These have always been my favorite cookies to bake--they are way too much fun to shape and gorify, almost better than pumpkin-carving when it comes to entertaining gruesomeness. And people love them--they are initially grossed out, but then they taste them and can't stop eating them. Despite the grossness of them, they are rich and delicate little almond cookies. And they came out just as lovely-tasting veganized, perhaps even BETTER-tasting than the original recipe (they tasted more luxuriant and crispier to me). They were the definite favorite of Saturday night's party.
- 1 c. vegan margarine (I use the Earth Balance tub that says it's good for baking on it), softened
- 1 c. vegan powdered sugar
- 1.5 t. of Ener G egg replacer mixed with 2 T. warm water (equivalent of one egg)
- 1 t. almond extract
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 c. flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 3/4 c. whole blanched almonds (or you can blanch them yourself if you can only find ones with skin)
- 1 tube red decorating gel (make sure it's vegan, but i didn't have any problems finding a tube)
In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, EnerG egg replacer/water mix, almond extract and vanilla; beat in the flour, baking powder and salt. Refrigerate covered for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325F. Take one quarter of dough at a time from the refrigerator. Break off one heaping teaspoonful and roll it into a finger shape. Press an almond firmly into one end for a nail. Squeeze in around the middle of the finger to create a knuckle shape. Using a butter knife, make indents in several places to resemble a finger. Repeat with rest of dough.
Place cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet (or parchment paper) and bake for 25 minutes (or until a golden brown on the bottom). Let cool three minutes. Gently lift up the almond; squeeze red decorating gel onto the nailbed and press the almond back in place, so gel oozes out from underneath. Add in red gel at the stump end of the fingertip if there's a bit of a cave. Remove cookies from baking sheets and let them cool on wire racks.
Make your fingers thin. They plump up and sink down as they bake.
Make a small indentation into the end of the finger where it would've been severed from the hand. You can later squish some red gell in there to make it look like a bloody stump.
Makes about 2-dozen cookies