Whenever we go home to New Jersey for a visit we stop at Italian pastry shops for cannolis and cinnamon savoiardi (ladyfingers), which are my daughter’s favorite. Despite their exotic name, they are really just a simple piped, cake-like cookie. But adding cinnamon oil to the batter takes these cookies to a whole new level. This recipe is adapted from Nick Malgieri’s wonderful book Cookies Unlimited. The original recipe instructions call for piping the cookies onto parchment-lined baking sheets, but I prefer to use lightly sprayed ladyfinger molds, such as one that I bought in Europe years ago used for those in the photo below.
Cinnamon Savoiardi (Ladyfingers)
4 large room-temperature eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon oil
1/2 c. vanilla granulated sugar, divided
pinch of fine sea salt
1 c. cake flour
powdered sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray 2 ladyfinger molds, wiping out the excess. Set aside. In a mixer bowl combine egg yolks with vanilla extract, cinnamon oil, and 1/4 cup of the vanilla sugar. Use the whip attachment on your mixer to whip the egg yolk mixture until thick and lemon colored – about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl combine egg whites with salt. Beat using a clean and dry whip attachment until they are just beginning to hold their shape. Add remaining 1/4 cup vanilla sugar in a stream and beat until the egg whites hold stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the beaten egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sift the cake flour over the egg mixture in several additions, folding the flour into the batter until smooth. Pipe the batter onto the parchment into 3-inch long fingers, or spoon the batter to almost fill prepared ladyfinger molds. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes or until they are firm and light golden. Remove baking sheet to a rack. Let cookies sit on the baking sheets or molds for 2 minutes. Use a spatula to gently lift cookies off parchment or out of their molds. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 3 dozen cookies.