125g (4½oz) plain flour + extra for rolling
95g (3½oz) unsalted butter, cubed
110g (4oz) mature Cheddar, roughly grated
¼ level tsp cayenne pepper
1 level tsp salt
1 tsp Lyle’s Black Treacle
½ tsp boiling water
24 flaked almonds
You will also need 2 baking trays lined with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan170°C, 375°F, gas 5.
Mix the flour and butter together in a food processor for 20-30 seconds or until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
Add the cheese, cayenne and salt and pulse just until the dough is formed.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to make a .smooth dough. Chill for 20 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to make a rectangle 30cm long x 13cm wide x 5mm thick (12”x 5”x ¼”) and cut into 24 strips. Using a palette knife, transfer to the baking trays, spacing slightly apart.
Round the tops of each pastry strip into a fingertip shape. Brush the tips with a little water then press an almond ‘nail’ into the tip, pointed end uppermost. Put the treacle into a small bowl, stir in half a teaspoon of boiling water and, using a small pastry brush, brush each ‘nail’ with the treacle. Using a small sharp knife lightly score shallow ‘knuckle’ lines in each finger and then bend each finger in places to make it look knobbly.
Bake on the top and middle shelves of the oven for 10-12 minutes, swapping the trays over halfway through until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
You can make the witch’s fingers up to 1 month ahead and freeze them in a lidded container. Alternatively, make up to 5 days ahead and store in a lidded container in the fridge. Remove from the fridge 2 hours before serving.