How to make Halloween dead finger cookies

Halloween treats
One of my favourite Halloween treats are these dead finger sugar cookies. They are always a big hit!

To keep the fingers as thin as possible during baking I roll out the dough thinly so it will keep the shape, as cookie dough tends to spread out. You can paint the almond nails with food colouring gels. I like to keep them natural with just a little dusting of cocoa powder, just like on the photo.

This is what I use:
Sugar cookie dough (please find recipe below)
Pastry brush
Plastic wrap
30-40 blanched almonds, cut into halves after the skin is removed
1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder + a little brush
Baking sheets

Sugar cookie recipe:

I get about 24-30 cookie fingers out of this portion.

2 large eggs (1 whole egg + 1 yolk. Use the leftover egg white for brushing the cookies)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (65 grams) confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons (60 grams) granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 2/3 cups (235 grams) all-purpose flour

1. In a bowl add the two types of sugar, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and the egg + yolk. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
2. Next stir in the softened butter
3. Add the flour and stir until it’s all combined
4. Take the dough and knead it lightly. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Heat your oven to 350 degrees (175 C)

Step 1:
Take a small piece of cookie dough (walnut size) and roll it back and forth. You should make the finger long and thinly (think, witch long and creepy) for best results. Pinch and form knuckles. Score with a knife and transfer the fingers to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the cookies with the leftover egg white and place a almond “nail” on the cookie fingers. Chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
Halloween finger cookies
Halloween finger cookies

Step 2:
Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake the finger cookies for about 12-15 minutes. They should be just lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Halloween finger cookie treats

Step 3:
Dust the fingers with a little cocoa powder and your creepy dead finger cookies are ready to be served.
Halloween cookies

Happy Caking!



  1. Latha says

    I tried this recipe yesterday. Came almost true to pictures. End product tasted delicious albeit a bit on the crispier side. It could have been either due to over baking or over mixing. Nevertheless, I will use this recipe again in the future.

  2. says

    Great recipe and big thanks for real cookie dough recipe not “use store bought cookie dough”. Will make them tomorrow, double 🙂

  3. Farzana says

    Girl, you sure impress! I was thinking, “How the heck did she make those? What are they made from?” And here, you’ve explained it beautifully. You are wonderful, thanks for your inspiration.

  4. Jenylilly says

    Just made these,they weren’t as perfect as the photos but still look amazing,for a first effort, forgot to glaze them and refrigerate….was in a rush! so some of the ‘nails’ fell off but just stuck them back on with icing.Am really please with the results,the kids are gonna love them.Many Thanks.

  5. Deane_jennifer says

    Just finished making them! They taste amazing! Im usually a cupcake kind of girl but couldnt help but create these for my halloween get together tomorrow!

  6. says

    These dead fingers really look terrifying!! Congrats and thanks for sharing the recipe!! 😀 

  7. Bings says

    Fantastic! I have been looking at the ones you made last year… Thanks so much for the tutorial! I will definitely have to try them out!

  8. Judy says

    These are great! I think I might make them to bring to work; I’m also thinking about dipping the “cut-off” end of the finger in some “blood”, or maybe just in some red icing 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing and for making it look so easy!!

    • Anonymous says

      I think I will do the same for my daughters Halloween party. I think Wilton have some red decorating gel that would be perfect as blood. 🙂

  9. Kira says

    These looks awesome. Wilton has a pan shaped for fingers as well. I’d like to share my cookie tip. If you don’t want your cookie spreading, especially when using a cutter, don’t use baking soda in the recipe. Also, you can chill the dough before baking.

    • Anonymous says

      Hi Kira, I have seen the Wilton pan but sometimes it can get too perfect 😉 Yes, never use baking powder or soda when making cookies. I have never had great luck with that.

  10. EmmaMT says

    They are perfectly gross! I love them. Not sure I would be able to eat a finger though, but that’s the point isn’t it?

    Great post!

  11. Mwcooker says

    I’ve made these with pretzel dough and added rosemary to some for a “hairy look” very gross!!  Love the idea of sugar cookies, yummy.


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