July 20, 2008

Cigarettes Russes, Memories and Amano Chocolate

Although I posted a photo of these Cigarettes Russes in my last post, I didn’t get to talk about them so I’m doing that now. When I saw the photo in Martha’s Cookie book of Cigarettes Russes I knew immediately that I wanted to make them because they brought back wonderful memories. When I was in high school I went on a three month exchange of sorts to France. I lived in a small town about an hour outside of Lyon and it was there that I experienced all sorts of new tastes. One that stands out in my mind would arrive on a weekly basis in a white box tied with a ribbon, courtesy of Mamie, (French for grandmother). Inside that box was a selection of goodies from the bakery that Mamie would stop at before coming out to visit. There were always meringues, cigarettes russes and tuilles. To my recollection I had never had any of these things before but I loved them all, especially the cigarettes russes that were chocolate filled, those were the best! We would eat these goodies after lunch or with tea and I remember sneaking back into the kitchen later on in the afternoon or evening, hoping that there would be some left for me to swipe from the box.

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.”

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41 comments:

Peabody said...

Yum! I have a problem eating my chocolate before it makes to the item it was intended for. I had to stop buy Lindt White Chocolate Coconut all together. :)

Manggy said...

Hah! I know the pain of broken tuiles all too well! The ones that survived look really good Brilynn :)

KJ said...

tuile type things are tough. kudos for getting even some of them to turn out. they look terrific.

Ann said...

Awesome! Tuiles are damned difficult and your survivors look terrific!

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet said...

Those look incredibly classy. I'm totally envious. I've never made them myself. I think they go on the ever expanding list of "things to try to make someday (hopefully soon)"

LyB said...

I made cigarettes russes only once, I remember the burned fingers and misshapen cookies, as you say! Yours look fantastic, I love the chocolate dip and sprinkling of nuts you gave them. :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I've only tried to make tuiles once, and I think I was not fast enough (nor did I heed the advice to make just two at a time). I did make the world's flattest rolled cookies, though...

giz said...

This would intimidate the heck outa me.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

These cigarettes I would ot only smoke but also inhale. ;)

Maria said...

Glad some made it! They look great!!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I'm so glad someone shares my theory that broken cookies have no calories! The cigarettes look great and very delicate!

laura k said...

Ooh, these are so lovely! I will have to try it out someday. I got some Amano chocoate, too, and that stuff really was delicious.

Kevin said...

Those look really good!

Theresa said...

I give you a lot of credit. They look beautiful!!

art said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the chocolate! Thanks for telling us what you did with it --- it looks so good!

-Art
Amano Artisan Chocolate

Dragon said...

Can I have one? They look wonderful.

Tartelette said...

See, now you can make cups for ice cream with these..just let them cool over an upside down bowl....always about the ice cream :)
Mamie was my grandmother's name too.
I could see myself easily eating them all in one sitting!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I loved them on your other post, but they look so sophisticated I thought they would be terribly difficult to make, sweetie!
And that time in France must have been divine.

dorie said...

You'd think there'd be a better way to make cigarette cookies than by burning your fingers, wouldn't you? Well, like you, I've never found it! But your cookies look beautiful and they brought back my own childhood memories of finding those cookies in the assortment my mom would bring back from the bakery. (Not in France, of course and too bad, but in Brooklyn, where the cigarettes russes still tasted pretty good.)

Deborah said...

I love food that brings back memories!! I got some chocolate, too, but I haven't tried it out yet. Amano is actually located in the town I live!

Annie said...

A food memory is the best kind of memory. And your memories look great!

Pam said...

Wow! Those look amazing.

carmencooks said...

gosh, these are gorgeous and look delicious!

Christie @ fig & cherry said...

Oooh, delicious! Dark chocolate is my favourite.

Nick said...

Nice! They look excellent, I want to try some of that chocolate on its own... I've never seen the brand before which only makes this chocolate snob want some even more!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Oh, yeah, snacking on the baking supplies is a professional (or amateur) hazard. The cookies look perfect!

Gigi said...

Oh my! You have been cooking up a storm. The cookies all looked absolutely delicious! And I loved all the posts on the exotic fruits. Great job Brilynn!

redpetre said...

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

Bellini Valli said...

This is a perfect way to use your Amano chocolate. Sounds like russes are your Madeleine's:D

farida said...

What a great idea! Sounds and looks delicious!

Elle said...

Oh yeah, the broken ones don't count at all! Calorie free... ;)

These are gorgeous!

Zen Chef said...

You did a heck of a good job!!
I. WANT. SOME.

Kate said...

Those look so yummy! Great job. Just stumbled across your blog, I can't wait to read through it more, your pictures are just fantastic!

Valentina said...

They are fabulous.Well done for persevering. I would have given up I think.they look so delicate and elegant.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

These look beautiful! I'd be hesitant about trying my clumsy hands at making this one--I know how big a mess would result if I did it, lol! One of these days...

Haley said...

We'd like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me, haleyglasco@gmail.com, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details: http://blog.keyingredient.com/2008/06/06/key-ingredient-cooks-kitchen-recipe-contest/

Thanks,
Haley
KI Blogger

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

Ha, so true, broken cookies pieces don't count! Neither does licking the batter off the spoon. :)

These look absolutely delectable and I loved reading about your memories of France.

Haley said...

I'm Haley, Key Ingredient's Chief Blogger. We would like to feature this recipe and photo on our blog. We realize it is taken from another source, but we'll be sure to note that...we just feel you've done a great job putting this meal together! Please email haleyglasco@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)

Haley

Megan said...

I am so impressed, these are amazing. Gorgeous photos! Delish!

Megan C of bit of nutmeg

Sweet Escape said...

Hey there, just came across your blog. I am super excited to see your love for Martha Stewart and her cookie book. I am currently working my way through the book and have my own blog dedicated to my trials and tribulations. here is the link if you are interested sweetescapebaking.blogspot.com

Clifford said...

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