Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lange Vingers

Lange vingers, literally translated as "long fingers", are part of that collection of old-fashioned cookies that are slowly but surely disappearing from the cookie tin. The cookies we know from our oma's koekjestrommel, those oldtime reliable treats like kermiskoekjes, lange vingers and maria biscuits, are making way for other novel delights. These new-comers are just as good, but sometimes only a simple, sugary, crispy cookie will do.

The love affair with this sweet treat starts as a teething child, when you get a lange vinger to chew on. The hard, sugary crust is pleasing, and the cookie softens as you munch on it. Once your teeth are set, you relish in the crunchy, dry texture, and challenge your siblings to a whistling competition whilst your mouth is full of crunched up lange vingers. Or see how many you can fit in your mouth, as these two are trying. Not a pretty sight, but always good for many giggles!

Lange vingers are also perfect to serve with any kind of vla or custard to provide texture, or like last week's dessert, Haagse Bluf. It adds flavor and support for kwarktaarten or other pourable fillings. And as an adult, having the time for an afternoon cup of tea, a couple of lange vingers and a good book to read is sheer luxury.

Best of all, these lange vingers are easy to make, quick to whip up and you probably have most ingredients in house already. The batter is piped onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and will be baked until lightly browned.

Lange Vingers
3 eggs, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 scant tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour, sifted
Additional sugar for topping

Beat the egg yolks, the vanilla and the tablespoons of sugar until creamy and fluffy. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and the 1/4 cup of sugar until stiff white peaks form.

Fold the sifted flour into the egg whites, then fold the egg yolk cream carefully into it, making sure not to loose too much air.

Preheat the oven at 325F. Fill a piping bag with a smooth tip (about 1/2 inch) and pipe 4.5 inch stripes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle plenty of sugar on top of each cookie. Bake for 10-15 minutes, and make sure they don't brown too much. The lange vingers will harden. If they stay soft, place them back in the oven after you have baked all the batter and turned the oven off, and let them dry.


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