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Cheddar witches’ fingers

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Cheddar Witch Fingers

Photo by Courtney from Cook Like a Champion.

Cheddar witches' fingers, also known as spooky cheese straws or spooky cheese fingers, are a treat for Halloween. They are an alternative to sweeter, but likely more sugar-filled similar treats.

Ingredients

  • 12 inches of Parchment paper x2
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces (1 cup packed) shredded, extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (Optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse salt
  • 30 sliced almonds
  • Black food coloring gel (Optional)

Cooking directions

  1. Combine your unsalted butter, cheese, flour, cornmeal, and cayenne (if desired) into a food mixer bowl and insert into the machine. Use the pulse setting until ingredients' texture resembles wet sand.
  2. Transfer ingredients to mixing bowl and add eggs, mixing together until dough begins to hold together. Pour this mixture out onto a sheet of parchment paper and cover with your other sheet of parchment. Press dough into a circle, roughly ½-inch thick.
  3. Freeze dough for 15 minutes or refrigerate it up to 3 days. Once ready, remove dough and roll it into rectangles about 8 inches wide and 10 inches long. Return to freezer for another 15 minutes.
  4. OPTIONAL: Paint almonds while waiting if desired. To do this, mix a small amount of food coloring and water. Use a small paintbrush to color your almonds and set aside to dry.
  5. Remove dough from freezer and preheat oven to 350ºF. Peel off top parchment sheet and use a sharp knife to cut dough into two 8 x 5" segments. Cut these into 30 ½-inch wide strips and place these onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt, to taste.
  6. Using your fingers, shape each strip by rounding out the edges. Bending them in varying angles to give a knobby look is recommended. Again taking up your sharp knife, score grooves into each to resemble knuckles. Lightly dab one end of each finger - the end chosen to be the "finger tip" - with water and gently press your almond into the dough. Remember, if you do not add the dab of water, many times the almonds will simply fall out.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fingers are golden and crisp. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

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