cigarettes russes cookies

Last week, guys, last week… Wait, no. We cannot start a week as dreary as this one already looks from my Monday perch (this view, plus ten thousand loose toys and dark gray rain outside) with a complaint, it would not be good. But I have to tell you where I was most of last week because it’s so traumatizing, I cannot keep it on the inside any longer: I was touring kindergartens. Like, school, big old public schools with lots of kids. School for five year-old giants. School that my “baby” will require next fall. It was terrifying. It was all-consuming. I tried to swim off my anxiety in the middle of each day, only to return home to find that the sun had basically set at 2:30 p.m. rending that whole cooking-and-natural-light-photography thing I love so much impossible. It was not my favorite week.

salt, egg whites, butter, sugar, flour, vanilla
melted butter

But this week, this week is going to be the opposite in every way because: butter. Because: cookies. Because I think we should a crazy thing like try to share a new cookie recipe with you every day this week, or have fun trying. I have such great ones on my docket — a mix of wonders I didn’t know you could recreate at home, classics that need to be in every repertoire, new riffs that I’m basically obsessed with, old-school bakery favorites, and a goofy little untraditional cookie, just because. It’s a tall order. But I figure if I can devote a week to things that are basically no fun at all, I can devote a week to things that are only fun, like little buttery, crisp, golden-edged bites of cheer.

such an easy batter

one level teaspoon of batter
spread into a thin round puddle
roll it immediately from the oven
letting them cool on the sticks is easiest
lots of rolled wafer cookies

Today’s cookie is from the Seriously, I Did Not Know You Could Make These at Home files. There I was, aimlessly clicking about the internet a few weeks ago when I stumbled on a video of Sara Moulton making a cookie I’ve thus far only seen in tins sold as piroulines but is actually called anything from French Cigares to Cigarettes Russes like it was no big deal at all (it’s kind of her specialty, after all) and I had to try it too. It turns out, it really isn’t a big deal. The batter is incredibly simple — some egg whites, some sugar, flour, salt and melted butter, a one-bowl affair — and you spread it into thin puddles where it bakes quickly into a bronzed-edge soft cookie that you roll around a pencil or chopstick or crayon (not recommended, by the way) while it is hot, where it quickly sets as a tube-shaped crisp, buttery wafer. The ends are dipped into melted chocolate and while your mileage may vary, I think this is an excellent an opportunity to use the oldest sprinkles known to man.

older than all of us
cigarettes russes, dipped in chocolate
rolled wafers, chocolate, sprinkles

The resulting cookies are the prettiest little things, delicious, light and crisp too. They keep well, pack nicely in tins and sound totally un-PC. If there’s a better reason to make a cookie, well, I don’t believe you.

one end dipped (looks, uh, extra-cigarette-ish)

More Cookies: There are over 85 cookie recipes in the archives. My favorite holiday-ish ones, as in, get these away from me or I’ll eat them all, are Austrian Raspberry Shortbread, Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies, Grasshopper Brownies, Seven-Layer Cookies, Tiny Pecan Sandies, Nutmeg-Maple Butter Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies. For a cookie ideal for gingerbread men, “ninja”-bread men or gingerbread tenements houses, try these Spicy Gingerbread Cookies. [All The Smitten Kitchen Cookies]

Signed Smitten Kitchen Cookbooks: I have an ongoing arrangement with the wonderful independent bookstore in Soho, McNally-Jackson, in which copies of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook can be ordered with custom inscriptions — i.e. not just the usual signature but anything you’d like, be it Merry Christmas! or Congratulations on your engagement! (Now bake me some cookies.) or No matter what anyone else tells you, you’re my favorite reader. No seriously. It’s you. all of which have happened because you guys really are that funny and awesome. This year, we have a hard deadline for Christmas shipping (i.e. you’d pay standard and not rushed shipping and the book will reach you by Christmas) of this Saturday, December 14th. Thank you! [Order Custom Inscribed Smitten Kitchen Cookbooks from McNally Jackson]

One year ago: Cashew Butter Balls
Two years ago: Nutmeg-Maple Butter Cookies
Three years ago: Roasted Chestnut Cookies
Four years ago: Creamed Spinach, Gingerbread-Apple Upside-Down Cake, Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake, Balsamic-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Five years ago: Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Six years ago: Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Seven years ago: Chocolate Stout Cake

Cigarettes Russes Cookies (Piroulines)
Cookie batter adapted from Gourmet, March 2002

The best things about these cookies is how simple the batter is to make, how quickly they bake, how delicious they taste and how pretty they look. The peskiest thing about these cookies is that if you have a short attention span (ahem), you may tire of spreading those batter blobs into thin circles and rolling them individually around pencils or chopsticks. Nevertheless, these cookies are perfect — light, crisp, and pretty — it’s worth it, so worth it.

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies

3 large egg whites
3/4 cup (90 grams) confectioners sugar
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons or 75 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon table salt
Seeds from a 2-inch segment of vanilla bean, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
4 ounces (115 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Sprinkles or other decorations (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Grab a bunch of pencils or chopsticks.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients with a whisk. Working in small batches to begin (I’d just make 2 on the first tray, so you can get the hang of it; add more to ensuing batches as you do), drop 1 level teaspoon of batter for each cookie at least 3 inches apart on your prepared sheet. Using a small offset spatula or spoon, spread each into a thin 3-inch/7.5-cm circle (circles don’t need to be perfect, nobody will care).

