Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cigarette Russe (Pirouline-like Biscuits) for Earth Day or Mother's Day in Brussels

The Cigar Russe shape renders it useful for turning it into trees for an Earth Day dessert
I saw the images of the Waterloo battle around me-the soldiers. The sounds of bugles resonated in the circular area, as Napoleon was vanquished. I was in a building that held a circular mural. Nearby, the statue of a lion arose magnificently from a grass-covered pyramid, marking the location where the battle took place a couple of hundred years earlier. I never imagined the location of this battle was just outside of Brussels.
After visiting this historic site, you can travel back to the capital city of Belgium, to visit numerous chocolate shops, all over town.or go searching for murals of the famous cartoon Tintin.  The museum of musical instruments is also a unique place to visit, where you can not only see any type of instrument you can imagine, but certainly hear the sounds that can come from each one, through headphones.
The original cookie received this name because it is folded diagonally into a cylinder, just like the Russian cigars were. The Belgian company that still sells these cookies started making them in 1891. They are very similar to the Piroulines, that are long and slender and filled with hazelnut chocolate cream, or nutella.

2 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, whipped
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat egg whites and sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate batter for one hour. Place a silpat on a cookie sheet, or cover two sheets with parchment paper.  Pour a small batter circle on the cookie sheet and spread it out to a 3-inch by 4-inch rectangle with a spatula. If you want to make a rose, make a butterfly shape with the spatula.

Place in preheated 400-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

 When it is golden on the edges, take it out of the oven and begin to unstick from the pan with a spatula. Roll quickly around a wooden spoon or other wooden stick as thick as a pencil.  You can cook two at a time on the pan once you have practiced, but at first it's advisable to do only one at a time. If the cookie gets to hard to roll because it cooled, you can place it in the oven again for 30 seconds to make it soft again. 
Fill the piroulines with nutella, with a toothpick. If you add whipped cream to the nutella, you could also pipe it with a decorator's tip and pastry bag.
Cookies shaped like rosebuds for Mother's Day

You can play with different angles of rolling to make rosebud spirals, and stand up the cookies in nutella to stick them to the plate. I added green apple slices to make treetops or mushroom heads.

1 comment:

Janet @ Healthoop said...

Wow! so beautiful! Rose! I like this food! :) healthoop