Having a difficult time finding ladyfingers in the grocery store? Try baking your own! "I keep a few dozen of these light sponge cookies in my freezer to serve with fresh fruit or to use in trifles and other desserts," explains Peggy Bailey from Covington, Kentucky.
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Confectioners' sugar
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes; set aside.
- In another bowl, beat egg yolks with remaining sugar for 3 minutes or until thick and lemon colored; add water and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into yolk mixture. Fold in egg white mixture.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip #12. Spoon batter into bag. Pipe 3-1/2-in.-long lines 2 in. apart onto a greased and floured baking sheet.
- Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack; cool completely. Cover and freeze for up to 1 month.
- To use frozen ladyfingers: Thaw in the refrigerator; dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve as a cookie or use in desserts. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Homemade Ladyfingers in Quick Cooking May/June 2002, p43
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