Many a time when browsing through Dorie Greenspan's book I'd stopped by the page for the Translucent Maple Tuiles. In the picture they are absolutely gorgeous; shining golden curved cookies on a plate, yet as I looked at them, invariably my thought was "aargh, how will these ever turn out when I try to bake them?" It's the curved part that looks and sounds tricky: a process that involves taking cookies hot out of the oven, somehow getting them off the cookie sheet, then draping them on a cylindrical object. Once cooled, they maintain a curved form. Or at least that's the theory.
- I used my tiny melon baller to scoop out the dough. The little balls were maybe dime-sized in diameter.
- I had to play with the oven temperature and time a bit. I baked the first batch in an oven that was not hot enough. The tuiles curved nicely, but were pliable even when cooled, so they flattened out when left to their own devices. 375 degrees for approximately 7 minutes ended up being perfect.
- Draping the cookies over my rolling pin produced a curve that wasn't as dramatic as I wanted. I searched around my kitchen, and ended up using spice bottles and the handle to my dough whisk. After I finished, I realized that a broom handle would have been perfect. I would wrap it - actually I wrapped all of my cylinders - first with plastic wrap so the cookies would be on a clean surface and so that the surface wouldn't absorb the grease from the hot cookies.
It was so much fun forming the curved tuiles that I experimented with making tuile cups. After trying a few different techniques, and here's what I devised:
- Scoop or roll the balls somewhere between a nickel and a quarter in diameter. Place them in the center of a 5" square piece of parchment (can re-use from cookie to cookie) and bake. For me, 375 worked the best. Start checking them at about 5 minutes, and remove from the oven when the cookies are bubbling and browned.
- Let the tuiles cool -flat - on the parchment, then remove them from the parchment and place each over the open top of a custard cup or ramekin, put back into the oven for about 45 seconds, or until softened. The cookie may start to sag into the cup, which shows that is is warm and malleable. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and gently press the warm cookie down into the inside of the cup. Let cool. Because there is so much butter in these cookies, they will easily release from the cup.
the verdict:Despite my early trepidation, the tuiles were lots of fun to make. With simple-to-throw-together dough and a baking time of just minutes, they deliver a lot of wow! for very little effort. Not only that, but they taste scrumptious. We especially loved them as ice cream cups, accompanied by rum ice cream and toasted coconut ice cream.