Sunday, July 11, 2010


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!

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