I wanted to like making these cookies. I wanted to enjoy how delicate and perfect they are, the care and precision it takes to colour and roll them. But really? Fuck these cookies.
Don't get me wrong-- they're delicious. Crispy and sweet, and with a subtle holiday theme. But somewhere along the way, maybe between work, Christmas, parenting, and catching up on season 3 of Community, I lost my baking patience. Cookies blackened, fingers burnt, and stencils sogged (it's a word, okay?).
I didn't end up making the full batch-- my fingers grew tired of piping, prepping, stenciling, and then finally rolling up hot dough. I would like to try them again, though. Just on a day I'm feeling more determined.
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of coarse salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Red food colouring
Preheat oven 400 degrees. Combine egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment; beat on medium until foamy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt; mix until just combined. Add butter, cream, and vanilla; beat until combined.
Transfer 1 cup batter to a small bowl; set remaining batter aside. Stir in red colouring until desired colour is reached. Transfer tinted batter to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip. Secure end of pastry bag with rubber band; set aside.
Place a 3-by-6-inch rectangle (cut out a stencil to use as a guide) on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat baking mat. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of plain batter into the rectangle; spread with a small offset spatula. Repeat. Pipe diagonal tinted stripes onto each rectangle. Bake cookies until pale golden, 6 to 8 minutes.
Immediately loosen edges with a spatula, and flip cookie over. Starting from one long side, roll cookie into a stick. Place seam side down, on a clean work surface; let cool until set. Quickly repeat with second cookie.
Repeat process, tinting and baking 2 or 3 cookies at a time.