Bake cookie sheets, one at a time, until edges are golden, about 6 to 8 minutes, but you should closely watch your first batch in case your oven bakes things more quickly and adjust the baking time for remaining batches if necessary. Slide a small offset spatula under the first cookie and quickly roll the loosened cookie around a pencil, chopstick or other thin rod into a tight cylinder. Transfer cookie-wrapped pencil to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookies and additional pencils. If they start cracking at the edges or become too brittle because they’ve cooled too much (this will probably happen after every two to three cookies), return the cookie sheet to the oven for 20 to 30 seconds to soften them again. Do this as many times as needed. Cookies can be slid off their pencils almost immediately, but it’s even easier if you give them a full minute or more to cool. Leave cookies to fully cool on rack; repeat process with remaining batter.

Melt chocolate in a small saucepan or microwave until half-melted. Stir until remaining chunks melt. When cookies are cool, working with 1 cookie at a time, dip 1/4 inch of tip of one or both ends into melted chocolate, letting excess drip off, then rolling them in sprinkles (if desired) and place on a parchment- or wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate sets.

Do ahead: Cookies can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container — actually, these can soften in an airtight container. I prefer to keep them loosely wrapped on a plate. They will keep even longer in the freezer with layers of waxed paper between them.

More tips:

  • You can flavor the cookies in many ways. Here, I use some vanilla bean (highly recommended, totally delicious), but you could also use 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or another spice (or mix of wintry spices), you could replace a tablespoon or two of flour with cocoa powder for a chocolaty effect, you could use a pinch of espresso powder for a coffee flavor, citrus zest, etc. Have fun with it.
  • A small offset spatula is your friend in basically all baking endeavors, in my humble opinion, but especially here as you’ll want something thin to easily slide between the paper-thin cookie and baking sheet, as well as to spread the batter thinly once it’s spooned on the baking sheet. Bake a lot? Buy two.
  • If you’re the sort that really wants perfect circles for all of your cookies, you can trace 3-inch circles in permanent market on a piece of parchment paper. Flip it over and bake cookies on the reverse side; the outline should show through.
  • If you have a Silpat or two, use them instead of parchment paper. I found that my parchment paper sheets over time became crinkly from the dampness of the batter. It’s not a big deal, but it doesn’t leave the cookies as smooth. (I promise, however, nobody will care.)
  • I was definitely a beginner when making these, so was nervous to overbake them, but you can definitely get a touch more color on yours than I did on mine.
  • I mention this in the recipe, but do not fret about the cookies firming up the second they leave the oven. Every recipe I’ve read tells you to hurry, this part is so stressful — this is not stressful. Put the cookie tray back in the oven for 20 seconds any time the cookie becomes too firm to roll without the edges cracking. It will not overbake the cookie, just soften it again. You can do this multiple times with each tray, as many as needed.
  • Finally, the more pencils or chopsticks you have around the faster this will go as while you can remove the cookies almost instantly after they’re rolled (they set quickly), it’s even easier to slide them off if you can let each rest on the rod until it’s fully cool, one minute. To do this, you’ll want more than one.

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149 comments on cigarettes russes cookies

  1. I love these! I tried your 7 layer cookies last year, which were definitely in the “I never thought you could make these at home” category, and they were so fabulous. I will have to add these to the list. Happy Cookie Baking Season!!

  2. Someone recently sent me a cookbook of Petit Fours, a confection which definitely falls into that didn’t know I could make it at home category. The recipes involve rulers and math, so this seems infinitely easier. Have you dealt with Florentines? This recipe is vaguely like ones I’ve seen, sans flour and an addition of nuts. I can’t seem to get those to set right, though. They spread all over the sheet…

  3. Just perfect! My sister always devours these first out of any cookie tin which they are part of, and now I’ll be making her own big batch to hoard over Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Deb these are SO COOL! I love the sparkly, bright ends. Must get those sprinkles. And of course, the recipe and process itself. Wow. I can see myself totally butchering the rolling process but it would sure be fun to try :) pinned

    Kindergarten touring, yeah, fun, eh? I hope you get in where you want and for less $ than college tuition. It’s crazy what KG can cost these days!

  5. These look fantastic, but I’m so concerned I would burn like half the batch. If we wanted to attempt filling them like the ones in tins, when do you think would be the best step? Immediately after they come out of the oven, and spreading filling before the cookies are rolled? Or try to to pipe it in after they’ve been rolled and cooled?

    1. deb

      Matt — I don’t think you will burn it! I would fill them once cool, especially if using a buttercream-like filling (it would melt otherwise).

      Julie — I think they’d ship well if packed well. I think dipping both ends gives them some sturdiness as the edges are the most fragile parts.

      Comments in general — Guys, I’m super-duper-duper behind reading comments, which is rare for me, but I’ll probably catch up over the next 24 hours. So, I didn’t ignore you if I haven’t responded yet in this or other posts. Just trying to make more hours in the day and all that. ;)

  6. llaney

    Deb, last month I made the Chocolate Stout Cake for a co-worker’s birthday. Just wanted you to know that even 7 years later, your recipes are still appreciated and used. Now, on to the un-PC cookie experiment!!

