These Paleo-friendly Witches’ Finger Cookies are naturally gluten-free and made with an egg white base, matcha green tea powder for color, and a whole almond for the nail! A blast to make with your kids, these cookies are a crispy, fun, and delicious way to celebrate Halloween with a healthier treat.
Sometimes, you just want a cookie …and sometimes, you just want that cookie to be a little spookie, mostly healthy, and totally fun to make. This recipe is a product of all those things!
Wanting to give you one more healthIER spooky treat for Halloween, I put my Paleo-friendly baking hat back on and got busy in the kitchen. I KNEW I wanted some kind of a meringue-based cookie (uses whipped egg whites as the base, so they’re flourless) and I KNEW that I’d be adding some kind of sugar (willing to make a sugar concession here because I’ve spent YEARS trying and crying over failed meringues made with liquid sugars).
I’m happy to report that the green color in these Witches’ Finger Cookies is NOT due to food coloring! Instead, I turned to the little jar of matcha green tea (an antioxidant-rich green tea powder) in my pantry. I added a couple scoops to the whipped egg whites and watched the magical green powder transform the mix into a Halloween-ready cookie base. I also added vanilla extract for flavor (a good amount of it, too) and powdered sugar for sweetness. NOTE: no, powdered sugar is not Paleo (it’s a refined sugar) …but this is a once-a-year treat and FAR exceeds some of the other flour-based options out there. I’m *more* comfortable with a little sugar than I am even a gluten-free flour (though these are still gluten-free, too).
The green base is piped onto some parchment paper in fun, uneven lines (because cooked fingers are way more fun), and then the almonds are added to the tip to form the witch’s fingernail! Baking these little guys requires a little patience (90 minutes at 225 F), but the oven gives them even more fun, spooky character.
After they cool, carefully peel them off the paper and enjoy a crunchy, healthIER, flavorful, Halloween treat!
Can these be made egg-free?
They can! In fact, we tested a TON of different egg substitutes in several different baked goods, took all kinds of notes, and then laid it all out for you in this super helpful guide to egg-free baking. For cookies, we recommend using Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer – this egg substitute resulted in cookies that were chewy (but still with a nice crunch), perfectly crisp on the outside, and had an *almost* candy-like quality.
Witches' Fingers Cookies
- 4 separated egg whites about 1/2 cup
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons matcha powder note that many health stores sell it in bulk
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- Working with either the base of your stand mixer or a bowl and your hand mixer, add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip on high until soft peeks form (they'll flop over slightly).
- Add the vanilla extract and green tea powder, blend until combined.
- Carefully add the powdered sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all is incorporated and you have stiff peeks (the mix will hold a peek on your finger or mixer when pulled out).
- Spoon the mix into a piping bag and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe about 3" squiggly-lined rows of the green mix until the mix is gone. Add an almond to the end of each green line with the pointy-end pointing out.
- Bake at 225 F for 60 to 90 minutes, keeping them in there as long as you can but pulling out if it looks like they may burn. Remove from the oven, let cool for at least 15 minutes, and then enjoy!