oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment
paper. Have ready a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain round tip.
To make the piping of the cookies easier, use a pencil and ruler to divide the
parchment paper into four - 3 inch (7.5 cm) rows, spacing the rows about 1 inch
(2.5 cm) apart.
eggs while they are still cold, and cover the whites and
yolks with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming on the egg yolks and the
whites from drying out. Let the yolks and whites reach room temperature before
using (this will take about 30 minutes).
Then, in your
electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the egg yolks and
1/3 cup (65 grams) white sugar on high speed until
the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow. (When you raise the beaters the
batter should fall back into the bowl in a slow ribbon.) (This will take
between 5-10 minutes.) Beat in the
vanilla extract. Sift the cake flour and salt over the batter but do not
In a clean
bowl, with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and
cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add
the remaining 1/3 cup (65 grams) white sugar and whip until stiff peaks form and the
whites are glossy. Fold the whites into the egg yolk and flour mixture in
three additions, mixing only until incorporated.
the batter to your pastry bag
and, holding the bag at about a 45 degree angle to the baking
sheet, pipe the batter into
3 inch (7.5 cm) long
ladyfingers, using the lines drawn on the parchment paper as your guide.
Space the ladyfingers about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
When you have piped all the
cookies, place the powdered sugar in a fine strainer, and lightly
sift the sugar over the tops of the cookies. Bake for about 8
minutes or until the ladyfingers are firm but barely
brown and are still soft and spongy when lightly pressed
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and
immediately slide the parchment paper (with the ladyfingers) from the baking sheet onto a wire
rack. Let the ladyfingers cool for a minute and then remove
the ladyfingers from the parchment paper, using a flat spatula or knife,
and let cool completely on a wire rack. (If you left them completely cool before removing them
from the parchment they tend to stick and are hard to remove without breaking.) The
ladyfingers are best the day they are made. So if not serving that
day, it is best to freeze them. To freeze, place in a plastic
bag between layers of wax or parchment paper and freeze up to one
Makes about 40 - 3 inch (7.5
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