makes ~ 5 dozen
Yield: 5 dozen
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds
In bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients together, then add to wet and stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and keeping remainder refrigerated, roll a scant tablespoon full (I used a 1 oz. cookie scoop) of dough into a thin log shape about 4″ long for each cookie. Squeeze clost to center and close to one end to create knuckle shapes. Press almond firmly into the end of the cookie for nail. Using paring knife, make slashes in several places to form knuckle. You want them a bit thin and gangly looking, since they’ll puff a little when you bake them.
Place on lightly greased baking sheets (or use silicone sheets or parchment); bake in 325F oven for 20-25 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, melt jelly over low heat in a small saucepan.
Carefully lift almond off of each finger, spoon a tiny amount of jelly onto nail bed and press almond back in place so the jelly oozes out from underneath. You can also make slashes in the finger and fill them with “blood.
You can also form toes – just make the cookies shorter and a bit wider and only add one joint instead of two. No almonds for these, just indent where the nailbed should be and add a bit of melted jelly to highlight once they are baked.
Here’s the recipe for brains….BRAINS!
This recipe was inspired by the one Alton Brown did a few years back. I liked the idea but wasn’t thrilled with the recipe, so I came up with my own. By the way, I would suggest getting this mold – it looks a lot more lifelike.
Panna Cotta (brain style) with Pomegranite Sauce
1 cup milk
5 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
4 cups heavy cream
1 cup + 1 Tb sugar, divided
2 Tablespoons vanilla
8 oz. pomegranite juice
1/4 cup cornstarch
Place milk in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the top. Stir and let sit for about five minutes so the gelatin can rehydrate a bit.
Combine cream and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Add the gelatin mixture and stir again until combined. Pour into (brain) mold, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or until mixture is completely set.
To unmold, gently tilt mold so sides of the panna cotta pull away a bit, then place on platter or plate. You can also dip the bottom of the mold into warm water to help in unmolding.
(For non-brain occasions, pour into small custard cups, ramekins, or a large bowl)
For the pomegranite sauce, I just got a small bottle of Pom Wonderful, added three heaping spoonfuls of sugar so it wasn’t so tart, mixed in about 1/4 cup cornstarch, whisked like crazy, then brought it all to a boil in a small saucepan while stirring. The consistancy is rather disgusting, but that’s the whole point!
This looks especially creepy set out on a really nice platter. Also quite effective on a carving board with a large chef’s knife plunged into the center .