During our recent trip to Reims (see full post here), the champagne capital of the world, we passed Maison Fossier, who's windows were filled with adorable tins and bags filled with rectangular pink biscuits. Naturally we had to go inside the shop to see what these little pink biscuits were all about. Walking in, we were immediately surrounded by the warmth and delicate sweet scent of sugar and vanilla. Best of all - there was PINK everywhere! We sampled one of these pink beauties and with one bite we were in love! They have the texture of an un-soaked lady finger and are subtly sweet with a touch of vanilla. A perfect accompaniment for champagne.
These biscuits were invented in the 1690’s by bakers in Reims who wanted to make something that could be made to use the heat of their ovens between baking batches of bread. The shop, Maison Fossier, has been making Biscuit Roses de Reims since it opened in 1756 and now can be found throughout France and around the world. These biscuits were even served during the Coronation of Louis XVI at Reims, and Maison Fossier became the biscuit maker for the royal family.
You are supposed to serve these biscuits with champagne (preferably champagne from Reims) and they are made to be dipped into the champagne to bring out the subtle flavors of the cookies. Of course, you don't have to try to sell us on anything that involves champagne so we bought a few tins as gifts and a bag for us to enjoy on our trip. Once we were home, we missed having these cute and crunchy biscuits and decided to make them ourselves. We found the original recipe on the official website for France so we decided not to alter it much because if it is on the official website for France, it must be the good.
xxx Ivy & Eve
Adapted from the recipe on France.fr.
Makes about 45 cookies.
4 large eggs at room temperature (separate the yolks from the whites)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
6-8 drops of red food coloring (depending on how pink you want them)
Powdered (confectioner's) sugar for dusting the cookies
Pastry bag with 1/4-inch smooth tip
- Preheat the oven to 275°F. Mix the yolks, sugar and vanilla in a bowl using a hand blender with a whisk attachment, on increasing speeds over a period of 5-6 minutes. Beat in 2 of the egg whites for another 2 minutes. Beat in the remaining 2 egg whites and the food coloring for an additional 5 minutes until the mixture begins to form stiff peaks.
- Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder into the bowl, folding in gently with a spatula. You want a final result that is smooth and uniform in color. Scrape it into the pastry bag.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray. Squeeze out strips of the mixture that are 1/4-inch wide (about as wide as your finger) and about 3 inches long and 1/4-1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and bake for 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. (You don't want the biscuits to start browning though, or else they won't be pink!) Take the biscuits out, sprinkle them with more powdered sugar and place them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
- When you take them out, quickly cut the edges of the biscuits so that you have even rectangles. Do this before they cool, or else they become rather difficult to cut. If they cool before you finish, you can place them back in the oven for a few minutes to soften. If once they cool, they aren't completely crunchy, you can always but them back in the oven at 200°F and dry them out for about 20 minutes.
- Serve with champagne, dip, and enjoy!