January 5, 2010


In Taiwan, when a couple gets engaged, the female side would give out (喜餅) boxes of French and Taiwanese cookies to friends and family. The box that contains the French cookies are often big and fancy with just a few pieces of cookies inside. And inside the box I would always find these thin, buttery cookies, sometimes covered by chocolate, or has chocolate fillings, or wrapped up in a roll, or just by itself. They were often expensive, and I never felt I that I was given a satisfactory amount. I always wish I could have more. Since I began baking, I have tried to search for the recipe that makes this delicious cookie, but had no luck. Until couple of weeks ago, my mom took home two pieces of Yoku Moku cookies that were exactly, if not better, than the cookies I tasted as a child. On one of the cookie wrappers, it said "cigare"--French for Cigar. I took the word and started googling "cigar cookies" and was eventually lead to "tuile" cookies.

Tuile cookies are French cookies that were more often used as a decoration to declicate French desserts. It is said to add texture to creamy desserts, especially to ice cream. I decided to try it out mainly because it looks so much like the cookie I love.

Tuile Cookie

unsalted butter, softened          2 oz
powdered sugar                      1/2 cup
all-purpose flour                      1/3 cup + 1tbsp
egg whites                               2 large, at room temperature

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and the confectioners’ sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Don’t overbeat, because tuile batter shouldn’t be too aerated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and mix for an additional 15 seconds. Add the egg whites one at a time, scraping the bowl after each egg white is incorporated. Beat on low speed until the batter is smooth.

To form the paper-thin cookies, place three or four 1-tablespoon mounds of batter 3 inches apart on the silicone-lined baking sheet. Using a small offset spatula, smear each mound in a 180-degree semicircle, like a wind-shield wiper. Rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees and smear the other side of the rounds 180 degrees using the same motion, to complete the circle, making 3-inch rounds.

Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet from front to back and bake for another 4-5 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Do not overbake. Open the oven and place the cookie sheet on the oven door. Using an offset spatula, loosen all of the cookies from the silicone mat, then one by one, lift off the cookies with the spatula and roll up around the handle of a wooden spoon. If the cookies stiffen, return them to the oven for a minute to soften. If this is too difficult (the cookies are hot!), you can either leave them as they are or drape them over a rolling pin. Slide the cookies off the spoon handle. Repeat with the remaining batter. Allow the cookies to cool completely on racks.

I thought the cookies were similar to the cookies I wanted, but still it's less buttery and a bit too crunchy. My search continues..

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