Copycat Pirouette Cookies (Nutella-filled Cigar Cookies)

Copycat Pirouette Cookies (Nutella-filled Cigar Cookies)


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cookies & brownies, chocolate, hazelnut, nutella
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Pirouette Cookies

Pepperidge Farm describes their Pirouette cookies as “Slender. Graceful. Delicious. A pastry-like wafer, baked to a delicate crisp, surrounds a luscious, creamy filling.”   Growing up, I always found Pirouettes at fancier events – although Pirouettes are just as common as Chessmen Cookies.  Pirouettes weren’t an after-school kind of cookie; rather, they were more of a breaking-out-the-fine-china cookie.

I’ve wanted to make Pirouette cookies for years, but never could quite figure out how to do it.  By studying cookie cookbooks, I decided that the best way to make a pirouette is to use a recipe for tuiles cookies (French cookies that are less than 1/16 inch thick).  Traditionally, tuiles are just slightly curved and look a bit like potato chips.  The same batter can be formed into a variety of shapes – like the cigar shape needed for Pirouettes.

Now it’s time for a warning: Tuiles are not a recipe for beginners.  If you are new to from-scratch cookie baking, please don’t start here.  You will just get mad at me.  Try something simple like my favorite sugar cookies instead.  However, if you are experienced and up for a baking challenge, I encourage you to try baking Pirouette cookies.  They are just as described by Pepperidge Farm, but even better because they are fresh and homemade.

125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble, and Savor

For my Pirouettes, I used a tuiles recipes from 125 Cookies.  The description won me over: “My friend Helen Hall is a master at making the most complicated recipe simple, even these fancy French cookies.  I put off testing this recipe because I’ve had so many tuile flops, but I should have trusted Helen.  Her recipe is foolproof.”

View on Amazon.com

The recipe is mixed together just like any other dough, but you end up with batter that is smooth and shiny (very similar to the batter for ice cream cones and fortune cookies).

Pirouette Cookies

The batter is essentially painted onto parchment paper so thinly that you can see through to the parchment.

Pirouette Cookies

Here’s the tricky part: After baking, you have about 15 seconds before the cookies harden.  In this time, you need to roll the cookies up.  At first, I rolled around a chopstick (as shown above), but as I worked, I found it was easier to just roll the cookie around itself.  In case you need reminding, 15 seconds is not very long.  In fact, I was only able to roll one cookie before the others hardened.  I would then need to place the tray back in the oven for a minute to soften the next cookie before rolling.  Clearly, with this method, you won’t want to have too many cookies on your tray or the last one will be pretty burnt.

The whole thing ends up being quite time-consuming.  Also, when you are rolling a cookie after it’s been out of the oven for under 15 seconds, it is HOT.  It’s hard to not burn your fingers a little.  I tried using a baking mitt, but didn’t have the dexterity that I needed with the mitt on.

Then, there’s the matter of filling.  Ideally, you’d want to pipe filling onto the Pirouette cookies before rolling them up.  It’s probably what I should have done, but I didn’t think of it until all of my cookies were already rolled.  I’m still not positive that it would have worked, though, because of that tight time crunch.  But, I encourage you to try it.

Filling Pirouette Cookies

Instead, I spread filling all over a chopstick (or a wooden skewer for my more tightly rolled Pirouettes), slid it in a cooled Pirouette and wiggled it around.  With this method, the inside will not be thickly packed with filling and it will just have a light coating (I found this to be the perfect amount).  Because the filling is not a liquid, if you try to pipe it into cooled Pirouettes, it will glom up at the ends and not travel down the whole cigar.

Pirouette Cookies

I warned you – making Pirouettes is not easy.  But, the reward is amazing.  If you make them, I’d love to hear what method you use for filling them and any tips and tricks you figure out along the way.

Copycat Pirouette Cookies (Nutella-filled Cigar Cookies)

Yield: about 30 cookies

Copycat Pirouette Cookies (Nutella-filled Cigar Cookies)

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 1/3 cup Nutella, for filling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix egg white and sugar together with a fork until smooth and blended.
  3. Add the melted butter, cake flour, and extracts and mix until all of the flour is incorporated. The mixture will be smooth and shiny.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pencil no more than six 5" x 2" rectangles on the parchment.
  5. Flip the parchment paper upside-down so that the batter will not directly touch the pencil marks.
  6. Using about 2 teaspoons of batter per rectangle, spread batter to fill the rectangles on the parchment. They should be thin enough to see through.
  7. Bake just until the edges of the cookies start to brown (about 9 minutes).
  8. Remove from the oven and very quickly (within 15 seconds) roll up one cookie to look like a cigar. If you are super fast, you can pipe a line of Nutella before rolling (you may need to thin it a little with water to get it to go through the piping bag). Dust cooled cookie with a little cocoa powder.
  9. Place the rest of the tray in the oven for a minute so that the next cookie will be soft enough to roll. Remove, roll, dust, and repeat until the whole tray is done.
  10. Continue making cookie sheets of batter until you have used all of the batter.
  11. If you were unable to fill the cookies prior to rolling, cover a chopstick or wooden skewer with Nutella, slide it into cooled cookies, and wiggle it around to coat the inside edges of the cookie.
  12. Store uncovered and eat within two days. They won't be bad after two days - they just won't be crispy.

Notes

This cookie recipe is the tuiles recipe in 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble, and Savor, but prepared in a different shape and filled.

http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2014/12/copycat-pirouette-cookies-nutella-filled-cigar-cookies.html

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11 comments on “Copycat Pirouette Cookies (Nutella-filled Cigar Cookies)”

  1. Baby June says:

    Those look marvelous! Can’t go wrong stuffing cookies with nutella :)

  2. My mouth just dropped! I am going to have to try these – I’m sure I won’t do it right but OMG I’d love to try it :) Thanks for saying it’s not a beginners recipe – I’ve been baking for a few years so I think I’m brave enough to try this!

  3. Challenge accepted! I wonder if I have time this weekend. Not fond of Nutella though so I think I’ll use a different filling. :)

  4. Yum – they look great! Can’t go wrong with nutella!

  5. Kittish says:

    I will probably try these, eventually. They look and sound yummy. Would using an extender work for piping filling into rolled cookies? Something that was skinny enough to fit into the cookie, that your filling could still be forced through. I’m also thinking that having each cookie on its own piece of parchment might make rolling them up easier.

  6. I’m going to try these. We used to buy my dad the shop version of these every year for Father’s Day!

  7. Miss J says:

    Want to make these tomorrow. Don’t have unsalted butter. Can I use salted?

  8. Kim says:

    What about if you heated the nutella or chocolate or whatever filling you use, just enough to make it soft and ooze-able. Then use a syringe type product, like a piping tool and shoot it into the cookie while holding it slightly horizontal so it doesn’t leak out. Only shoot it in to about halfway mark, turn the cookie to the other end and start shooting in that end. You don’t have to fill it solid, just rotate the cookie as you’re shooting it in. I so would never make a good teacher, but I hope someone gets what I’m trying to say.

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