Tiramisu: Baking Ladyfingers

22 Dec

Baked LadyfingersThese cute little Ladyfinger Cookies are simple to make, delicious dipped into a cup of your favorite tea or as the base of creamy Italian Tiramisu.

When I made Chocolate Tiramisu last week, I decided to make my own ladyfinger cookies instead of buying them. The store-bought variety, while perfectly serviceable, just aren’t as good as making your own. Besides, it’s great to say you made something 100% from scratch, isn’t it?

For this recipe, you’ll need a few *special* ingredients that you may not have in your home kitchen: cake flour, cream of tartar (powder) and a piping bag/tip…in addition to a few others.

And stay tuned on a terrific use for these cookies…I’ll be posting my favorite Chocolate Tiramisu Recipe soon.

Ladyfinger Ingredients

Ladyfinger Cookie Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 8-10 minutes (until firm/lightly browned)
Oven Temp: 350 F
Makes 3 dozen 3-inch cookies | Adapted from Joy of Baking

1/2 cup Cake Flour
3 Egg Yolks, room temperature
2 tbsp White Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Egg Whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
3 tbsp White Sugar
Powdered Sugar for dusting unbaked cookies

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line two (2) baking sheets with parchment paper. [Silpats will work, but I discovered parchment makes removing the cookies easier after baking.]

Use a ruler to divide the parchment into three (3) rows. This will help you pipe evenly sized 3-inch cookies.  Fit your pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip. [In a pinch, you can probably use a gallon zip-lock bag with a small cut in one corner.]

Get all your ingredients measured and ready so they are close at hand.

Preparing Egg Yolks
In an electric mixer with your paddle attachment, beat egg yolks and 2 tbsp white sugar on high for ~5 minutes. The mixture should form a ribbon when batter falls off the beaters back into the mixture. Egg yolks will be thick and pale yellow. Mix in the vanilla extract. Sift the cake flour lightly over the batter but don’t fold in.

Ladyfingers Flour and Egg

Preparing Egg Whites
In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites using your whisk attachment until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat to soft peaks. Slowly add in the 3 tbsp of white sugar and whip until stiff peaks form and egg whites are glossy.

Fold the whites into the yolk mixture in three (3) additions, mixing until just incorporated.

Ladyfinger Batter

Ladyfinger Batter Mixed

Transfer your batter into your pastry bag. Hold the bag at a 45-degree angel to the baking sheet and pipe the batter to form 3-inch ladyfingers. Leave about an inch between cookies. [My batter was fairly thin and it took a few tries to pipe an even ladyfinger. You’ll get the hang of it!]

Ladyfingers on SheetAfter you’ve finished piping your cookies, sift powdered sugar lightly over the tops of the ladyfinger cookies.

Bake your cookies 8-10 minutes until the ladyfingers are firm, lightly browned and still spongy in texture.

Take the baking sheets out of the oven and slide the parchment paper from your pans onto wire cooling racks. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes and then use a thin spatula to separate the cookies from the paper. [Don’t forget to do this or they will stick!]

Let the cookies cool completely. Store in a sealed container for 1-2 days or freeze for longer storage.

One Response to “Tiramisu: Baking Ladyfingers”

  1. jeremycwagner December 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    These look great! I bet they would be great dipped in one of your drinking chocolates!

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