Delicate Delights

Indulge in this Delectable Lady Fingers Recipe…

Lady Fingers are a simple cookie with a long and hazy history. Despite various theories regarding the birthplace of this uniquely shaped treat, one thing is certain: It is beloved in just about every corner of the planet.

According to legend, the elegant-yet-simple sponge cake traces its culinary roots to the House of Savoy in 11th-century France. Historians theorize that the recipe was shared throughout Europe by the marriages of the daughters of Bertha of Savoy (1051-1081) to the royalty of Europe.

Centuries later, Tsar Peter the Great of Russia (1689-1725) and his wife, Empress Catherine, enjoyed Ladyfingers so much when visiting Louis XV of France that they hired the baker and sent him to Saint Petersburg.

From then on, the cookie has taken on a life of its own. In Italy, they’re known as savoiardi. In Turkey, kedi dili (cat’s tongue). In Brazil, biscoito champagne (champagne biscuits). In the United Kingdom, boudoir biscuits.

Since 1901, Specialty Bakers – a Pennsylvania bakery company with the motto “The Ladyfinger Specialist” – has been producing the tasty treats.

But why eat store-bought ladyfingers when they are so easy to bake at home?

Ladyfingers are a snap to make. This recipe will yield 30 cookies that are faintly crisp on the outside but soft, light and airy on the inside.

You can use the cookies for homemade tiramisu, Charlotte cakes, trifles, and more. Or just eat them while enjoying your coffee.




• 3 large eggs, separated
• 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar, divided • 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1⁄4 tsp. salt
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 5 tsp. cornstarch
• Powdered sugar (for dusting)


Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a large round piping tip in a large piping bag.

Step 2: Place the egg yolks, 1⁄4 cup sugar, vanilla and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy.

Step 3: Place the egg whites in a separate bowl. Using clean beaters, beat on high speed until soft peaks form. While beating, add in the remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar a spoonful at a time. Beat until the egg whites are thick and glossy, about 2 more minutes.

Step 4: Beat the egg yolk mixture again just to remix, then fold the egg whites into the egg yolks in batches until well combined. Sift the flour and cornstarch into the egg mixture and fold until no dry streaks remain. (If the batter is a little lumpy, that’s okay. Don’t over-mix the batter.) Transfer the batter to the prepared piping bag.

Step 5: Pipe the batter into 4-inch-long logs (about 1 inch wide) on the baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Dust one sheet generously with powdered sugar.

Step 6: Bake the dusted sheet for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Let cool completely on the baking sheet. Dust the remaining baking sheet with powdered sugar and bake again as directed.

NOTE: Serve or store immediately after they cool, as they will soften the longer they are exposed to air. Ladyfingers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.•

About Terry Olson

Terry loves culinary arts, adult beverages and hiking in the North State wilderness. You may find him soaking up the sun at one of our area’s many state or national parks or sitting on a barstool sipping on a cold locally brewed craft beer.

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