This recipe makes about 48, so hand 'em out to trick or treaters or just make them to gross out friends and family. I can attest that these finger pretzels make small children shiver.
Here's the recipe:
24 blanched almonds, halved lengthwise.
Red food coloring (or green or none!)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
6 1/2 to 6 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 large egg
rosemary (to make hair on the knuckles)
vegetable oil cooking spray
Place small amount of food coloring in a shallow bowl, and using small brush, paint the rounded side of each split almond. Set asside to dry.
Pour 2 cups warm water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment. Add Sugar and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle with yeast and let stand until it begins to form bubbles on the top, about 5 minutes.
Beat 1 cup flour into yeast on low speed until combined. Beat in salt; add 3 1/2 cups flour until combined. Beat until dough pulls away from bowl, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add 1/2 cup flour. Knead 1 minute more. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth.
Coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 450, Heat 3 quarts to boiling in a 6-quart straight-sided saucepan over high heat, reduce to simmer. Add baking soda.
Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
Divide dough into quarters. Work with one quarter at a time, covering remaining dough with plastic wrap. Divide the first quarter into 12 pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece back and forth with your palm into a long finger shape, about 3 to 4 inches. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles.
When all twelve fingers are formed, transfer to simmering water. Poach for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fingers to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough blanching each set of 12 fingers before making more.
Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush fingers with egg wash. Using a sharp knife, lightly score each knuckle about three times. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary. Position almond nails and push gently into dough to attach.
Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.
Best eaten the same day; or store, covered, up to 2 days at room temperature.