cookies are what festive nightmares are made of. Soft and buttery with a tender crumb, they have a lightly crisp edge, a subtle sweetness, and a noticeable taste of vanilla.

The red frosting beneath the nails dries into a solid (but still soft) texture with a noticeable sweetness. Overall, these witch finger cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Perfect for parties, gift-giving, hoarding or sharing.

Witch fingers on a Halloween table with a bite taken out of 1 rustic cookie.

Making witch fingers as a group is so much fun. Gather family and friends together for a Halloween baking event. To speed things up, have the dough made and chilled in advance, and the almonds died black and dried.

Wondering how many of these spooky desserts you’ll need for a party? With witch finger cookies 2 digits are better than 1. Serve and enjoy them with milk, espresso or a seasonal drink like maple whipped coffee, mummy Halloween hot cocoa bombs, or pumpkin spice hot chocolate.

Witch finger cookies in a black ceramic casket serving dish on a dessert table.

🛒 INGREDIENTS

  • Butter: It’s the base of our cookies. It adds richness and flavor to the dough while ensuring a crisp and crumbly shortbread cookie. Use a high-quality butter (like Kirkland from Costco or Tillamook). Make sure the butter is fully softened so it incorporates smoothly with the powdered sugar. Cold butter will result in lumpy, greasy cookies.
  • Powdered Sugar: Perfectly sweetens the witch finger cookies.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: The cookie dough doesn’t contain any flavor elements (like nuts or chocolate), so we’re using a lot of vanilla to make sure they’re sweet and flavorful, not wickedly bland.
  • Green Food Coloring: This is what makes the witch fingers green. While coloring is optional for the cookie dough, it’s fun and festive if you have some on hand. I used 1/2 teaspoon AmeriColor’s (soft gel paste) Moss Green and 1/2 teaspoon AmeriColor’s (soft gel paste) Avocado Green.
  • All-purpose Flour: This vital ingredient helps give the dough structure. I highly recommend measuring with the spoon-and-level method. Adding too much flour will make the dough dry and crumbly, and it will be difficult to roll and shape.
  • Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt: This seasoning helps balance out the sweetness and enhance the flavor of the dough. If using salted butter, feel free to use just a pinch of salt instead of the whole amount. It’s important to use Kosher salt, not table salt. Table salt is very intense – about twice as salty as Kosher salt.
  • Whole Almonds: These are blackened with food gel and become the nails for our scary Halloween witch fingers. But the technique will also work with sliced almonds too, so feel free to use either whole or sliced.
  • Water: Helps thin out the black food coloring to a desirable consistency so it can evenly coat the almonds.
  • Black Food Coloring: This is used to make the almond fingernails black. For this I used AmeriColor’s (soft gel paste) Super Black.
  • Heavy Cream: This is mixed with powdered sugar to create the look of “blood” oozing from beneath the nail bed. The effect is super creepy, and this paste does double duty by holding each fingernail in place.
  • Red Food Coloring: This is what makes the icing under the nails look like blood. I used AmeriColor’s (soft gel paste) Red Red.
Ingredients for Halloween witch finger cookies.

📖 RECIPE STEPS

DIRECTIONS IF NO STAND MIXER: Use a hand mixer and a large bowl. If you don’t have a hand mixer, simply mix the dough in a large bowl using a rubber spatula. It will take some muscle, but it is doable.

  • STEP 1: Add softened butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and green food coloring to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (For creepy pale witch finger cookies, skip the food dye.)
  • STEP 2: Beat on medium speed until completely combined – about 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure the butter is fully incorporated.
  • STEP 3: Add flour and salt to the bowl. Mix just until the dough comes together in big clumps. Do not overmix the cookie dough!
  • STEP 4: Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. 👉🏻 Use this down time to prep the fingernails – blackening the almonds. See “Black Fingernails” section below.
How to make shortbread cookie dough for witch fingers in 4 easy steps.
  • STEP 5: Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Once the dough is chilled, cut it into 18 pieces. Divide the pieces between the trays.
  • STEP 6: Using your fingers or the palms of your hands, roll each piece into a 4-inch log. It should be about 1/2-inch wide and 1/2-inch tall.
How to shape witch fingers on a baking tray from green shortbread cookie dough.
  • STEP 7: Using the tip of your finger, gently flatten one end of each log to create the nail bed.
  • STEP 8: With a toothpick, make 3 indents below the nail bed.
  • STEP 9: Make another 3 indents in the middle of the finger. These are the bony knuckles on the witches fingers.
  • STEP 10: Carefully arrange the witch fingers on the parchment-lined trays so they’re at least 2-inches apart. Put the trays of cookies in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. This is important. Do not skip this step. While the cookies are chilling 👉🏻 preheat oven to 350ºF.
How to shape and form witch finger cookies on a baking tray.
  • STEP 11: Bake the chilled witch finger cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, or just until set. Watch the fingers closely. Don’t let them brown. Remove from oven. Let them cool completely while still on the tray.
Eight witch fingers cooling on a parchment paper-lined baking tray.

Black Fingernails

  • STEP 1: Add water and black food coloring to a small bowl (a zip-top bag also works well for this). Stir to combine. Add almonds to the bowl and stir until they’re black on all sides.
  • STEP 2: Spread out the almonds on a parchment-lined plate. Set them aside to rest until fully dry – about 30 minutes.
How to dye almond fingernails black for witch finger cookies.

