As I searched for treats to serve at our Halloween Open House I found these cookies in the Pillsbury Halloween recipe magazine.
The recipe originally suggested dyed almonds for the "toenails" and almond extract as a flavoring. Of course, I nixed all of that and used safe Mike and Ike brand jelly beans for the toenails and substituted vanilla for the almond extract.
The recipe I'm listing below is certainly "nut-free" but it is based on a Betty Crocker cookie mix recipe (I'm all about "from scratch" but I'm having time issues!), and so it does contain other allergens. If your child has allergies to dairy or wheat, just use your favorite allergy-free sugar cookie recipe and be sure to chill the dough for at least an hour.
Here's the recipe:
Frankenstein Monster's Toes
1 pouch (I lb. 1.5 oz Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use McCormick)
7 drops NEON green food color (again, I use McCormick)
36 Mike and Ike or other "safe" jelly beans
1. In large bowl stir cookie mix, flour , melted butter, egg, vanilla and green food color until soft dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
2. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. For each cookie, roll heaping teaspoons of dough into 2-1/2-inch finger shapes. On ungreased cookie sheets, place shapes 2 inches apart. (A word to the wise: don't make the rolls too big or flat. This dough spreads quite a bit!)
3. About 1 inch from the end of each "toe" squeeze dough slightly; with knife, gently make lines in dough to look like knuckles.
4. Bake 6-8 minutes until set. The edges of cookies should not be at all brown. While still on cookie sheet and working quickly before cookies cool, gently but firmly press a jelly bean into the edge of each "toe" for the fingernail. Cool cookies one minute; remove to cooling racks. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes.