Sunday, March 18, 2007

Almond Tuiles Cookies

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It's true, I've been posting a lot of sweets lately. It's not because I'm not cooking "real" food, but because the past few weeks have seen me working more than usual. Returning around 8 PM (or later) and cooking while hungry and exhausted just does not put one in the mood to set up lighting for a shot. It also makes for more quick meals-- we're making great progress depleting the frozen soup stocks.

Cookies are a relaxing thing to cook for me. They are comforting and delicious and can usually be made fairly quickly. The bonus is that you know they will be delicious.

To make myself feel better I called these, "healthy cookies." They are full of almonds and egg whites and have very little flour-- the dessert version of ordering an egg white omelette I'd say. They are delicate yet filling and go nicely with an afternoon tea or coffee. Another plus, they are another winner from The Cook's Book.

Tuiles means tile in French and refers to the old curved roof tiles that are layered on homes.

Almond Tuiles Cookies
Serving Size= 25 large cookies. Active time= about 8 minutes. Inactive time= about 12 hours.
* 1-1/3 cups sliced almonds
* 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
* 2 drops of vanilla extract or 2 pinches vanilla powder
* drop of bitter almond extract
* 2 egg whites
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2-1/2 tablespoons cake or pastry flour

1) Using a rubber spatula, mix the almonds, sugar, vanilla extract or powder, bitter almond extract, and egg whites together in a bowl.
2) Melt the butter gently and, while it is still warm, pour it into the bowl. Mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3) The next day, sift the flour into the bowl and mix in thoroughly. Place teaspoonfulls of the dough on a nonstick baking sheet, spaced well apart.
4) Preheat the oven to 300F. Flatten each cookie with the back of a large spoon dipped in cold water, then bake for 15-18 minutes. The cookies should be an even golden color with no white in the center.
5) Remove the cookies from the baking sheet using a metal spatula and slide into a sheet of parchment paper. Let cool.
Note on Shaped Tuiles: For the traditional roof-tile shape, lift each cookie off the baking sheet with a metal spatula and, while still hot, drape it over a [clean] wine bottle or rolling pin. Let cool and set.

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