Ghoulish Goodies: Pretzel ‘Fingers’

Lo these many years ago, my roommates and I threw a Halloween party. I baked goodies–lots and lots of them, and we invited all my one roommate’s fellow Psych grad students. One of them was a handsome man who later became my husband. I dressed as a saloon girl, he dressed as…a hot guy, I guess, and the rest is history.

I like to think my appropriately creepy snacks had something to do with winning him over. The cooking’s definitely helped keep him around since!

Amongst the offerings were these little beauties: pretzels transformed into fingers with the judicious use of almonds and red food colouring. Easy to make, particularly if you regularly make pretzels anyway, as I do, and excellent for atmosphere. These made their way to my office Halloween party, where they went over like gangbusters. I like to be able to surprise people.

Pretzel ‘Fingers’

1 batch sourdough pretzel dough, rested for 3 hours
Skinless almonds
Food colouring of your choice (I usually go with red)

Bring a pan full of water to the boil and add 2T bicarbonate of soda. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C.

While that’s heating up, cut the rested dough into manageable pieces, roll each piece into a long log, and cut it into 2.5-3″ sections. Roll them slightly at one end so it comes to a rounded point.

Using a small, sharp knife, insert the tip into the almonds and split them in half lengthwise. This is a bit fiddly and you can skip it if you like, but I find the whole almonds a bit bulky to make a really great fingernail and prefer to use halves.

Boil the fingers for about 30 seconds each. I advise only doing a couple at a time, so you have a chance to press on the nails before they cool and firm up too much.

After you pull the fingers out of the water, let them cool slightly, and press the almond into the rounded end, pushing firmly so it sinks into the dough and looks like a nail.

Bake the fingers for 20 minutes for softer pretzels, 35-40 minutes for hard. Cool on a wire rack.

Using a paintbrush you keep only for food, paint the nails with food colouring. It may take a few coats for them to look quite right–I think mine took 3. Let them dry thoroughly and dig in!



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