I cannot but confess that I am a fan of Harry Potter; I remember reading “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone “, back in 1999 on the train from NYC to Salem (MA). Back in 1999 hardly anyone had heard of Harry Potter and it felt weird to read a child book on the train, but hey, I was going to Salem (!!!) and it was nearly Hallowe’en (BTW my favourite holiday). There were no pictures of He Who Must Not Be Named (a.k.a. Tom Riddle Voldemort; I did warn you I am a fan of Harry Potter) nonetheless I had imagined him being green (the influence of the Wizard of Oz), maybe not as green as Shrek (there was no Shrek back in 1999 either) but green as depicted below; after all he spoke the languages of the snakes (if parseltongue came to your mind, you are as bad as me at liking HP) and he belonged to the Slytherin house, whose colour is green (ah, the power of imagination).
Well to cut a long story short, I adapted the very well-known Witches Fingers, a classic Hallowe’en treat, to become Voldemort’s Fingers (clever me).
- 1/2 cup (100g) butter
- 2 heaped cups (230g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100g) icing sugar
- 1 free range egg
- 1/2 tsp Wilton green powder
- 20 peeled almonds
Heat the oven to 180’C (350’F) for the first 5 minutes, so that the baking powder kicks in, reduce to 170’C (340’F) until end of baking time.
In a food mixer (alternatively use a bowl and mix by hand) sieve all dry ingredients (but the almonds) together. Add the cold butter (diced). Lightly whisk the egg and vanilla extract. Blend all ingredients together to form a smooth dough.Add the colouring powder.
Remove from the mixer and, on a floured surface, knead the dough using your hands; add more colouring powder if needed.
Divide the dough into 25g (1-1/5 heaped Tbsp) pieces (you are aiming at 20/22 pieces/fingers). Roll out to a salami shape, thickness should be half the size of your finger (remember these will raise). Using a knife, draw lines to remind the knuckles and the rest of the lines of a finger.
Bake for 10/15 minutes; these biscuits are not intended to brown, thus after the first 10 minutes, watch constantly and if necessary remove from oven earlier than end of baking time.
Transfer immediately over a cooling rack and let them cool completely; as the biscuits cool you will notice that the nail (almond) will pop out, just brush little Lyle’s Golden syrup (or honey) and place nail in its place, it’ll stick beautifully well.