Created for the Daring Bakers January Challenge
This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
Three years and a half years ago, when I gave up hydrogenated oils and ingredient lists that required a chemistry degree, I knew that there would be a few things I would miss. There aren’t many things mind you. It’s incredible but almost everything tastes better when it is made from real ingredients. This having been said, there are still a few things that I pine away for.
Those little pirouette cookies from Pepperidge Farm rank high on that list.
I am a die hard, crisp and buttery cookie fan. Until I tried this recipe, given the choice to eat only one cookie for the rest of my life, I would have said short bread. This recipe has shaken my devotion.
It has the lovely subtle butteriness of shortbread but with a thin crisp edge that sings a siren song to the caramel lover in me.
While a little bit of a fussy cookie and one that requires a little bit of planning it came together easily enough. And baked up surprisingly consistently.
Now I am kicking myself for not trying this recipe sooner. Last minute before I had to head out of town for business on short notice was probably not the best time. I would have likely had much more fun with it had I started earlier in the challenge and made several variations. Though, I can’t think of many ways to improve on the original.
It is the kind of recipe that brightly showcases quality ingredients and doesn’t leave much room for anything else. Perhaps grating of lemon peel, or ginger, or even a light dusting of spice, just a hint though, something to tingle the palate then evaporate leaving the lovely complex interplay of butter and vanilla.
And though this recipe was meant to be filled with something or served alongside something as a supporting player, I found myself loath to do that to such a lovely delicate morsel. My brother apparently agreed because after I had finished rolling them into little tubes and started leaving them gently curved, he began to annihilate them as if they were potato chips. You can’t eat just one.
After I had filled a couple and taken a few pictures, I came back to the kitchen only to discover that the rest of my batch had vanished. And my brother was NOT the only person with suspicious crumbs on their fingers. But I am not going to name names.
I will however, have to protect the tuiles much better next time. And I will be making them again.
It’s too hard to resist NOT making them. I mean, it’s a delicious cookie that you can fold! Plays right into my origami obsession!
I will admit that getting the thickness just right took a little bit of trial and error and not having an offset spatula, it took me a few batches to figure out the right tool for the job, which in my case was a small bench scraper which produced perfect even results.
I will also have to confess that it is not the kind of cookie that you can just stick in the oven and forget until it’s done. This cookie takes a bit of work. If you want to shape it, you can only make three or four at a time. They are only pliable for a few seconds once they have been removed. So you have to work quickly with a very hot dough.
For the filling, I admit I used a left over. I had made a recipe of whipped crème fraiche with lime zest and honey for another dessert…BTW, did you know you could whip crème fraiche like whipped cream? I didn’t, but it’s lovely…and couldn’t resist filling my fat little pirouettes with the left over mixture. The tang of the crème fraiche was a perfect foil for the buttery cookie.
Though if hard pressed, I would still have to admit that I prefer these little tuiles plain.
Yields: 24 3 inch circles
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft) 
65 grams / ½ cup / 2.8 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
A large pinch of vanillin 
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.25 ounces sifted all purpose flour
Oven: 180C / 350F
Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle cream butter, sugar and vanillin until light and fluffy. Keep mixing while you gradually add the egg whites, slowly enough so that the batter doesn’t break.. Add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter. Be careful to not over mix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an offset spatula to spread batter. Batter should be in an even, thin layer that is almost translucent. If you are shaping the better after wards do not bake more than three or four at time. Leave some room in between your shapes.
Bake shapes in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from baking sheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. This must be done quickly as they become brittle when they cool. If you are not quick enough you can stick them back in the oven to reheat for a few seconds.
If you don’t wish to do stencil shapes, you can transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones.
 This is the place to use high quality butter. European style butter would be best here.
 Vanillin is the primary flavor in vanilla and comes as a sort of crystallized powder. You need very little of it or your baked good will be bitter. I used just enough to cover the tip of a knife. The flavor is not as complex as real vanilla but with the cooking heat, those flavor compounds are destroyed anyway so vanillin produces an excellent vanilla flavor and aroma without upsetting the delicate balance of the recipe.
 The original recipe called for greasing the parchment paper but I found that it was not necessary. I did find it handy to have several sheets of parchment so that I could pre-spread the batter and then when I was ready just pop the next batch in the oven.