This delicate pastry (it's not a cookie!) is a light, delicious, crisp treat with a mild but distinctive coffee flavor. Jazz it up with whipped cream, or serve with--yep--more coffee!
Step 1: Ingredients and Mixing Instructions
1 cup powdered sugar (I made mine--1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 T. cornstarch in a blender, blended to a powder)
1 stick butter, softened
4 egg whites
1 t. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 T. milk
2 T. instant coffee, crushed to a powder
Preheat the oven to 325º. Cream the sugar and butter.
Beat in the egg whites and vanilla.
Blend in the flour, but don't overmix. Add the crushed instant coffee and blend well.
Add the milk. Your batter should be about the same consistency as cake batter. If it's not, add a few drops more milk.
Spray your cookie sheet with cooking oil. Spoon batter onto the sheet, about a tablespoon per serving. Smooth the batter out, making sure the centers are a bit flatter than the edges. Your goal is to create a very thin product. They're going to spread a little in the oven, so don't try to get more than 8 or 9 on the sheet at a time.
Set your timer for 8 minutes and bake at 325º. The tuiles should look fairly dry but not dark brown on the edges. Depending on your oven, you might need to let them bake for 9 to 10 minutes, but watch them closely.
Remove the tuiles from the oven. Let them sit for no more than a minute, and then, using a thin spatula (a metal one works best for me), ease the tuiles from the sheet. They will be fragile, so be careful. You can leave them flat, or you can shape them, but only while they're warm. You can set them over an egg cup, you can drape them inside the egg cup, or you can roll them around the handle of a wooden spoon. If the ones on the sheet cool down while you're shaping another one, slip the sheet back into the oven for about 30 seconds and try again.
Tuiles are good still warm from the oven--especially if you roll them and fill them with whipped cream--but they're at their best after a day, when they've crisped up (it's a good term, "crisped up'). They're a good accompaniment to ice cream, too.
Step 9: Suggestions
The thinner the batter, the crisper the tuiles will be, but a very thin batter is harder to manage.
Don't try to do multiple sheets at a time. These things demand immediate attention.
Wash, dry, and re-spray the sheet after every batch.
If you're like me, you don't need to be cooking supper at the same time. Something won't come out right.
Humidity can certainly affect the quality of crispness. Let the tuiles cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
Fair warning: if you roll these things and shoot whipped cream in them, there will be none to put in the airtight container for tomorrow. They're that good! Enjoy!