Saturday, November 1, 2008

What are Witch's Fingers? And The Recipe!

My friend Corrine made these for me one year and I have been making them ever since.

They are a recipe from Martha Stewart and they taste like a pretzel or kind of like a bagel.

My kids love them and we have them every year. Usually we have them with Chili but in 90 degree weather I just have no desire to make Chili! So we had Chicken Noodle casserole and the fingers.

They are time consuming but totally worth it!

Red or green food coloring (optional, for fingers)
24 blanched almonds, halved lengthwise
2 cups warm water (110 degrees), plus 3 quarts, plus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
Vegetable oil
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 large egg
Sea salt

Boil some water in a small pot. Add the almonds boil for a minute or two. Immediately drain and put almonds in a bowl of water with Ice. Then you can remove the skins of the almonds super easy. They slide off. Cut the almonds in half lengthwise.Now Martha has you put food coloring in a bowl and paint each almond with a paint brush but that takes to long so I put the food coloring in the bowl and add the almonds. Let them soak for awhile. Drain them and put on a paper towel to dry. I usually make these the night before.
Pour 2 cups water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment. Add sugar; stir to dissolve. Sprinkle with yeast, and let stand until yeast begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Beat in 1 cup flour into yeast on low speed until combined. Beat in coarse salt; add 3 1/2 cups flour, and beat until combined. Continue beating until dough pulls away from bowl, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour. Beat 1 minute more. If dough is sticky, add up to 1 cup more flour. Transfer to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, 1 minute.
Coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap; let rest in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 6-quart straight-sided saucepan over high heat; reduce to a simmer. Add baking soda. Lightly coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. Divide dough into quarters. Work with one quarter at a time, and cover remaining dough with plastic wrap. Divide first quarter into 12 pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece back and forth with your palm forming a long finger shape, about 3 to 4 inches. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Or, to make toes, roll each piece so that it is slightly shorter and fatter, about 2 inches. Pinch in 1 place to form the knuckle. When 12 fingers are formed, transfer to simmering water. Poach for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fingers to the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough, blanching each set of 12 fingers before making more.
Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzel fingers and toes with the egg wash. Using a sharp knife, lightly score each knuckle about three times. Sprinkle with sea salt . Position almond nails, pushing them into dough to attach. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Fingers and toes are best eaten the same day; or store, covered, up to 2 days at room temperature.
If you try them let me know what you think!


goingsome said...

Love Love Love the witches fingers. I had hubby take look at the pic. I will have to try them, but I would buy the dough and ad lib, I cheat that way.
Thanks for sharing, I will try that one.

The Northwest Bunch said...

Sounds great and I will have to make next year!!! Also can you change my blog template without messing everything up because Jim changed his but had to put everything back. So I am afraid to ask him. If this is not to much trouble. Something cute and fallish!! Thank you

Ginger said...

These are the cutest ever, but whoa they are lots of work! Think I will give it a try though.

KLS said...

I was all for trying them until you said "Lots of work" :-) They look amazing and freaky at the same time.