Russian Cigarettes

Yield:
about 50 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 ounces, or 5 tablespoons, unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 2/3 ounces, or 6 tablespoons, superfine sugar
  • 1 ounce, or about 3 1/2 tablespoons, almond and sugar powder, recipe follows
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 ounces, or 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon, all-purpose flour
  • 1 recipe filling, recipe follows
  • 1 recipe glaze, recipe follows
Directions

Place the butter in a small stainless-steel bowl and beat with a wooden spatula, warming it over low heat as needed to make it smooth, white, and creamy. Beat in the sugar. When smooth, beat in the almond and sugar powder. Beat in 1 egg white with the wooden spatula. Then beat in the remaining egg whites, 1 at a time, with a wire whisk. Whisk in the vanilla. Sift the flour over the batter and mix it in with the wooden spatula. Cover the batter airtight and refrigerate overnight or for up to 1 week. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Scoop the batter into the pastry bag, and pipe the batter in domes 1-inch wide, arranging them on the baking sheets in staggered rows and separating them by 2 to 3 inches. (Do not pipe more than 12 or 13 cookies on each baking sheet or you won't be able to roll them before they cool.) Or, spoon the batter in 1 teaspoon domes using the ice cream scoop. Let rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes before baking. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges but still pale in the center, about 4 to 7 minutes.

While the cookies are baking, place a folded kitchen towel (a smooth, untextured towel, no terry cloth) on your countertop. One at a time, lift each cookie off the baking sheet using a metal spatula and place it upside down on the towel. Roll it around a wooden dowel or metal rod to form a cigarette. As you finish rolling the cigarette, press down firmly on the dowel to prevent the cigarette from unrolling, then slide it off the dowel onto a plate. Work quickly because if the cookies cool they will become brittle. If they do cool and start to crack as you roll them, return the baking sheet to the oven briefly to reheat them. Storage: Covered airtight in a cookie jar or tin cookie bowl for up to 1 week. Pipe the filling into both ends of the each cigarette to fill the entire length. Dip 1 end of each cigarette in the chocolate, clean off the excess on the edge of the pot, and place the cigarette on a sheet of waxed paper until the chocolate sets. Then dip the other end of each cigarette in the chocolate, clean off the excess on the edge of the pot, and return to the sheet of waxed paper until the chocolate on both ends has set. Serve on a serving platter.


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