Saturday, October 13, 2012

Halloween Fun: Witchy Fingers

Halloween's coming! It's just around the corner. Are you ready for the festivities yet? Em and I are getting ready for our awesome Halloween party, full of fun, good food, a photo booth, and games. In our search for just the right touches to the party we remembered a Pinstrosity that was sent to us that we thought we be perfect at the party.

The Original Pin
http://domesticsugar.blogspot.com/2011/10/something-evil-this-way-comes.html

Aren't those AWESOME?! I love it. They look so perfect.

Karen and Sarah both saw this pin on Pinterest and knew they had to try them out as well. 

The Pinstrosities
"Gorilla, zombie-pinstrosity!  I can't underestimate the creator's instruction to roll the fingers out thin!" -Karen

"What went wrong: Being a lazy baker, I decided to use pre-made Pillsbury sugar cookie dough instead of making my own dough from scratch. Apparently this is UNACCEPTABLE. The cookies looked promising before they were baked...each knuckle and creepy fingernail molded and placed just so. I tidied up the kitchen while the cookies were in the oven while imagining how impressed my friends and co-workers would be by these terrifying creations, but when the timer went off all I could do was laugh. My version of Halloween monster finger cookies...not so spooky. Haha." -Sarah
Maybe these are the fingers of the Wicked Witch of the West as she is melting? Either way, not so witchy. So how do we get those awesome plump fingers? Meghan gave some tips on her blog in response to the influx of emails and questions she received:

"My cookies are flatter than yours: My answer to you is to be cautious of your butter to flour ratio. Oftentimes, doughs react differently at different humidities or temperatures. If you find your dough spreads a little too much, try adding a little flour to the mix before you put in the next batch. I always do a 'test batch' when baking cookies, so I know how they are going to spread." 

"How thin and long should I roll the dough: As for the thinness of the dough.. I rolled the dough to 3/4 of the width my own fingers, about a bit longer than a real finger. The cookies should spread but stay plump. The bottoms WILL be flat, but the edges are rounded."

She also so kindly included a link to her cookie recipe, so you can get even closer to her results: http://domesticsugar.blogspot.com/2011/04/wizard-of-oz-dorothy-cookie-and-me.html


The key to this is to do a test bake batch. Only bake 1-2 cookies first to see how they turn out. If they spread too much, do as Meghan suggests and add a little more flour to the dough. And...if the fingers are too wide...scale down the next batch. Doing the test batch is way worth the time to be able to get these just right. I promise you'll be more happy with having "wasted" time doing a test batch than you will be if you waste the time and ingredients baking these without a test batch and having them not turn out right.


16 comments:

  1. I'm continually amazed by people who try to duplicate pins with completely random substitutions. "I didn't want to make the recipe so I used storebought cookie dough." or "I didn't have washing soda handy, so I used baking soda instead."

    They always seem so disappointed and/or surprised that their pins fail. So many of them blame the original poster instead of taking responsibility for the fact that they failed to actually read the entire post or follow the directions.

    I just don't get it. If you're going to try to duplicate a pin, wouldn't you want to actually follow the directions - at least the first time??

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    1. In all fairness to the submitters, in the original post Meghan says, "Simply roll out some sugar-cookie dough into a thin line". She later added a link to her personal recipe as people asked for it, but the instructions for these cookies don't actually include a specific recipe. So they read the post and then used the sugar cookie dough they preferred as the instructions did not say they had to use any specific dough recipe.

      Some people do blame the pin, but I think that more and more people are realizing that it isn't always the pin's fault...sometimes things just don't work out, be it because of a substitution or some other factor. Mishaps are just a part of the creative process. I personally learn more from my mishaps than I do from my successes...so I think we all need mishaps occasionally.