  7. Evelien Rutten

    Wow… In Belgium it’s customary to send your 3 month old baby to daycare (fulltime). Children start school at 2,5… Heartbreaking, don’t you think? My four year old is in her second year of kindergarten already… But we bake plenty of cookies together ;-)

  8. Julie

    These look delicious! I’ve been looking for a fun cookie recipe to send to family members through the mail. Are these too delicate/crisp to be shipped, or do you think they will hold up ok?

  9. Betsy

    This is amazing. When I lived in France, I used to get something like this at a particular Patisserie in Lyon. It was called a “cigar,” and was my favorite of favorite things. The cooke part was larger, about the length of my hand, and each end was dipped in chocolate like this. But the most special part was – it was piped full of a dark, bittersweet chocolate… I’m not sure how to describe the filling. It was somewhere between a ganache and a mousse, rich, creamy, almost like a very thick frosting in its consistency. It melted quickly into chocolatey delight on your tongue but was firm at room temperature. I still dream about those cigars. That was the only patisserie that had them and I can’t find anything like it online. I really wish I could duplicate the filling and pipe it into these cookies, but I wouldn’t even know where to start in finding a recipe.

  10. Mary D

    Cookie week! So excited! Which of your cookie recipes would you most recommend for freezing? I’d like to get started on some Christmas cookies but I’m a wierdo traditionalist and like to save my Christmas cookies for…Christmas.

  11. Ada

    I maintain that you must be a little bit psychic, Deb, and this is yet another instance where your psychic energies are aimed in my direction. I’m having a holiday treat exchange party this Saturday so your week of cookies is perfect preparation for it. These look delicious and I can’t wait for the rest!

  12. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are back, these are awesome (cannot wait to make them with my little people) and more to come this week. Best. Monday. Ever.

  13. Katie

    I make cookies and buy kitschy tins to give my friends for Christmas. These would look adorable in them, especially with the name and the outrgeous colored sprinkles. Makes me wanna ditch my day job today. haha PS. My best friend and I hold your website in a place of honor in our friendship. You brought us back from the brink of baking extinction. I have made your rugelach twice in the last 3 weeks (obsessed) and your brown buttered everything is like crack to our familes. They look at us with crazy eyes when we mentioned we made something new of yours. So for the sake of their sanity, keep ’em coming! You are the plug to my creative outlet!

  14. Katie A

    Deb – I clicked on your Tiny Pecan Sandies recipes – this year I am baking those those little bits of wonder. It’s an older post (2008) so probably in a different format but the comments were AWOL. Can you do some sort of magic to restore them? I do love to read what folks have to say about a recipe and especially love reading your responses. Thank you!

  15. These look so scrumptious! I’ve always shied away from making these type of biscuits because they look too scarily difficult to make, but you have made them seem so simple that I might actually have a go! The fact that they have so much butter in them makes me a very happy girl too :)

  16. Rachel

    No Deb! It’s mine turn in our work baking competition this week (competition is the only way to get a load of male engineers to bake..) and the theme is biscuits. I had my recipes all planned out, and now you have to go through this in the mix!Think I’m going to stick with my Christmas themed chocolate covered marshmallow cookies though..

  17. Heather

    Welcome back Deb! My daughter will be five in July and is SO excited for Kindergarten. I am not. I have 10 cookie recipes on the list to make but now will either have to 1) make room for more or 2) cut the list. I love your cookie recipes. I’m making your crispy chewy CC, snickerdoodle, ginger snap, and pecan sandie. Thanks for all 85 and counting!

  18. Heather C

    Oh I wish I hadn’t already made up my mind about what recipes to make for my gift baskets already this year! I can’t wait to try these! Though, need to get an offset spatula first!
    PS – your apple cider caramels are amazing – finally made them (took me till the third try to hit the right temperature, turns out it is easier for me to use the cold water method!) and my family loved them! They’re going to become a staple!

  19. Heather

    To #17 Mary D. : I make Debs crispy chewy CC cookie dough and flash freeze. They bake up perfect. I also made a batch of ginger snaps and flash froze -rolled in sugar- and they also baked up great.

  20. janna

    I have an after work “thing” tonight (not a particularly fun thing, either) but I may have to make these afterwards, anyway!

  21. Sarah

    Well after making your cranberry-orange breakfast buns (which were incredible and not too sweet), I have all those leftover egg whites. And this is perfect!

    Now do you think these may be able to be filled with anything (cream, jam, etc.), or will they go soggy?

    1. deb

      Filling the cookies — I would go with a buttercream (Swiss or quick one with powdered sugar), nothing too wet, and not let them get too warm. Fill them when they’re totally cool. The filling could be flavored any way — you could probably even stir in a little jam or zest, cinnamon/coffee powder/cocoa, etc.

      Katie A — The comments should be working. Actually, all recipes on this site use the same template (I’ve been too lazy for 7 years to change software/templates/or anything about this site). Nevertheless, sometimes the ad below the post doesn’t want to load right and will hold up loading whatever is below it — i.e. the comments. Just reload the page and you should see whatever didn’t load the first time. (P.S. In my totally unbiased opinion they’re amazing with a ton of flavor.)

      Mary — Most cookies freeze well; I’d say that bar cookies and brownie-like things even better because they can be packed more tightly and are all butter and little crisp, which can get lost.

      Betsy — So funny, I have a friend from Lyon and when I showed her these last week she said “French cigares!” I bet they were piped with ganache; I bet they were amazing. You could either do a standard ganache (cream and chocolate melted together) or cool the ganache completely and then whip it in a stand or hand mixer until fluffy like frosting.

