I am fortunate to have a job where every couple of months I get to help put on a great big fabulous party. Last Friday was a Halloween extravaganza, so I thought I'd share my very simple recipe for those of you who still need to whip up some scary snacks. These aren't really very gross looking, which is good because even though it's Halloween, you still want people to be able to eat them after you went to all that trouble. Of course, if they don't, that's just more for you....
Here are the ingredients: puff pastry (you buy it in the freezer section and let it thaw,) an egg, some rosemary and some sliced almonds. You want specific amounts? Sorry. My life's an art, not a science. Pay attention, and you'll be alright.
The first thing you want to do is preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then break your egg into a bowl and stir it with a fork to break it up. Add a little bit of water to make a glaze. Get out your pans.
Listen to how bossy I sound! Pretend I've got a riding crop while I give you these instructions - you know you like it.
You can use metal or glass...they both work just fine. For one box of puff pastry, you'll probably need two large pans. One box'll get you about 60 fingers, unless you're like me and drop some on the floor, taste test a few, forget to put on the almonds...then you'll get about 50.
Lay out your puff pastry and cut it into strips - about 10. Then cut each of these strips into 3 giving you somewhere around 30 fingers. Don't worry about making the strips all even and tidy.
Use your hands to round the corners on one end and pinch each strip right in the middle so there's a large raised bump. This will turn into the knuckle. Lay them on your pans and use a pastry brush (your finger will work too) to brush on a thin layer of glaze. Then add an almond to the rounded end. I like to pick through the almonds and find the ones that are the most toenail-like. And since every severed finger (or toe) needs a hairy knuckle, sprinkle on a little rosemary right in the middle. Eeeeeew. At this point you can also sprinkle on a little salt or parmesan cheese if you want more flavor. This, of course, all depends on what kind of wine you like to drink with fingers. I prefer a nice cabernet.
Here is my favorite kitchen minion helping to make the fingers. Look at those hands. You know what they say....big hands....warm heart. Or something like that.
Now stick them in the oven for about 10 minutes. You'll know they're done when they're puffy and golden brown. I like to wait until the toenails also have a funky brown tinge to them as well. Take them out, let them cool a bit and enjoy.
Just imagine how great these look floating in a bowl of tomato soup or sticking out of a bowl of chili.
A whole tray of fingers ready to party:
One last thing. If you get in a hurry and think it'll be okay to wash your glass baking pan right after it comes out of the oven....it won't. In fact, it will explode and shatter into about a bazillion pieces and cause your kitchen minion to shriek and your curmudgeonly taste tester to get that wrinkle in the middle of his brow and swear that he will never let you use his kitchen again.
I think a little sweet talkin' and a plate of my famous espresso brownies will help heal the trauma.