I had never tried making cigarettes russes before and quite frankly I was a little bit nervous to do so because as much as I wanted them to taste like my memory said they should, I knew it was highly unlikely that they would turn out that way. As luck would have it, Martha’s version was a pretty good substitute although I think I would have had to tuck them into a white bakery box and tie it with a ribbon to make them feel really authentic. I will warn you though, cigarettes russes are not the easiest cookie to make, they require a lot more attention that a drop cookie and I ruined quite a few of them before I got used to the process. That process included burning my fingers repeatedly on the hot cookies as I tried to roll them into cylinders before they hardened and it was too late. There were a lot of cookies that made it as far as half cylinders before I pushed them too hard and they broke and had to be eaten immediately by me, (but everyone knows that when you eat broken cookie pieces those calories don’t count). There were also a lot of burnt cookies and misshapen cookies and batter blunders but by the end of the batch I was finally getting into a groove and turning out a respectable cigarettes russe, (truthfully though I think I only got about half a dozen really good ones).
And although I didn’t make any chocolate filled cigarettes russes, I did dip some of them in some very nice chocolate, Amano chocolate to be precise. Amano chocolate is hand made in small batches in order to create exceptional flavour and texture and I was fortunate enough to receive three Amano chocolate bars via BlakeMakes to sample. Who doesn’t love free chocolate? I originally intended to make some big chocolate dessert with my bars, but first I had to test each one out to see what they tasted like. I opened up the first box and was delighted to find that each Amano bar is wrapped in gold foil which kind of made me feel like Charlie of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when he found the golden ticket. “Testing”, quickly turned into me eating almost all of the chocolate out of hand, leaving little to bake with, but dipping the cigarettes russes in the Amano chocolate was definitely a good use for it. The fact that I gobbled it up so quickly would be an indication of how tasty it was. It you’d like to learn more about Amano, go pay them a visit, and if you’re curious about the name, as I was, here’s what it means, (swiped lovingly from their site):
“Amano has three different meanings. In Italian, it means "by hand," which represents our dedication to creating the finest chocolate available, taking the necessary time with each batch to ensure that it is just right. Amano also means "they love" in Italian and touches on how we feel at Amano about fine chocolate and why we feel it is important to create it "by hand." In Japanese, Amano means "heavenly field." Since chocolate and cacao are known as the "food of the Gods," it is truly a bountiful field that must be treated with reverence and respect.”