      The name of the cookie — A few people on the SK FB page are upset about the prospect of giving children a cookie named “cigarette” so I thought I’d spend a few sentences giving you a rare (ha!) glimpse into my thoughts about these which was roughly: I! must! make! these! now! Wait, why are they called cigarettes? That’s kind of a terrible name. People won’t like that. Surely they’re really called something else, something classic… Rolled wafers? Nope. Langues du chats? Nope. Tuiles? Nope. … Hm, some people call them piroulines, but that turns out to be a brand name, a registered trademark of a manufacturer of these, don’t want to get sued! WHY IS THERE LITERALLY NO OTHER NAME FOR THIS COOKIE? There’s no point in me calling them something else, is there, because then someone looking for a recipe for them will never find them if searching (and every comment would be “I thought they were called cigarettes russes”). So, I went with, you know, what they’re called.

      Nevertheless, when I gave one to my son, I obviously did not say, “Here’s a cigarette cookie, kid! See? Cigarettes are really just butter and chocolate and sprinkles and can be really fun and delicious!” Nor do I think he thinks it looks like one, as he tried to play it like a kazoo. However, I agree it’s time to nominate a better name for this cookie, and I’m happy to hear suggestions. [My vote is for “rolled cats tongues,” because tongues, although it’s slightly different in recipe from a classic langues du chat cookie, it sounds awesome.]

      Averie — Thank you. We were actually touring public schools. The system here is so complicated.

  22. Rene

    Just remember while you are on these school tours, that your boy will be thrilled about his next adventure. Some of our best friends are familes we met during those early school years.

  23. Susan

    I’m just glad you are back, I really was starting to worry last week! Love the cookie idea, thanks for all you cram into your days for us! Well, for you too…

  24. Gry

    I loooove Cigarettes Russes – I really should give these a try! I’m craving them right now, especially with some Ice Cream. Do you get Mövenpick Ice Cream in the US – it’s the best!

  25. Sadie

    Janetp, no!:)
    I must make these! I just ran out of sugar though:(
    Since I currently have no sugar what do you recommend for sweetener in the Cranberry syrup?

  26. These look so cute! I tried a cookie like this from Martha Stuart, but they didn’t turn out so great. I find that with most of her cookies though, which is disappointing. But, I’ve never been let down by any of your recipes so I bet this one is a great one too!!!

  27. Janae

    Oh, man. I’ll definitely be adding this to my cookie tray this year. This is exactly the kind of thing my family will love; thank you! I’m thinking of adding a little almond extract to the cookie batter and then rolling the chocolate dipped ends into very finely chopped toasted almonds. Yum!

  28. HaHa my daughter lives down the block from said Safeway. Yesterday she said the aisles were picked clean because of the storm that blew in! She got the last rack of eggs and there was no yogurt to be had among other products! She says she’s still happy to the market. A few blocks away is a WHOLE FOODS where she seldom goes because of the prices. But it’s good to have also.

    I love baking cookies and these look fan-damn-tastick!

    Happy Winter! I love this time of year – dark and dreary as it is.

  29. angela

    Nit-picky, but the link to the nutmeg maple cookies actually takes you to the cashew cookies. I know because I made your nutmeg maple cream pie for Thanksgiving this year and it was amazing. So now I’m making the cookies for Christmas.

  30. kittentoes

    I fully support the notion of a cookie recipe a day. It has been an awful week, but my bff and I are doing a massive holiday bake off on Saturday. Because butter.

  31. Kathy

    Deb, I’m so glad that you’re back! Your “rolled cat tongues” suggestion is inspired; can’t wait to make these (with vanilla bean). In addition to making some ‘just like yours’, I may try filling some with a whipped ‘hazelnut spread’ and dipping the chocolate-coated ends in chopped nuts. Thanks so much for sharing your ‘days’ with us; always amusing, ever-inspiring!

  32. susan

    Except for tuilles I had no idea how those Piroulines were made. I guessed they used some sort of iron similar to my krumkaka iron. I finally used my iron last Christmas and fell in love with the crisp paper thin tubes that it makes but what a lengthy process it was. Snooore! I’ll have to try these, they sound like they go so much quicker. I roll my cookies around a 1″ dowell so they can be filled with flavored or lightly sweetened whipped cream to be eaten immediately as the cookies will soften if they aren’t eaten right away. Keep that in mind when using a moist dip or filling.

  33. Marie M.C.

    I too am trying to make more hours in the day. When I do I’m certain I will be awarded the Prize for Doing Something Thought Impossible — Possible. Keep turned and I’ll let you know how it’s going.

    In the meantime during my current 24 hour day I want to thankyouthankyouthankyou once again. I have made two of the cookies you’ve showcased on your site many times and always to great acclaim, appreciation and applause. Payard’s Chocolate Walnut Flour-less cookies. (Not only are they great for Passover and gluten free people, they use up orphaned egg whites!) And the ones you call “Crack”, I think? Not only are they great for Passover and the gluten-free crowd but are the world’s easiest cookies to make. I made them once for a group I play Bridge with and one of the men stood up and shouted: “These are the best thing I’ve ever tasted.”

    A shout out to all your readers: Lydia’s Austrian Raspberry Shortbread cookies are to die for. I’ve been making my (Russian) version since I was 16. (I’m now 70, so . . . ) I always use Apricot-Pinapple Jam. (I don’t grate the bottom layer just press it in. Then grate the top layer.) My personal ALL-TIME favorite cookie.

