Monday, October 12, 2009

Cinnamon Chocolate Cigarettes

I made these cigarette cookies to go with my coffee ice cream. I wanted a delicate light cookie that would complement the flavour of the coffee without being too heavy. These also use up the egg whites that were leftover from the ice cream.
These cookies are a but tricky:
When mixed the batter is very thin, but it thickens up a bit as it sits at room temperature. I found that the batter was easiest to handle when it started to thicken up. these are essentially tuile cookies that you roll around a chopstick or dowel to create the distinctive cigarette shape.
Making these cookies was somewhat like making crepes, you need to do a few before you get the hang of it.
These use almost no ingredients and the batter only requires a whisk, but the shaping and rolling is fussy and time consuming and will burn your fingertips. Seriously. These roll best when hot. I found after a few batches you establish a rhythm for making these: dollop, spread, bake, remove from oven, roll, ow.ow.ow.ow. fingertips burn, place on baking sheet to cool. Baking these cookies is all about playing through the pain.
If you persevere, the end result will be elegant little cookies to pretty up some ice cream , or a cookie tray.
Some of these didn't quite crisp up as much as I thought they would. They were more like oven baked crepes, but after I dipped the tips of the cookies in chocolate I put them in the fridge and they did harden somewhat to the crispness I expected.
I wasn't sure how these would turn out, but was pleasantly surprised by the subtleness of the cinnamon. The cookies themselves had that sugary slightly caramelized taste like crepes and pizzelles and the mild dark chocolate was just enough to balance the flavour of the cookies with the coffee ice cream and give just that hit of chocolate to pull everything together.

Cinnamon Chocolate Cigarettes
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Time: about 1-1/4 hours
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5-1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  1. Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick liner (now's the time to break out the silpat), or butter a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together egg whites, confectioner's sugar, flour, butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl until well combined. Working in batches of 4, drop level teaspoons of batter about 3 inches apart onto lined baking sheet, then spread each dollop of batter into a 3-inch round with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
  3. Bake the cookies until edges are golden, 6-8 minutes. work quickly when forming cookies; they must be piping hot. Lift one cookie off sheet with a long flexible spatula, then roll it around a pencil or chopstick to for a narrow cylinder. press pencil or chopstick against work surface, seam side down, for a few seconds to seal seam. Immediately slide cookie off pencil or chopstick onto a rack to cool. (If cookies become too brittle to roll, return to oven for 1 minute to soften.) Make more cigarettes with remaining batter in same manner. Cool completely.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment or wax-paper. Melt chocolate in a meta bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove bowl from heat. One at a time, dip 1/4 inch of each cookie into melted chocolate, letting the excess drip off. Place cookies on lined baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate sets. these cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
adapted from: The Gourmet Cookbook

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