These light and delicate sponge-cake cookies are often used to accompany desserts such as sherbet and puddings, and are an important component when making fruit charlottes and tiramisu. Finding them in a supermarket is easy, but making them at home yields especially delicious results.
- Yield: Makes about ninety 4-inch cookies
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 10 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Raspberry jam, for serving (optional)
- Lemon Curd, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, and salt; set aside. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and the vanilla until light and creamy, about 4 minutes; set aside.
In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a clean whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed with 1/4 cup granulated sugar until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and continue to beat until soft peaks form. With machine running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, beating into stiff, glossy peaks.
Fold egg-yolk mixture into egg-white mixture, then fold in dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe 4-inch cookies onto prepared baking sheets leaving about 1 inch between cookies. Lightly dust with confectioners' sugar. Bake until just beginning to brown around the edges, about 8 minutes; rotate pans once after 4 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Will keep, at room temperature, in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Just before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar and, if desired, sandwich raspberry jam or lemon curd between them.