  34. I made these once because they are just so tasty! Probably my favorite kind of tuile but they really are time consuming, and I have limited patience. I always end up making a dozen or so and that’s that! : ) Yours came out amazing, as I would expect. I don’t know how you managed to roll it so thin with the chopstick…I’d read that rolling it on itself was your best bet for getting it thin…I did that but mine weren’t as tight as yours. Have a great holiday! I’ll be making your tri-color cookies real soon! Yay!

  35. Kristen

    I’m totally depressed and feeling very old. I only ‘met’ you when you were at the book signing at Fearrington, but the ‘baby’ is still a ‘baby’. Kindergarten? KINDERGARTEN?!!??? My heart breaks. He is growing up so fast..I remember the ‘Look what we baked’ post, and now – KINDERGARTEN! Uh! He is such a cute little man now, good luck in finding the perfect one for him. Kindergarten – it’s even hard to type!

  36. What cookies, what cookies! They’re so cute! How do you get the dough thin enough to roll like that? Mine always tears…
    Also- are cannoli really traditionally made with melon cream filling? Maybe I’m going off my rocker, but…
    Are they?

    1. deb

      Shayley — I had tears here and there (moreso after my parchment got a little wrinkly) but once rolled and set, I couldn’t find them. I have never heard of melon filling in cannolis.

      Angela — Thank you, now fixed.

  37. Elisabeth

    Oh goodness, these cookies look amazing! Definitely going on my already-too-long holiday cookie baking list. My baby starts kindergarten this fall, too, and I am so glad that the system here is not that complicated. He’ll just go to the school that has a bus stop two houses away :)

  38. Yet another Anna

    I’ve held off buying a krumkake iron for yet another year (got a Cucina Pro Bubble Waffle iron, totally on impulse instead, no, I’m not sorry. ).

    Glad to know I can find some variations that don’t involve another piece of kitchen equipment. :)

  39. Shelly

    Yes, I totally need a new cookie recipe every day this week, so please keep ’em coming. And hugs on the school anxiety – I would lie & say it gets better with the kid going to middle school, high school, college or moving to Asia to work, but I would be lying. You’ll get through it – and cooking does help!

  40. These are incredibly pretty. My sister and I used to eat this every Christmas. I recall we pretended they were delicious cigars at some point… neither of us smokes so it must not have been detrimental ;)

  41. these look absolutely delicious! i too would never have thought about making these at home. with all of your tips – it seems easy! i can taste the crunch right now!

  42. Margy

    Shayley and Deb, there’s a recipe for a watermelon “gelo” in Southern Italian Desserts by Rosetta Costantino (recently published – but, really, I have no B&N stock) – it’s eaten by itself but also used as the filling for a tart. It’s basically watermelon puree and cornstarch and chocolate chip seeds. I don’t think it would work in these cookies, but maybe it’s a start?

  43. Cyn

    Loved these! And simple, so I love it more!

    If you are shaken by school right around the corner, and would like to preserve some of the magic of childhood, check out Waldorf schools (several options near you).

  44. Beth

    Now I know what I’m doing on my snowday! I’m wandering through your 80-plus cookie recipes. Gentlemen, start your Kitchen Aids! Thank you for your fabulous recipes. (And I’m a kindergarten teacher with 25-plus years of experience. Feel free to e-mail any questions, concerns or wonderings. Kindergarten is the best. It’s all good!)

  45. BCE

    I signed up for a cookie exchange with Joanne Chang, owner of the Flour bakeries in Boston and Cambridge. She has it to raise money for a wonderful organization called The Reading Room. I have been debating with myself as to what to make, go with my classics or try something new? You just gave me another idea and I look forward to seeing all your cookie recipes this week.
    PS My children are all products of public school education and have done fabulous.

  46. Laura

    If you are in the vicinity of the EV, the Earth School is a superb public elementary school: diverse, creative,rigorous, Tompkins Square Park adjacent, with a wonderful staff and high parent involvement. Plus a long tradition of food-related activities!

  47. laceflower

    Currently I’m holding myself back from baking more than 2 things a week, cause what am I going to do with it all?!! AND you come up with this cookie ever day. Yikes, what’s a baker to do?

  48. Catherine Owen

    These are so lovely and I can’t wait to try some of your fabulous recipes, but couldn’t you possibly name the Cigarettes Russes Cookies something else? I would hate to think that even one child got the teensiest suggestion that cigarettes are fun (like those candy ones they sold when I was growing up did).

    How about:
    – “French Manicure Cookies”
    – “Fingernail Cookies”
    – “Popper Cookies”
    – “Roman Candle Cookies”

  49. Nicole T

    I’m actually going to make these. (I have another recipe that uses 3 egg yolks, so this will be a lovely way to use up the whites!) Also, I’m pretty sure my dad owns the oldest sprinkles in the world. Though, technically, it’s yellow sanding sugar, but whatever. :-)

  50. Marsha

    These cookies look fabulous! They look much easier than I had thought. Always a good thing! :)

    Hang in there with regards to your baby and Kindergarden. My girls are 31, 29 and 21, but I can remember as if it were yesterday, feeling overwhelmed, anxious, happy, sad, scared and thrilled on their first day of Kindergarden. They all were fine. As was I. It’s a big step, breathe deep Mama and know it will be okay.

