Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Granny Fingers

Wanna see something scary? My pal Brian over at Camp Blood approached me a few weeks ago about a project he was working on for Halloween. He wanted to do a gay-horror-Halloween-themed DIY home project segment. After a few hours of shooting at my new place (and a few shots of tequila), here's the result. I think it's fucking hilarious and awesome!

The dude making that cool mummy bag is Aaron from Brooklyn Bags, and also from my last blog post. He's a happy newlywed!

As promised in the clip, here's the recipe for the ladies' fingers. It's adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe for the same idea. I added a few new elements and I've tried to include a few different ideas/twists. The ingredients are easy to find, and with the exception of the yeast, you might already have everything in your kitchen. Don't be afraid to experiment with the decoration part to make them as ugly or pretty as you like. Now you can really give your boss the finger!


Makes about 4 dozen
  • Red or green food coloring (optional, but encouraged, for nail polish)
  • 24 blanched almonds, halved lengthwise (or cashews or walnuts)
  • 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
  • Fried rosemary (optional, for toes)


  1. Place a small amount of food coloring, if using, in a shallow bowl, and, using a paintbrush, color the rounded side of each split almond or cashew; set aside to dry. If using walnuts, they look grossest if left unpainted and broken up.
  2. 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 (bubble, toil and trouble), 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. At this point you could halve or quarter the dough and add some spooky color to part of the dough, like green or purple. Transfer to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, 1 minute.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. Cut a bit of dough off the back half of the finger or toe (so it looks like it was chopped off). When 12 fingers or toes 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 or toes before making more. 
  5. 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 liberally with sea salt and rosemary (for hair), if using. Position almond nails, pushing them into dough to attach. Push one almond or cashew into the back side of each finger and paint around it with red food color. 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. 


raena said...

the video is awesome! and you are adorable, as always. i want to come and bake things with you please.

Joe Randazzo said...

Hilarious! We should do a bi-coastal cooking show together. Ha!! Great work.