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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Witches Fingers

and wizard wands:

Sir Bevedere:
"There are ways of telling whether she is a witch."
Peasants: "Are there? What are they? Tell us, tell us."
Sir Bevedere: "Tell me, what do you do with witches?"
Peasants: "Buuurn, burn them up..."
Sir Bevedere: "What do you burn apart from witches?"
Peasant 1: "More witches!"

Is there anything more gruesome than a vase full of knotted, slime green witches fingers? What could be more magical than a trip to Ollivanders? There are tons of molds on the market for creepy, crawly chocolate digits-but who wants to pay for a chocolate mold you can only use once a year? These chocolate covered pretzels are incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. The catch: they don't photograph easily. But, I promise they are the perfect mix of salty, sweet and crunchy. Maybe it is just me but I don't think I can bring myself to really eat something that looks like a squishy, still warm finger, even if it is just puff pastry.

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for witchery, and these chocolate-pretzel treats are no exception. I will never forget stirring a big silver wash basin full of soapy water and wild garlic and telling my very superstitious neighbor that I was brewing a potion-I was only 11 or 12-I think she actually believed me. Of course, a few months later a friend and I espied the same neighbor chasing the "ghost" of her husband's first wife around the upstairs with an upended broom. This year October brought a pot of lavender to her stoop to ward off spirits. I guess my teasing made an impact all those years ago... That, or she really is as crazy as we neighborhood children always suspected.

Notes: The best part of Halloween, for me at least, is its down right shamelessly gaudy nature. With that in mind the more sprinkles and chocolate squiggles the better for these treats! Think slime green, an eye popping purple and pumpkin orange for starters. You could also roll the Wizard Wands in toasted, chopped nuts or even crumbled candy bars or just double dip them in chocolate and butterscotch morsels. The sky is the limit!

Tempering chocolate:
  • Don't freeze or refrigerate chocolate. Very often this will cause the chocolate to turn, giving it a dull or powdery appearance.
  • Try and keep your chocolate at a constant temperature once it has been heated. Using a double boiler makes this easier. If you heat and reheat chocolate in the microwave too often the aforementioned dull, cracked appearance is more likely to occur.
  • Work in batches. Don't feel like you need to do everything all at once.
  • Turn on the AC. Try and keep the air around your drying chocolate cool so that it sets up faster and has a more even appearance. Do not refrigerate!
Witches Fingers
1 (4 ounce) white chocolate baking bar
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
almonds (for the finger nails)
10 pretzel rods
food coloring: green, yellow

1. Fill a pot with a little water and set a heat proof bowl on top. Heat the water over low until it simmers gently.
2. Break up the chocolate and place it in heat proof bowl.
3. Stir the chocolate as it heats up until it is smooth and totally melted. Add 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls of oil and 4 drops each of green and yellow dye, stirring until combined.
4. When the chocolate is runny and slimy green line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
5. Spoon the chocolate over the pretzel rod, smoothing it with the back of a spoon, covering all but 1/4 of the pretzel.
6. Press a "nail" onto the wet chocolate and set aside to dry. If you want you can drizzle the fingers with other chocolates or sprinkles. Store your fingers at room temperature, covered.

Wizard Wands
1/4 cup semi-sweet, bittersweet or milk chocolate chips
Assorted sprinkles
food coloring: black (optional)

1. Fill a pot with a little water and set a heat proof bowl on top. Heat the water over low until it simmers gently.
2. Break up the chocolate and place it in heat proof bowl.
3. Stir in a drop or two of vegetable oil and any food coloring you might be using.
4. Line a baking pan with waxed paper.
5. Spoon the chocolate over your pretzels until all but a 1/4 of it is covered. Roll the pretzel in your sprinkles or drizzle with extra chocolate and then set aside to dry.
6. Store you wands covered at room temperature.


  1. First of all chocolate tips? Why can't I find more of those on the internet?!! Next, Monty Python references in a cooking blog?
    You rock...even if I can't stand to read your blog before bed.
    Half asleep, oooooooooooooooooooooooo, why am I so hungry?

  2. If medieval peasants ate more than bread, beer and dirt I could include Monty Python in all of my posts!