    My husband was an Elementary School teacher, (5th grade), for 32 years. He was home most of the summer along with the girls. I use to hostess a “First Day of School” breakfast for my friends to celebrate! It was a fun event. Think about making plans to have breakfast or lunch with friends on the first day of school. It’ll help!

    I so enjoy your blog/recipes. Thank you.

  51. Meg

    Oh I can so relate to the kindergarten blues but it opened up doors for my kids (and myself) that were exciting to experience. I completely agree with one of the previous comments about organizing a breakfast with other kindergarten parents. Our school did this and it saved me from coming home to an empty house. They even gave out tissue packs which definitely came in handy for some of us…Now I am in the thick of researching middle schools. That is not so fun either. . .

    We will need some of these cookies to get us through it! :)

    1. deb

      Marilyn — First runner up! I really was so close to adding them too. :) Re, Martha’s striped ones indeed look beautiful. I was tempted, but then decided to let sanity prevail. If you’ve got the time, though, it doesn’t seem terribly complicated to pipe stripes or other designs on in tinted colors.

  52. Jane

    make two batches today – thank you for the filling suggestions, I have two boys, 17 and 20 and they thought they should be filled with something chocolaty

  53. karen price

    Deb…..these kinda-not-really remind me of krumkaka. Oh, I understand the anxiety of kindergarten. wait till the wee one goes off to college. I came home after dropping her off (2000 miles away), sat on her bed and cried. Thank god for cookies…

  54. Sadie

    Wonderful! Yum, yum, I made them with my Grandmom, so I don’t know how cookies we made too busy eating!:) Thanks Deb!
    Keep the cookies coming!
    And you really should homeschool Jacob, I am currently being homeschooled myself ( I’m 13) and it is wonderful. I always have to do what I like and explore things further, plus when I was younger I had more time to play and have a wonderful childhood.

  55. sandra

    #41 susan…I was thinking the same thing! worried, worried something is wrong. where are you, deb? everything okay? thank you for this recipe. I love cooking, but hate baking. I’m gonna try this one. xo

  56. I work at an amazing independent pre-k through twelve school in Idaho, so naturally I think you should move here, teach the little guy how to ski, and escape the big city :) But also, vanilla beans cost an arm and a leg here. So maybe not.

    Also, these are so cute! Love the sprinkles.

  57. Illona

    Deb, I’ve been reading your blog for what seems like forever, sorry I’ve never commented, even after success with some of ur recipes – but now u’ve inspired me to stop procrastinating on 2 fronts – I am afraid to bake cookies and I am even more afraid to start my kindergarten touring (we r in Bklyn) – but next week i will do both, visit a few schools and then come home and cry into my batter (followed by eat my pain away). Wish me luck (2x) – Going to kiss my 2009er good night, again.

  58. Sharilyn Unthank

    Wow! I would have thought these were much more difficult but now i see they are totally do-able.
    Regardless of where Jacob goes to school, remember that you have more impact on him than the school so stay involved and you and all the other children in your school community will benefit as well! The highs of their school life definitely outweigh the lows…friends, accomplishments small and large, shared experiences with other parents so you will know you are not alone and it is really cool to watch your child, the once tiny baby become a real person, to learn and grow into an independent flourishing adult so kindergarten today,(a few bumps along the road) and then all the sudden they are graduating college. And as you know, food opens doors!! You will always be welcomed! I know all of your followers have enjoyed the ride with you, and have loved watching from your first suggestion that something was”in the oven” so we will all still be here when he graduates college!

  59. nan

    So is it okay to dip them in chocolate/sprinkles and then freeze? Or should I freeze them and then dip and sprinkle a day or so before I need them? We’re having a Christmas Cookies and Milk party on the 23rd – these will be a hit!

  60. Monica

    Ouch! Made these as soon as I saw the post, they were going to be perfect for my bookgroup. But – ouch! How do you not burn your fingers?! Mine are still raw. Otherwise, super easy and they came out great. Thanks!

  61. SarraJk

    These are my absolute favorite cookie. I usually get a giant box of them at Costco when they have all the Christmas cookies out. They call them Roule D’Or. Cat tongues sounds more fun though.

  62. Meg

    Hey, did anyone else have an issue with their batter thickening? I was so sad! It was perfect for the first few batches, but firmed up SIGNIFICANTLY by the time I was baking round four. Help!

  63. KatieK

    Cookie crisis! I was invited to a cookie exchange and had my husband bake his wonderful chocolate chip cookies as I’m not a baker. I won’t get away with such nonsense next year should I be invited back. I behaved myself and made full disclosure about who baked them. However, as I’m not a baker, looking through the scads of recipes, I’m totally overwhelmed. Could someone make a couple of suggestions of relatively easy, but tasty, cookies I could practice during the coming months? Not much on nuts in baked goods.
    Now if it were a stew, chili or soup exchange, I’d rule!!!

  64. These were awesome- by the time I got the hang of it though, I only had about a dozen cookies, as my ‘helpers’ had taken care of the not so pretty ones, but I whipped up a second batch in minutes- really easy and so fancy! I also thought halfway through that they could also be shaped in to fortune cookies, right?

  65. Ash

    These cookies were so frustrating they made me want to cry!

    They stuck terribly to the parchment paper, so much so that I couldn’t get them off in one piece. Grr…

  66. Chris

    I made these the other day, and they not only came together in a flash but were also delicious! However, they weren’t the shatteringly crispy confections I imagined, though; were they just a little bit chewy for you, too? Or is that the result of my underbaking them?

