Witch Finger cookies

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A favorite classic shortbread takes on a festive twist with these Halloween witch finger cookies. Brown sugar, cinnamon, and almonds are all you need to transform buttery shortbread into creepy cookie fingers.

a plate of cookie witch fingers

There’s no other cookie that makes such a regular appearance in our house as the shortbread. Once I had the perfect shortbread ratio down on my husband’s favorite cookie, adapting it to new flavors and themes has been easy!

So far we’ve had white chocolate raspberry shortbread, spiced shortbread cookies, a chocolate tart with a chocolate shortbread crust and now a creepy witch finger cookies inspired by Halloween. Thanks to the simplicity, it’s the perfect baking project to share with kids, or whip up in a hurry as a last minute festive treat.

Take a look more spooky Halloween recipes from our #HalloweenTreatsWeek Bloggers today:  Halloween Cookies & Bars: Halloween Breakfast: Halloween Pies: Sweet Halloween Treats:  

The Witchy Look

I wanted to keep these witch finger cookies simple, something that 95% of my fellow home cooks would be able to whip up with what they have on hand. Shortbread is classically flour, butter, and white sugar and making the blond cookie look more witchy was thankfully quite simple.

ingredients for shortbread witches fingers
  • All-purpose flour – I kept this simple, be wary of using alternative flours, you may need to adjust the other ingredients if you choose to swap it.
  • Brown sugar – Yup! that’s the secret for a darker ‘dirtier’ witch finger cookie. Don’t forget, when you’re shopping for sugar, you can look to my sponsor Dixie Crystals for a quality, consistent products!
  • Butter – standard, unsalted butter.
  • Vanilla extract – make your own for best flavor!
  • Cinnamon – another secret! It’s just enough for coloring the fingers without making an overwhelming change in the flavor.
  • Salt – Just a pinch in every cookie dough I make!
  • Slivered almonds – The unusually shaped ones, or the broken fragments make the best witch fingernails!

Pro Tip: Don’t have slivered almonds? Go with what you’ve got! I’ve used blanched almond slivers, pecan pieces, and even whole almonds.

Making Shortbread Witches Fingers

I promise that making these are no more trouble than any other cut out cookie. And, since they’re ready to eat just minutes after they come out of the oven, they’re pretty perfect for a quick spooky treat.

Brown sugar shortbread dough rolled out and cut into narrow rectangles, then each rectangle being pinched
  • Cream the butter and sugar together well, but not so much that it becomes fluffy.
  • Just barely mix the dry ingredients into the butter. I do this by hand and turn it out onto my work surface when there are still loose crumbs in my dough.
  • Roll it out to between 1/4″ and 1/2″ thick and slice into narrow rectangles for easier shaping.
  • Squeeze each rectangle three times, once about half an inch down, then down another half inch, then finally at the bottom of the rectangle.
  • To make the fingers look more authentic, slice three lines in each of the two knuckles, the areas between the first and second pinched area, and between the second and third pinched area.
  • To keep the witch finger shape perfect, chill the dough once all your fingers are shaped for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • To get the almond fingernails to stick, embed the bottom of the sliver into the cookie and press down gently to stick it.
  • Bake until they appear dry and the bottom is just barely beginning to brown for the most tender cookie.
  • Let them cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack.
a baking sheet of shortbread witches fingers

Storage & Other Questions

How well shortbread stores is part of this type of cookies great appeal. They’re the kind of cookie you can bake a day or two ahead and they still taste just as good. Once cooled completely, just pop them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

You’ll get about 30 witch finger cookies with barely more than a cup of flour. It’s also fairly low in sugar compared to many other cookies, so feel free to snack on more than one!

If you’re interested in making them more witch like than they already are, feel free to add a few drops of green dye to the batter. I usually add this to the butter so it mixes in well as I blend in the flour.

a plate of shortbread witches fingers and a bag of sugar

I hope these buttery delicious, creepy witch finger cookies satisfy all your Halloween cravings. They’re fun and easy, and give you just enough squirminess to suit the spookiest holiday of the year.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the other fabulous Halloween desserts on the blog!

a plate with shortbread witches fingers
5 from 4 votes

Shortbread Witches Fingers

Print Recipe
Buttery brown sugar shortbread infused with cinnamon for a creepy looking witch finger cookie and almond nail.
Prep Time:25 mins
Cook Time:11 mins
Chill time:30 mins
Total Time:1 hr 6 mins


  • 6 ounces all purpose flour 1 1/4 cups + 1 tablespoon (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter 1/2 cup
  • 2 ounces brown sugar 1/4 cup, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds


  • Cream together the brown sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add in cinnamon, flour, and salt and fold gently until dough just begins to come together. Turn it out onto a clean surface for rolling.
  • Press dough gently together until no more crumbs exist, then press into a square.
  • Lay a sheet parchment over the dough or use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll dough into a rectangle between 1/2" and 1/4" thick.
  • Slice the rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut lines widthwise every 1/2" creating many thin, long rectangles.
  • Shape each rectangle into a finger by pinching three times along its length. Once 1/2" in down, another 1/2" down, and a third time at the bottom of the rectangle.
  • Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining rectangles.
  • When fingers are all shaped, slice three small lines across the bumps created between the 1st and second pinch and the second and third pinches.
  • Slide a almond sliver into the dough at the tip of the finger. Cover and chill baking sheet for 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F, take cookies out while oven preheats (About 10 minutes to allow the pan to warm slightly). Bake when oven is ready for 9 to 11 minutes or when bottom is just barely beginning to color.
  • Let cool on pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.


Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies, Halloween, shortbread
Servings: 30
Calories: 57kcal
Author: Mikayla M

I’d love to hear what you think, feel free to tag me on Instagram @theflourhandprint so I can see how it went! Until next time, Happy Eating!

Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.

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  1. 5 stars
    These were delicious and so cute! I’m way too excited for Halloween this year and couldn’t wait until October to make them. I just love the flavor the cinnamon and brown sugar added.

  2. 5 stars
    The grandsons came over this morning and I served them the witches fingers with their milk. They got such a big kick out of them. They were simple to make and they really tasted good. They asked if I’d make them again. Of course I said yes!!