Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Time-Out: Lady Fingers

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Before Christmas, our Facebook page was filled with tiramisu ideas from wonderful bloggers and friends.  The occasion?  John’s birthday.  And even though he has to share his birthday with Christmas, I try and make it a little extra special for him!  Last year, all he wanted was banana pudding pie
This year, he went back to his favorite standby, Tiramisu.  I’ll admit that while I enjoy eating it, it’s not something I’ve ever made whole-heartedly.  Usually, I make the quicky version – cream cheese and marscapone between layers of coffee-dipped lady fingers.  But this year, when so much has changed for him, I wanted to be able to go that extra mile and show him how much he has loved.  What better way than through food, right?  Hehe, this is probably why our New Year’s resolutions contain goals to lose some weight! 

Regardless, it’s his special day and when else can you disregard the rules than on your own birthday!  The recipe looked hard and to be honest, I was slightly intimidated by it.  But once I got into it, these lady fingers moved quickly and came out…perfect!  These melt in your mouth and I might have polished off 2 or 3 “broken” ones while they were cooling.  They were so delicious that you don’t even need to wait for an excuse like tiramisu to make them!
Lady Fingers (adapted from Joy of Baking)
Serves:  48 cookies (1 tiramisu)
3 egg yolks, room temperature
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon amaretto
1/2 cup flour, sifted
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with tin foil and set aside.

Beat egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar on high speed for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture is pale yellow and thick.  Beat in the amaretto fully.  Sit the flour over the batter but do NOT fold in.  Set aside.

In a second bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the remaining sugar (3 tablespoons) and whip until whites are glossy and stiff peak forms.  Fold one-third of the egg whites into the yolk and flour mixture, until just incorporated.  Fold an additional one-third of the egg whites into the mixture, until just incorporated.  Fold the final third of the egg whites into the mixture, mixing until just incorporated. 

Transfer the batter into a pastry bag or ziploc bag and cut the tip off.  Pipe the batter into 3 inch long lady fingers.  Once all the cookies have been piped, sift the powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies.  Bake in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until the lady fingers are firmed and barely golden.  They should still be spongy when you press them with your clean fingers.

Take the tin foil (with cookies) and slide them off the baking sheets.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes.  then, release them from the tinfoil with a flat spatula, while still warm.  Let them completely cool on a wire rack.  Use immediately.  If you would like to use them later, freeze them in a plastic bag between layers of wax paper for up to 2 weeks.

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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