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    2. Other people might be more into finger-pointing, but I always blame myself and never the original poster. If I was GOOD at creative endeavors I wouldn't be half-heartedly mimicking someone else's stuff in the first place. Haha.
      "If you're going to try to duplicate a pin, wouldn't you want to actually follow the directions - at least the first time??" No. Probably not. I'm not Martha Stewart and I don't have anyone to impress so I probably wouldn't choose a complicated method over a simple one. Lazy methods work for me about 80% of the time and produce hilarious failures the other 20%. As someone who enjoys a good humbling and an even better laugh - I am okay with these odds. :]

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    3. @Sarah, please don't take this as mean, because it's not. :) If you're cool with the potential failure I think that's fine. What frustrates me is that I see a lot of people (not just here, but other places, too) say things like "I'm not a very good cook." or "I'm not a really crafty person - I'm not good at that stuff." or "I can't bake to save my life." And then you find out that they don't ever follow the recipe or directions - they just half-heart it.

      I love to cook and I'm pretty good at it, I think. But whenever I try a recipe for the first time, unless I'm VERY confident in it, I stick by the recipe exactly the way it's written the first time. Once I've made it "by the book", then I can decide if I want to change it or if my changes will work.

      Again, maybe for you it's not such a big deal. But I've had people gripe about recipes on my blog - and come to find out they didn't read the post, they didn't follow the instructions, or they messed with the ingredients.

      Maybe that's just my grumpiness about it happening to me coming out. :)

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    4. Kara, I am often the same way when trying out a recipe for the first time. I try to do it by the instructions first (unless something unforeseen happens), and then the second time I tweak if I want to. My sister however just has a knack for knowing what she can tweak and substitute and what she can't...I guess is just depends on the person, and that's just fine.

      It is frustrating though when people misread, don't read, or tweak right away and then blame you for things not turning out exactly as they thought it should, we have received those types of complaints here on our blog. We received your message about our "Clearing up a few Misconceptions" and we wanted you to know that we do appreciate your comments and your perspective and that the post was written in response to a few rude messages we received from anonymous emailers. We hope that your blog goes well; if you email us the link we'd love to check it out. I know I'm always in need of a good recipe.

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    5. Wouldn't changing some of the original directions in a pin fall under "taking a pin, and making it tour own"? Whether it be trying something to make it easier/ cheaper/ less time consuming, or changing directions to give it your own flair, you'll never know unless you try. What amazes me is people who feel following directions and getting a recipe or project right every time make you a great cook or DIYer. That just means you can read well.What makes it creative IS putting your own spin on it. This is not meant to be rude, just one person's opinion.

      Delete
  2. I've made these before (actually before Pinterest existed), and they did turn out! We had a shortbread cookie dough recipe instead of sugar cookie dough. They held their shape perfectly, and were super creepy!

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    Replies
    1. I was just going to ask if anyone thought that shortbread would work. From my experience it doesnt really flatten at all so might be just the thing to use! A friend of mine did these once for a halloween party (also before pinterest) and she used whole almonds for the fingernails and even painted them with red glaze I think.

      Was thinking of shortbread for the chocolate chip cookie bowls using muffin tins too...worth a shot anyways.

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    2. I made them last year, with a shortbread recipe, and *most* of them turned out great. The key, at least with the recipe I had, was definitely rolling them out thinner than you think they need to be. I had some that turned out like king kong fingers, and some that were perfect. I also used the red glaze and almond slivers.

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  3. Ha!!! I believe that my attempt would probably look like the last photo.

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  4. I'm so glad someone did this before I did this weekend! I don't cook. I would have totally used the premade stuff.

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  5. I am actually planning to make these for Halloween. We're having some no-kids couples over that night. Glad to see this! You saved me a lot of frustration!

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  6. my suggestion to keep the cookies from flattening during cooking would be to chill or freeze the rolled fingers right before baking.

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  7. I just made them and used the sugar cookie mix where you add water, but you have to add extra flour. they turned out really well

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  8. I die laughing every time I see this!!

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  9. I made these using and they looked almost identical to the photo... they were a hit.

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