Tuiles aux Amandes (French Almond Tuiles)

During a recent Christmas cookie-baking party, my French friend made this delicious recipe for Tuiles aux Amandes (or Almond Tuiles). It was my first time trying these cookies, and they were great – very delicate and quick to make. I also have a soft spot for anything almond flavored, so we started off on the right track. đŸ™‚

The cookies are meant to have a curved shape made by letting them dry on a rounded object like a rolling pin. The French word “tuiles” means “tiles” and the curved shape of the biscuit is meant to evoke the curved terracotta roof tiles along the Mediterranean. They are often used by chefs as garnish for custards or ice creams.

Ingredients:

2 large egg whites
100g caster sugar
50g plain flour
Few drops of vanilla and almond extracts
35g butter, melted
50g flaked almonds

Directions:

Melt the butter and let it cool.

Beat the egg whites with sugar until mixture forms soft peaks.

Fold in the flour, vanilla/almond extracts, and melted butter.

Drop Rounded teaspoons of the mixture evenly spaced onto a lined tray. Spread mixture into thin discs with a small knife.

Sprinkle with flaked almonds.

Bake near centre of the oven for 4-5 minutes or until golden with brown tinge at edges.

Remove cooked tuiles quickly using a metal spatula. Curve each biscuit over a rolling pin or other curved object. Leave to dry for a few minutes so it adopts a curved shape.

Remove and place on a drying rack to fully cool.

Store in airtight tin to keep crisp.

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Pecan Puffs

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It’s Christmas and one of my favorite parts of this time of year is the near constant presence of Christmas cookies at the office, parties and home (and the [almost] guilt-free manner in which I consume them!) I typically spend Christmas at home in Colorado, where my mom has a few staple cookie recipes that we make for the family each year. These usually include: classic Spritz cookies, Scandinavian Krumkake (for which she has a special iron cooking pan), Santa’s thumbprint cookies (so cute and a childhood favorite), sugar cookies decorated with Christmas-y colored icing, and the cookies of which I’m writing about in this blog post – Pecan Puffs. Pecan Puffs are my absolute favorite, and therefore I decided to make them myself in London this year. They crumble and melt in your mouth at the same time, while the delicate powdered sugar makes them look like mini snow balls to throw at someone.

I made my batch of Pecan Puffs at a friend’s place in London – we also made a really nice French cookie called Tuiles aux Amandes. I’ve put that recipe up here.

Pecan Puffs

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
2 T sugar
1 cup pecans
1 cup flour
Confectioners sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F (150 C).
Creme butter until soft.
Add 2 T sugar to the butter and blend until creamy.
Measure, then grind in a nut grinder, 1 cup pecans.
Sift before measuring – 1 cup flour.
Stir the flour and pecans into the butter mixture.
Roll the dough into small bite-sized balls.
Bake on a greased baking sheet for 30 minutes at 300F (150C).
Roll while hot in confectioners sugar.
Place back in oven for a minute to glaze.
Cool.
Makes 40 – 1 1/2 inch balls.

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The spread of cookies we made in London – Pecan Puffs, Tuiles aux Amandes, and Banana Oat Chocolate Chip.