  67. Ash

    Reynolds nonstick… The whole thing ended up being a disaster. I’m not blaming you — everything I’ve ever made from your blog has been amazing (and I’ve made a lot of things!), so I’m sure I did something wrong. The ones I did manage to save ended up being greasy and chewy the next day. I don’t know where I went wrong. I will have to try them again and cross my fingers.

  68. Sadie

    Hi Deb,
    I had the same problem as Chris, rather chewy cookies and batter looked a whole lot thicker than yours, when they just a little browner than yours I couldn’t roll them up.
    I did a much heavier cup than I usually use for you,( I switch depending on how they measure:)) But as I was using 3 extra-large egg whites and salted butter I though that would compensate.
    They were absolutely delicious!! (just not what I expected)
    Thanks Deb!

  69. Erin

    I have some tips! I did these this morning, on a slip pad not parchment paper. I made sure they measured 3 inches and used one tsp nearly exactly. I ran into trouble, until I did the following: 1) Start curling on the chopstick right on the pan on the top of the stove, rather than moving them over. It will lightly burn your fingers. Persist! and 2) only do three at a time. I also only cooked mine for 5 minutes, even though my oven and Deb’s usually are soul sisters in terms of timing.

  70. Jennifer

    My cookie batter was SUPER thick, not liquid at all. It was difficult to spread the cookies thin on the parchment paper because it was so sticky and thick. Any suggestions?

    Also, I accidentally flavored them using peppermint extract instead of vanilla. Delicious anyway :)

  71. Marybeth

    I also had trouble with the batter being too thick, even after I added 2T of cream, and the cookies weren’t crisp. That said, my kids ate them as fast as I rolled them, and I never even dipped them in chocolate.

  72. Sarah

    I just baked these yesterday. They are on the chewy side (I did the standard scoop-and-sweep for flour, and followed the recipe as written, so what could it be?) I fully agree with Erin’s comments (comment 117): bake 3 at a time, be okay with burned fingers, they cooked less than Deb’s written time. I actually didn’t curl the cookies around a chopstick, but just rolled them up as you would a cigarette (go figure). But anyway it worked beautifully.

    One question: for me, dabbing + spreading the batter took almost as long as baking each round (and there were MANY rounds, therefore took a while). I think putting the batter in a ziploc with the tip cut off and piping circles might work. Has anyone tried or also think this could work?? I’m intrigued.

  73. Kristin

    I also found the batter to be much too thick, nothing like the picture at all. I added 1-2 egg whites (not exactly sure because I separated them all at once) and 1T butter. With those changes the batter worked. Great idea to pipe them out of a ziploc bag (thanks Sarah!) but they still have to be spread with a spatula. Mine were crispy on the edges and a little bit chewy in the middle. I think it’s a function of how thin you spread them and how long you cook them. The browner they are the crisper they will be, but more difficult to roll. I baked mine for 4 minutes. One additional tip is to put the rolled cookie on the cooling rack with the loose end down. Otherwise it unrolls.

  74. Nirmal

    WOW…..first off, love ur kitchen my friend. I want an apartment like that, completely vintage. I’m a new yorker too. :) Anyhoo….i have always loved these cookies, and i’m so glad you shared this. I will bookmark this. :)

  75. Michelle

    I love this site! It is my go to! So, hate to say it but I will never make these again! Very putsy, cracked, reheated, some worked out others didn’t. Really, just a pain to make and not that tasty. BUT, this is the first time I’ve had a failure from Deb’s site, so statistically, that’s pretty amazing!

    1. deb

      Kim — I wouldn’t use plastic straws because you’re going to roll them when they’re still quite hot. It may not fully melt the straws, but it would soften the plastic… I’d find that unsettling.

  76. Deb- my daughter and I just made these wonderful cookies but ouch– our fingertips are burnt!! We got into a great rhythm and only had to reheat twice! Dunked them in white chocolate and rolled in crushed candy canes! They are beautiful and delicious. Can’t wait to serve them Christmas Eve.

  77. Rachel

    I’m midway through making mine and also having issues with sticking to the paper and being overly chewy. I suspect in my case its because I used mostly (pure) icing sugar rather than icing mixture (had run out). They are also overly sweet.

    It could also be the humidity (currently 23C, but 88% humidity) and I suspect I could have over beaten the mixture as well.

  78. Rachel

    As it turned out I forgot to the butter in (only realised when I noticed there was something still in the microwave). I added it in and now seems to be fine.

  79. Jess

    I’m unable to resist making these as a last minute addition to the cookie boxes–going to try filling them with coffee buttercream. Will report back. I’ve noticed that some of the recipes for similar cookies use beaten egg whites and was wondering whether you tried and discarded that method?

    On another note, have you ever had a Meert Waffle? They’re actually a sort of soft cookie, and are indescribably addictive. Wonder if you could figure out how they’re made… Cooks everywhere would love you even more than they do now.

    Happy holidays!

