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Italian Ladyfingers
(Savoiardi)
(Makes about 3 dozen)
Savoiardi, commonly known as "Lady Fingers" are delicate, light cookies from Italy that have been enjoyed by
Italians for generations.  Children love their simple goodness eaten as a snack alongside a glass of milk. 
Adults enjoy them between sips of espresso, cappuccino, or a glass of dessert wine.  Ladyfingers are
delicious on their own as a light and relatively low-calorie cookie but they may be used as a component in
Zuppa Inglese, Zuccotto, and Tiramisu.  They will keep well in a covered container in a cool dry place.
Ingredients:

4 eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup flour
Granulated sugar, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper, buttered wax paper, or silpat.
Prepare a pastry bag or cookie press with a 1/2-inch plain tube.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of sugar, and
vanilla. Whisk on medium speed until very light and lemon-colored, about 5
minutes.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they hold a soft peak.
Increase the mixer speed to high and whisk in the remaining sugar.
The egg whites should now have a soft, shiny peak. Remove from the mixer.
Gently fold in the yolk mixture. Sift the flour into the egg mixture.
Gently fold in the flour, making sure that the flour is evenly distributed.

Fill the pastry bag with some of the batter.
Pipe 3-1/2 inch strips about 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar (optional)

Bake the ladyfingers for about 15 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.
Remove them, still on the paper, to a wire rack to cool.
When completely cool, remove them from the paper and enjoy.
You may store them in a covered container with paper between each layer.
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DESSERTS  >  COOKIES  >  ITALIAN LADYFINGERS
BEATING EGG WHITES BY HAND

Hand beating egg whites with a whisk
incorporates the most air, yielding a very
stable foam.  Egg whites that are at room
temperature will whip to a greater volume
than cold egg whites. Start with a very clean
bowl, perferably stainless steel or
copper,and a whisk.  Beat the whites in a
circular motion until they begin to foam. 
They will begin to increase in volume and
become opaque.  Lift the whisk from the
whites to determine the stage of their
peaks.  Soft peaks will gently fall over to
one side. Whites beaten to stiff peaks will
stand upright.  Do not overbeat egg whites
or they will become clumpy and grainy.
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