These healthier witch finger cookies use jam in place of food coloring! They can be made with all-purpose flour or with white whole wheat flour for a 100% whole grain version. The perfect, gory Halloween dessert!
I’m preparing for a Halloween party and had no intention of posting these bloody witch fingers but after seeing how they came out, I just have to!
I’ve been struggling to come up with Halloween desserts that are totally free of processed food so I was ridiculously happy to have come across these. It’s been done a thousand times before, I know, but these are a little less processed.
All of the witch finger cookies I found use red decorating gel. Food coloring doesn’t normally bother me (I know it should) but the thought of eating red decorating gel makes me queasy.
So here we have some awesome strawberry jam. And it complements the almond flavor perfectly.
I also used it in 3 of the 4 recipes I link to below. It makes for some awesomely delicious blood.
Make sure to use a jam that doesn’t have large chunks of strawberries in it. I guess you could, if you want them to be messy and have the appearance of blood clots. That could be interesting. :D
To be honest, I think these shortbread cookies are kind of boring tasting without the jam. Strawberry jam helps out with the taste a lot. Raspberry jam would also be great but for the blood effect, I think strawberry is better.
I’m not a crunchy cookie kind of girl. I think out of all my cookie recipes, only 2-3 aren’t soft and chewy. But these are an exception! We absolutely love these shortbread cookies.
If you don’t have white whole wheat flour, you could use all-purpose flour in these witch finger cookies. I’m guessing whole spelt would also work well! You may need to add a tiny bit of extra flour if the dough is extra sticky.
Unfortunately, I haven’t tried to make them gluten-free yet. It’s on my list!
Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-free Baking Flour would probably work, but I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure.
So what kind of desserts are you making for Halloween? I’m bummed I’m just now getting on the Halloween bandwagon. These bloody witch finger cookies are so fun!
For a fun healthy Halloween drink (also without food coloring!), try this Halloween punch with eyeballs from Food Doodles!
Update: people freaked out over these witch fingers at the Halloween party! Definitely a hit. :)
Looking for more Halloween desserts that can be made healthier?
Bloody Witch Fingers (easy and without food coloring)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 60 cookies
- 1 cup butter (226 grams), softened
- 1 cup (115 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 large (50 grams, out of shell) egg
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cups (334 grams) white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour (or a mix of the two)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (105 grams) blanched almonds
- 1/2 - 1 cup (118 - 236ml) strawberry jam
- Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract and mix. When well combined, add the flour and salt. When thoroughly combined, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 40 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Take about a fourth of the dough out of the fridge and begin rolling out the fingers. I rolled them out the size of my pinky, both in length and thickness. Add an almond to the tip for the fingernail and press down to make sure it's secure. Form a knuckle by squeezing (see the picture above!) and then use a knife to make some creases. Place on a Silpat on a cookie sheet (or just a cookie sheet), leaving about a centimeter between them. Repeat with the rest of the dough until the cookie sheet is full.
- Bake for 17 - 22 minutes or until slightly golden. Let the cookies cool, and then remove the almonds from the cookies. Add some jam in the cavities and then put the almonds back, making sure you used enough jam for them to ooze a little. Also add some jam around knuckles for extra nastiness. I used about 1/2 cup jam and used the rest as "dip."
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also keep them in the fridge to keep them for longer (about a week).
- If you live in Germany, you need to use half Type 550 for the all-purpose flour and half Type 405 (which is the normal kind you find everywhere). You can get Type 550 at any non-discounter. For the almond extract, I used two vials of Bittermandel Backaroma.
Adapted from Allrecipes