  80. MJ

    I made these and figured out a few things as I went that I thought I would pass on. I haven’t read all the comments, so apologies if I’m repeating other suggestions.
    First, Deb didn’t really mean “combine all ingredients” – she means all except for the chocolate and sprinkles – but you already knew that. Some other tips:
    -I didn’t have a Sharpie handy so I just traced circles on the parchment paper using pencil.
    -My dough was a little thicker than what she pictures (and I weighed everything), so I found it easiest to use a teaspoon and a small spatula to push the batter out of the spoon, and then used the back of the spoon to spread the batter around. It got easier once I realized (duh) that I didn’t need to use a circular motion to do that, and when the pan was warmer.
    -I tried both pencils and my kebab skewers as rollers. I found the skewers, which are much thinner, easier to use, and because the cookies were more tightly rolled they seem sturdier. Obviously use something thicker if you’re going to put filling inside the cookies.
    -Put some neutral oil on a paper towel to oil the skewer or pencil. That helped keep the cookie from sticking and cleaned off anything that stuck before the next round.
    -Put the open side down when you put the cookie on the rack so that it doesn’t partially unroll.
    -I ended up spooning the sprinkles over the chocolate-dipped ends rather than rolling them; that way the sprinkles that don’t stick also don’t get coated in chocolate. And make sure you keep your hands clean so that you don’t get chocolate on the middle part of the cookie.
    The cookies are gorgeous. I’m still debating whether they’re worth the effort, because while they taste good they did take a lot of time. They may win on beauty alone.

  81. christine

    I tried these the other night. DELICIOUS!!! I too have sore fingertips from hot cookies. Didn’t use the chocolate or sprinkles but may for the Christmas batch. I found that the parchment actually made it more difficult to get the right thin-ness than on the cookie sheet directly. So I stopped with the parchment and just used a new-ish non-stick cookie sheet. Worked perfectly. I let mine go longer to get more color – need to be quicker rolling but better flavor and not chewy. Also, I found that if the batter is spread thinner in the middle and slightly thicker around the edge, the crispier the whole cookie becomes and the edges don’t break off as much. Worth the time!

  82. Moxie

    What is a person to do when the cookies roll up, but into more of a triangular/cylindrical shape than a round cylinder (despite using pencils), and crack along the places where you try to roll them? Also, mine tasted super eggy. I can usually follow recipes really well, including several successes from Smitten, but alas this one was not a win. Not sure what went wrong.

    1. deb

      Moxie — It sounds like yours got too cool. (Well, I’m not sure about the egg part — maybe just not great-tasting eggs?) When they cool too much, they crack when you roll them and resist holding a shape. You have to work almost unfairly quickly when they come out of the oven. But, you can put them back in for 20 to 30 seconds and they’ll soften again.

  83. elisabeth

    I made these dairy-free and they came out FANTASTIC! I substituted Spectrum vegetable shortening for the butter and added maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of Lyle’s Golden Syrup and a tiny pinch of salt. That’s how I get the “butter” flavor without actual butter. My daughter is going to be so surprised to see these new dairy-allergy-safe cookies tomorrow morning! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

  84. Tiffany

    These ended up being a miserable failure for me. The wrinkly parchment ended up making the cookies uneven, which made them not roll properly. The batter was too thick and sticky to spread evenly…all in all, I got ~10 marginally acceptable cookies :(

  85. Kristin

    I made these a week ago and they turned out well. They taste a little like a delicate fortune cookie might taste (if there is such a thing). The recipe worked great for me as-is. A couple of things for those considering making them: use a silpat liner and a thin, flexible spatula. They are easy to lift and roll (I used chopsticks) with these tools. I was able to do six at a time. More than that and I couldn’t roll them fast enough. I found it easiest to spread with the back of the measuring spoon. Try to make it a little thick at the edge so that the whole cookie cooks evenly. Otherwise it can get too crunchy and not roll at the edges and too chewy in the middle.

  86. Minik

    This batter makes the perfect waffles! Just sayin’ :) ( I have a Belgian waffle maker, a cheap generic one, round)
    My Other Genius Idea for the cookies; I heat up my panini press (it has a smooth surface) and spread the batter directly on the flat surface. It all happens in front of me! Thanks Deb for my forever expanding repertoire in the kitchen!

  87. Heather

    I just made these yesterday and left in an airtight container overnight. I planned to dip them now and they are all really soft! Is it supposed to be spongey? Help!

  88. Lynn

    I think if I make these again, I will buy more silpats. I have one small one, and used parchment for the others. As Deb said, they get damp and it makes the cookies wrinkled – it also affected the spreading of the cookies. As the wrinkled paper got worse, the cookies were so thin they would end up separating at the wrinkle lines on the paper, making them harder to keep together when rolling. Some of mine slid off the chopsticks easily, others stuck a bit. All this to say, it truly is a very, very simple recipe. The hard part is getting them spread just right and getting them off the pans without being overdone or underdone and sticking a bit.

  89. Pam

    These look great and are delicious with lemon zest instead of vanilla. Would make again. A few things:
    1. I added the butter when it was too hot and cooked the batter a bit; made it harder to spread
    2. these were almost too hot for me to handle — rubber gloves provided a bit of protection
    3. at the end, the batter got thicker and the cookies browned much faster — keep an eye on the cookies and adjust the time in the final batches

  90. Oh man I JUST made krumkake this morning (also cooked thin and rolled hot) and while I’m definitely out of patience for that process for this year, I think I’m going to dip them in chocolate and sprinkles like these!

  91. Laura

    Putting this dough together now and it occurred to me…wouldn’t these be amped up delicious if made with browned butter? Has anyone tried?? I’m going to go with as written for the first batch but may venture to try it next time!