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Ladies' Fingers


If Halloween night were to find you in a misty graveyard, suddenly feeling the touch of ghoulish fingers on the back of your neck, those fingers would probably bear a strong resemblance to these creepy confections with red-stained blanched almonds standing in for fingernails. Let them beckon to you from beyond the grave, summoning you right over to their serving plate.

  • Yield: Makes 30

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 30 blanched almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats (French nonstick baking mats) or parchment paper, and set aside.

  2. Place food coloring in a shallow bowl. Using a small paintbrush, color one rounded half of each almond. Set aside to dry.

  3. Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk, remaining egg, and vanilla. Set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add egg mixture, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

  5. Divide the dough in half. Work with one piece at a time, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and chilled. Divide the first half into 15 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece back and forth with palms into finger shapes, 3 to 4 inches long. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with the back of a small knife. Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.

  6. When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white. Position almond nails; push into dough to attach.

  7. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Reviews Add a comment

  • cherylgabelgma
    28 OCT, 2015
    My husband and I followed the directions exactly as stated and the cookies flatten out when they started to cook in the oven and we cannot figure out why. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • pjamis15010447
    3 OCT, 2013
    To give cookie mix some flavor, try adding Almond Extract, or Butterscotch Extract etc IN PLACE OF the vanilla. Root beer anyone?
  • Iheartglamour
    27 FEB, 2012
    Paint the "nails" first with red gel, and let it dry a bit. Then, paint with the red food coloring. It gives the nails a shine just like nail polish. When I put just the red dye onto the "nails" it didn't look as nice as the ones that I used the gel.
  • tastycreations
    31 OCT, 2011
    I made one test cookie and baked it first. The rest of the batch I exagerated the features quite a bit, bigger knuckle, skinnier and longer fingers. I used regular whole almond (with skin on), split it in half, and placed on the cookie with white side showing. Glued nail in place with a little strawberry jam. stuck a jam covered almond shard in the base of the cookie for the bony stump. I did not brush with egg white, but added both eggs into the dough. The baked cookie is a little bland.
  • Joevans
    25 OCT, 2011
    I have the same recipe but they are called 'Wiches Fingers'. Bake with the almond on the cookie. When the cookies are baked and cooled remove the almond. Add a drop or two of red gel (found in the baking section) and press the almond onto the red gel. Let it squish out the sides. Holds the almond in place and looks like blood. Wicked good cookie!
  • ibracadabra
    11 OCT, 2011
    Made these over the weekend for goodie bags, they came out perfectly. They really looked like real fingers. Like some reviewers suggested, I only used some of the granulated sugar, about 2 tbsps. I chilled the dough for about 30 minutes before forming the fingers, then chilled them on the pans for another 30 minutes and put them straight in the oven. Everyone loves them!
  • autumnprairiegirl
    9 OCT, 2011
    I made this recipe today and it turned out perfectly! I put the almonds in a stainless bowl with several drops of food coloring and stirred them until coated, then dried on parchement paper. I omitted the granulated sugar (the egg/sugar/butter mixture did not become smooth). But it worked out fine after the flour was added. I chilled the dough before shaping, and again when I was done with the egg wash and almonds before going in the oven. They stayed the same size, shape & color!
  • BobbyeeB
    12 OCT, 2010
    This recipe was a great success at a 2009 Halloween party - I served them from a plastic bowl in which I had cut a small hole in the bottom and extended my middle finger up into the collection of Lady Fingers - of course, it sometimes moved. Unfortunately, when I put them on the dining table, they were removed as "too, scary".
  • BBSandy
    9 OCT, 2010
    I take the uneaten ones from my annual Halloween Party and take them to work in snack sized zip bags with a note saying: 'You Didn't Come To My Halloween Party So I Am Giving You The Finger.' Every year my coworkers ask if they are going to get the 'Finger' again. They think they are so life like and it's almost an award to them. AND, it's eidible! otherwise, I don't have any problems with the recipe-it rocks!!
  • terpalice
    4 NOV, 2009
    I loved the way that they came out! Given the comments, I did a small batch to test for puffiness and knuckles. Mine came out okay in that regard, but were really pale. So for the rest of them, I lightly dusted them in cocoa powder and it gave them a swirly look without really changing the taste. They were completely awesome at the party I threw.