Creepy Witches' Fingers

Yield: 5 dozen

1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Icing sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Almond extract
1 tsp Vanilla
2 2/3 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Almonds, whole blanched
1 Tube red decorator gel
(optional, not pictured)

Gross everyone out with these creepy cookies.
In bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and
vanilla. Beat in flour, baking soda, and salt. Cover and refrigerate
30 minutes. Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and
keeping remainder refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoonful of dough
into finger shape for each cookie. Press almond firmly into 1 end
for nail. Squeeze in centre to create knuckle shape. (Accompanying
picture showed long rolled shape with bulge at centre for knuckle;
you puff it out rather than squeeze it in.) Using paring knife, make
slashes in several places to form knuckle.

Place on lightly greased baking sheets; bake in 325F (160C) oven for
20-25 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for 3 minutes. Lift up
almond, squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond
back in place, so gel oozes out from underneath. You can also make
slashes in the finger and fill them with "blood."
(ed. note - I opted not to go for the bloody effect as you can see
in my picture above, and my guests were still grossed out!)

Remove from baking sheets and let cool on racks. Repeat with
remaining dough.
Eerie Eyeballs

Yields approximately 9 dozen bite-sized eyeballs

3 oz lemon gelatin (can be sugar-free)
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup pineapple juice
8 oz cream cheese (can be lowfat/Neufchatel)
1 cup mayonnaise (can be fat-free)

Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 cup water in double boiler, add
marshmallows and stir to melt. Remove from heat. Add pineapple juice
and cream cheese. Beat until well blended. Cool slightly. Fold in
mayo. If you have a truffle candy mold or round ice cube trays, pour
the mixture in the molds and leave to set in the fridge. Otherwise
pour into a deep ceramic dish and chill until thickened or firm
enough for scooping into eyeballs. Using a melonballer, scoop full
balls of the mixture and set aside for decoration. To decorate, use
liquid food coloring and an old detail paintbrush and get creative.
You will need black food coloring for the pupils. Also, if you are
in a hurry, instead of painting the colored irises, you can
carefully dip the ball in a small pool of food coloring to
approximate the iris, but still paint on the pupils.

For 1999, I found rubber ice cube trays that worked beautifully with
much less waste than the melonballer technique. I sprayed the rubber
trays with non-stick cooking spray beforehand like you would any
gelatin mold, let the gelatin mixture sit in the refrigerator to
set, then I was able to carefully pop the eyeballs out to paint
them. Some of the eyeballs did break, and they do have one flat
side, but that actually works, since then they don't roll around
while you are trying to paint them. Since 2001 I have found that
Wilton truffle candy molds are even better, since the swirl design
on the top is the right size for the cornea shape on the eyeball.
When using the truffle molds, one recipe makes about 9 dozen
eyeballs - plenty for a party crowd!
Decayed Corpse Chips with Entrail Salsa

blue corn tortilla chips

This isn't so much a recipe as it is a creative display. Arrange the
blue corn chips in a coffin in the shape of a long-dead corpse. The
natural blue corn chips have almost a dusky shade of brown in them
that hints of decayed skin. Serve with a nice blood-red chunky salsa
as accompanying entrails.

For 1999 I got more elaborate. I found a larger coffin that happened
to fit a rubber skeleton I have had for years. I lined the coffin
with crushed velvet, propped up the skeleton, arranged the chips
around him, and set the crystal bowl of "entrails" between his
Dried Cherry Scabs

dried cherries
(could adapt and use dried currants or dried cranberries)

Yes, another nasty name for an otherwise mediocre dried fruit...but
call them "scabs" and all of a sudden no one will eat them!
Witches' Brew (ALCOHOL)

500 ml (5 parts) Midori
800 ml (8 parts) vodka
2 liters (20 parts) ginger ale
200 ml (2 parts) water


Witches' Brew

(this one pretty much fills a 12-quart cauldron)

four 48 oz cans pineapple juice
one 96 oz bottle orange juice
four 2 liter bottles lemon-lime soda
one 1.75 liter bottle vodka
one 1.75 liter bottle rum

All measurements are approximate. Adjust to your own taste.
Mix well. Pour into your cauldron, preferably with chunks of dry ice
to create the bubbling steam effect.
(Be careful NOT to drink or eat or in any way come in direct contact
with skin with any chunks of dry ice -
you can get burned by the extreme cold!)
Bleeding Human Heart
(inspired by Penn & Teller's Bleeding Heart)

First of all, find your mold. I found mine a couple years ago at
Spencer's Gifts around Halloween season. It came with a very similar
recipe, but not any instructions to make it bleed. Second,
thoroughly wash your mold, especially all the detail where the veins
are. When completely dry, spray the mold with non-stick cooking
spray. You'll see below that Penn & Teller used a Valentine's Day-
style heart-shaped cake pan...I think using the human heart mold
improves on their concept one-hundred percent...!

My human heart mold isn't large enough to handle the whole Penn &
Teller recipe, so I halved the following recipe...I also altered the
blood by using raspberry syrup and Chambord raspberry liqueur
instead of the grenadine, since I was using raspberry gelatin. After
the mold is set, I turn out the heart and set it on a crystal
pedestal plate and use food coloring and a small brush to accent the
veins. I even use red food coloring to shade the contours (it really
does make a difference). I use my large Psycho-style butcher knive
to sever and serve, as they suggest below.