There are many times when I set out to make one particular recipe and finish with something that's completely different. These tuiles are no exception. I had originally decided to make a ginger-almond cookie, but quickly discovered that I had no ginger and only a handful of almonds. A few substitutions later, I created these cashew-orange tuiles which, of course, had nothing in common with my original concept.
Named for the terra cotta French roof tiles which they resemble, these cookies are thin, crisp, and buttery with a hint of orange. They are very easy to make - the most difficult step in the process is working quickly enough to bend them into their traditional curvy shape once they are removed from the oven. They taste wonderful on their own, but can also be served as an accompaniment to vanilla ice cream. —littleknitter
unsalted butter, softened
freshly grated orange zest
freshly squeezed juice from an orange
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a large baking sheet.
Toast the cashews until golden brown, then let cool to room temperature. In a food processor, process the cashews until they are finely chopped. You can also do this by hand with a knife and a cutting board, but it does take longer.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, beating with a mixer until fluffy. Add the egg whites, orange zest, juice, and vanilla, beating until mixed.
Add the cashews, then fold in the flour.
Drop small spoonfuls of the batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing them several inches apart. Using the back of the spoon, spread the batter in a 2 1/2 inch circle, repeating for each cookie.
Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes until golden brown around the edges.
Remove cookies from the oven. Working quickly, use a spatula to lift each cookie and wrap it around the top of a rolling pin (in order to make things easier, I had 2 rolling pins set up for this step). As the cookies cool, they will start to become crisp and will harden into the traditionally curvy shape. If the cookies start to harden on the cookie sheet, you can put them back in the oven to warm them up - this will make them pliable enough to bend again.
Repeat steps 5-7 for the remaining batter and cookies. The tuiles are best eaten within 24 hours of being baked or they will lose their crispness. If you aren't going to eat them within a couple of hours, store in an airtight container and use within a day or two.
My one party trick is that I have a photographic memory when it comes to food. I can not only remember almost every meal that I have eaten in a restaurant ever, down to each individual ingredient and the way it was presented, but I can do the same thing for everyone else who was eating with me. Totally weird, but fun!
Much to my mother's chagrin, my passion for cooking started early. At the age of 5, I was reading a picture book that described (in basic terms) how to make custard - just eggs, milk, and sugar! I waited until my mother went downstairs to put the laundry in the dryer, then promptly dumped an entire gallon of milk into a bowl and cracked two eggs into it. As I was staring into the bowl, contemplating the raw, runny yolks staring balefully back up at me, I was busted by my mother. Instead of going ballistic (ok, she went a little ballistic), she sighed and said "ok, let's use this to make tapioca," thus teaching me an important lesson in salvaging botched food experiments.