As a kid, I loved pirouette cookies by Pepperidge Farm. Light and delicate, the tube shape also makes them fun to eat. Over the holidays, a neighbor made some cat’s tongues, for which I am still awaiting the recipe, and the cookies reminded me of flattened pirouettes—shaped like a cat’s tongue, of course. Once I get the recipe from her, I will be sure to share it here. While waiting for the recipe, I got to thinking about making pirouettes, especially since they go really well with gelato (see photo from my last post about gianduja gelato). When I noticed that this recipe calls for just egg whites and the gianduja gelato needed the yolks, I knew I had to make them together.
When I first made these cookies, I followed the original instructions, which said to spread the dough with a spatula. That turned out a lot easier said than done, and I just ended up with some messy blobs. I thought about ways to get the dough to spread more, and figured that since these cook so quickly already, why not just add the dough to hot cookie sheets?
I placed the silpat-lined cookie sheet in the oven and let it get nice and hot. I then removed the sheets from the oven and spooned on the dough. It definitely spread better, especially around the edges, where the dough was a little runnier. Finally, I thought I would heat a little dough in the microwave for just a few seconds. Just 8 seconds for 1/2 cup of dough resulted in a thick batter I could coax into pouring without losing any volume. Combined with the hot cookie sheets, this worked really well. After pouring 4 equal dollops on the hot cookie sheet, I tilted the sheet at all angles to help the dough spread into thinner, larger circles.
Handling hot cookies
These cookies come out of the oven hot, but if you work quickly and utilize the spatula and wooden spoon handle enough, you don’t need to wear any kind of gloves while rolling the cookies. The finished cookies are very similar to Pepperidge Farm’s pirouettes, though I think these are a little more buttery. The original recipe instructions advised against browning anything but the very edges, but I found that minimal browning resulted in a cookie that wasn’t very crunchy. We liked the over-browned ones more for this reason, so definitely err on the side of too dark than too light since they are more forgiving for over-browning. I made these two weeks ago and they are still crunchy.
Bake for 4 – 6 minutes in 400° F oven until edges brown. Use spatula to lift hot cookie from cookie sheet and place over handle of wooden spoon.
Drag one hanging edge of cookie under wooden spoon and then lower wooden spoon to begin rolling, pressing on seam when finished.
The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery can be found on the Pirouette Cookies recipe page.