Between our recent trips to Paris and Provence, we tried our hand -- for the first time -- at making tuiles. Unfortunately, we did so on a whim, beginning after sunset -- and so the photos are quite awful. But, by the third batch, the cookies were a great success. The learning curve for tuiles is steep: it's a two-person job, with critical set-up required, and needs both deft and patience. The result? A beautifully curved cookie, paper thin, crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, infused with the taste of almonds.
- 5 tbsp. butter
- 2 egg whites
- pinch salt
- heaping 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup flour
- scant 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 F, cover several cookie sheets with parchment paper, and position some rolling pins and/or wine bottles such that they won't roll (see second photo below). I wedged mine between bags of flour, my empty butter dish, and a box of Carr's cheese crackers.
- Melt the butter slowly over low heat (do not let boil).
- Whisk the egg whites, salt, sugar and vanilla until very frothy. Gradually whisk in the flour, followed by the melted butter, until the dough is smooth.
- Drop scant tablespoonfuls of batter onto cookie sheets, spacing them well apart. Spread each with an icing spatula until 3-4 inches in diameter. They will be very thin -- you will be able to see the parchment paper through the batter! Sprinkle with slivered almonds and bake 6-10 minutes, until the cookies are rimmed with golden brown.
- Immediately, lift the cookies off the sheet with a very thin, sharp spatula or blade. Curve them gently over the rolling pins/bottles. They made need some encouragement; be gentle but quick. If the cookies cool too much, pop them back in the oven for a moment. Remove to a rack once firm.
These keep well for over a week in an airtight container. But beware: the finished tuiles are delicate!