Decorate Witch Finger Cookies

  • STEP 1: In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar, heavy cream and red gel food coloring. This icing is the red “blood” that will be oozing from beneath the fingernails.
  • STEP 2: Spread 1/2 teaspoon of the red icing around the top of each cookie – in the nail bed area. Place a black almond into the icing with the pointed end facing up. Allow icing to set completely (about 10 minutes) before transferring cookies to an airtight container.
How to decorate witch fingers with red blood icing cuticles and black almond fingernails.

🤔 RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions for making the BEST witch finger cookies, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

Can witch finger cookie dough be made in advance?

Yes. You can make the cookie dough up to 2 days in advance. Wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate until needed.

Why chill the shortbread cookies before baking?

Chilling is a crucial step for preventing these cookies from spreading too much in the oven. It helps them keep their shape.

How to make witch finger cookies without almonds?

Use candy corn instead. For nut-free households use royal icing. Tint it black or yellow with Wilton or AmeriColor (soft gel/paste) food coloring.

Can you make witch finger cookies without food coloring?

Yes you can. Without green food dye the witch finger cookies will have a white/pale appearance, which is also very creepy. For the look of red blood oozing beneath the nails, use strawberry jam. Instead of dying whole almonds black, use sliced almonds (without coloring) instead.

How long do witch finger cookies stay fresh?

When stored in an airtight container (in layers separated by parchment paper), these treats can stay fresh at room temperature for up to 3 days, or refrigerated for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze witch finger cookies for up to 1 month.

Witch fingers on a dessert table next to a black caldron and spider.

👻 MORE FESTIVE HALLOWEEN TREATS

Do you love witch finger cookies? Get party ready with a variety of crowd-pleasing Halloween treats. Pin your favorite recipes to Pinterest.

Finger cookies inside a black coffin dish, a bowl of red icing, spoon and black spider.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated these the BEST witch finger cookies. They loved the sinister look of the green witch fingers. The blackened nails and blood-red icing oozing from around the cuticles. And the taste? Wickedly sweet.

If you agree these Halloween shortbread cookies are unique, tasty and fun, don’t keep them a secret. Pin the recipe to Pinterest. Then give these wicked witch fingers a 5-star rating in the comments.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Halloween witch finger cookies served in a black coffin serving tray next to spooky spiders, pumpkins and spell books.

witch finger cookies


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
  • Yield: 18 Cookies 1x
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Description

Witch finger cookies are spooky treats made from shortbread cookie dough tinted green. After shaping and baking, red icing is added to the nail bed area and topped with a black-tinted almond fingernail. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Witch Finger Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon AmeriColor (soft gel food coloring) Moss Green
  • 1/2 teaspoon AmeriColor (soft gel food coloring) Avocado Green
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Witch Fingernails

  • 18 whole almonds
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon AmeriColor (soft gel food coloring) Super Black
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon AmeriColor (soft gel food coloring) Red Red

 


Instructions

Witch Finger Cookie Dough

Directions if no stand mixer: Use a hand mixer and a large bowl. If you don’t have a hand mixer, simply mix the dough in a large bowl using a rubber spatula. It will take some muscle, but it is doable.

  1. Add softened butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and green food coloring to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until completely combined – about 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure the butter is fully incorporated.
  2. Add flour and salt to the bowl. Mix just until the dough comes together in big clumps. Do not overmix the cookie dough! Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. 👉🏻 Use this down time to prep the almond fingernails. See the “Black Fingernails” section below.
  3. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Cut chilled dough into 18 pieces. Divide the pieces between the trays. Using your fingers or the palms of your hands, roll each piece into a 4-inch log. It should be about 1/2-inch wide and 1/2-inch tall.
  4. Using the tip of your finger, gently flatten one end of each log to create the nail bed. With a toothpick, make 3 indents below the nail bed. Make another 3 indents in the middle of the finger. These are the bony knuckles on the witches fingers.Carefully arrange the witch fingers on the parchment-lined trays so they’re at least 2-inches apart. Put the trays of cookies in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. This is important. Do not skip this step. While cookies are chilling 👉🏻 preheat oven to 350ºF.
  5. Bake the chilled witch finger cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, or just until set. Watch the fingers closely. Don’t let them brown. Remove from oven. Let them cool completely while still on the tray.

Black Fingernails

  1. Add water and black food coloring to a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Add almonds to the bowl. Stir until they’re black on all sides. Spread them out on a parchment-lined plate. Let them rest until fully dry – about 30 minutes. 

Decorate Witch Finger Cookies

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar, heavy cream and red gel food coloring. This icing is the red “blood” that will be oozing from beneath the fingernails.
  2. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of red icing around the top of each cookie – in the nail bed area. Place a black almond into the icing with the pointed end facing up. Allow icing to set completely (about 10 minutes) before transferring cookies to an airtight container.

Notes

Witch Finger Cookies without Almonds: Candy corn is a great swap for nuts. But this product may contain traces of nut allergens – read the package carefully to make sure it’s safe for people with nut allergies. Another option: use royal icing. Tint it black or yellow with gel food coloring.

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Chill Time: 1 Hour
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Witch Fingers, Witch Finger Cookies, Finger Cookies, Witches Fingers, Witch Fingers Cookies

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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2 Comments

  1. The kids and I made this recipe together and it was so easy. The fingers were fun to shape and decorate. We’re making more this weekend for a Halloween party. Can’t wait to share them!

  2. Thanks so much for this detailed recipe with all the images. My family just made these witch fingers and they turned out great! Just like bakery-quality treats. They look just like yours, except a shade lighter green (more like the Williams Sonoma witch fingers you mentioned). Because they’re so easy to make, we’ll be baking these again for a Halloween party.