I was looking for something a little different this year for Halloween -- not too spooky and not too sweet but offering a bit of an "eww" factor.
Cheesy witch's finger crackers seemed perfect. With just a few tweaks to the recipe (I realize you're rolling your eyes and saying of course...she has to change something), I think we have them ready to debut. I'd offer you a taste, but the kids finished 'em off faster than a witch on a broom with a tail wind.
We'll serve the next batch up in my rose bowl, which will be wearing a cauldron costume for the occasion.
If your cupboard resembles Mother Hubbard's cupboard, you may need to also get salt.
✓ Extra sharp cheddar
✓ Sliced almonds
Putting it together
• 5 tablespoons butter
• 1/4 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
• 3/4 cup flour, use half whole grain
• 2 tablespoons cornmeal
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
• 1 large egg
• 30 sliced almonds
Combine the butter, cheese, flour and cornmeal in a bowl until it looks like wet sand. You can use your fingers or a processor. Add the egg and stir with a fork until the dough holds together.
Cut two 12" x 14" pieces of parchment paper. Scrape the dough out onto one and cover it with the other. Pat the glob of dough into a disk and freeze for 10 to 15 minutes. Alternatively you can stop here and just refrigerate it until you're ready, for up to 3 days.
Remove from the freezer and roll into an 8 x 10" square. Do not take the parchment paper off before you roll it out. If you did and know why you shouldn't have...I apologize for not giving you more warning. Stick it back in the freezer for another 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 350°.
Remove the top parchment paper and cut once lengthwise. You don't have to separate them. Now you have a piece of paper with two 5" x 8" rectangles. Slice into 1/2" widths, making about 30 1/2" x 5" strips.
Move each to a baking sheet. Round one end for the "fingertip." Bend slightly now and then for gnarls. With your knife, cut the knuckle lines. Use any escaped crumbs for "warts." Finally, push an almond slice near the rounded end for a fingernail. Broken ones add, well, charm.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until they're a light golden brown. Transfer them to a rack to cool. Serve with your favorite "devilish" chili or guacamole.
Here they are, heading for the oven.
Factoids and Other Stuff
While these aren't exactly low calorie, they do give you a nice boost of protein and calcium and certainly rival crackers and cheese as a healthy snack. Still, to avoid embarrassment when you step on the doctor's scale, you'll probably want to share them with friends -- a lot of friends.
What do you think? Are you going to give the recipe a try?