Today, I want to bake some cookies: Something sweet, buttery, super crunchy, and something cat-like? I still have some egg whites left from yesterday baking. Eureka! I know what I should bake today! I will bake langue de chat cookies (French for cat?s tongue).
So why do they called them cat?s tongue cookies. No one knows. I have a funny theory. They have that name because they have shape like real cat tongue, and they also have rough surface after baked, just like real cat tongue. So that should explain the name.
It is a very easy to bake and easy to eat-up-all-of-them-at-once cookies. It only contains only 5 basic ingredients for baking. This is a recipe that I recommended for beginners to enter the wonder world of baking.
Instruction with picture at every step can be found here on my blog post: http://simplyafoodblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/am-i-a-cat-person-and-my-favorite-cookies-recipe-langue-de-chat-meow/
120g butter at room temperature.
120g granulated white sugar
100g egg whites (approximately 3 egg whites from regular size eggs)
130g all-purpose flour
? tsp. vanilla extract
? tsp. salt
The original recipe that I used to work with does not use salt. But one thing that I learn from my baking experience is that contrary is the key for dynamic flavor, like in Indian curry, you adding sugar to make the your dish more spicy. By adding a very small amount of salt, you are actually enhancing the sweetness and complexity flavor in your baking. So, what the harm?
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 200 degree Celsius.
Put sugar and butter into your mixing bowl. Cream them up with the paddle attachment of the stand mixer. Or use the whisks of the hand mixers.
Start at low speed to incorporate the sugar into the butter. At first, they will look grainy and they butter color is yellow. Keep beating at high speed. Be patient.
After 5 minutes of creaming, they should look like this. The butter color is now pale yellow, almost white and it has gained some volume too since this step is to introduce air into the mixture.
Step 2: Add egg whites into the mixture, one by one, with stirring by paddle attachment every time. After adding the 3rd egg whites, your mixture might look like everything is not well combined, almost like egg or tofu curds. It is totally normal. Don?t worry!
Step 3: Now add 1/3 of the flour, vanilla extract, and salt in. Mix well just until incorporated. Add another 1/3, mix again, and repeat one last time. You don?t want to add all the flour in at once, it might cause lumps in your batter. As I said, be patient and delicate.
After 3 times adding and mixing flour in, you should have a very thick batter.
Step 4: Put the batter into a big piping bag. I usually put mine into a big tall glass, open it up and the scoop my batter in. That way, the batter is more manageable and you will have less cleaning to do after.
Step 5: Prepare your cookie trays (recommended 2) with baking papers. Pipe the batter out from the bag in form of small long cigarettes of 1cm wide, 5 cm long, each 3cm away from each other. DO NOT pipe them any closer to each other than 2cm. Be generous, these cookies do know how to spread.
Step 6: Bake that cookie tray in the middle rank of your oven for 10 to 11 minutes, just until the edge have light brown color.
At first the cookies are soft and bendable. But they will crisp up very quickly after 3 minutes. And they should come out of the tray very easily.
Do stay near the oven and watch those little cookies, because once they brown up, they brown up real fast.
Here is how I arrange these cookies baking. When I put the 1st tray into the oven, I start piping batter out on the 2nd tray. When the 1st tray is ready, I take it out and put the 2nd tray in. I then let the 1st tray cool down a bit, let?s say 5 minutes, take all the cookies out, and pipe another batch on (while CAREFULLY watch the 2nd batch in the oven). The batter may spread a bit on the 1st tray because it?s till a bit hot and that?s OK, they still perform the same inside the oven.
Step 7: Let the cookies cool down for 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, prepare yourself a cup of rose tea.
And then, enjoy! Happy Baking!