oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment
paper. To make the piping of the cookies easier, use a pencil and ruler to
divide the parchment paper into three - 3 inch (7.5 cm) rows, with about 1 inch
(2.54 cm) between rows. Have ready a large pastry bag fitted with a
1/2 inch (1.25 cm) round tip.
electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and 2
tablespoons (25 grams) white sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes or 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.) Beat in the
vanilla extract. Sift the cake flour over the batter but do not fold in.
In a clean
bowl, with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the
cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add
the 3 tablespoons (36 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 the 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. Pipe
the batter leaving about a 1 inch (2.54 cm) space between the cookies.
When you have piped all the
cookies, place the powdered sugar in a wire strainer, and lightly
sift the sugar over the tops of the cookies. Bake for 8 to 10
or until the ladyfingers are firm but barely
browned and are still spongy when pressed with a finger.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and
slide the parchment paper from the baking sheets onto a wire
rack. Let the ladyfingers cool for a few minutes and release
them from the parchment paper, with a flat spatula, while they are
still warm. If you left them completely cool before removing them
from the parchment they stick and hard to remove without breaking.
Finish cooling the ladyfingers on the wire rack
before using or storing. If you are not using the ladyfingers
right away, freeze them. Ladyfingers stale very quickly
unless they are soaked in a liquid. To store, place in a plastic
bag between layers of wax or parchment paper and freeze up to 2 weeks.
Makes about 4 1/2 dozen 3 inch (7.5