Tuiles are fun to make, but details make a difference! Accurate flour measurement produces tuiles that are tender and crispy instead of hard and tough: If possible, use a scale to measure rather than measuring cups. Read about pan liner choices and keep in mind that tuiles must be shaped while still hot, but they can be reheated to regain flexibility. Don’t miss the bonus (genius?) method for shaping an entire sheet of tuiles all at once. Ready set go. —Alice Medrich
- Makes about forty 3-inch cookies
(42 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the foil
Scant 1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened dried shredded coconut
(166 grams) sugar
large egg whites
(32 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- Line 2 baking sheets with regular foil (dull side up) smoothed free of wrinkles or Silicone mats. Grease the foil or Silicone lightly but thoroughly with melted butter. Or line the sheets with nonstick foil, nonstick side up, not greased. See notes about pan liners for more information
- In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until blended. Let rest for at least 15 minutes or cover and refrigerate the batter for up to 3 days.
- To bake one tray at a time (recommended if this is your first time), position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300° F. Otherwise, position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- If you are shaping tuiles over a rolling, set the pin on a rack to prevent it from rolling, or anchor it in some other way. If you are shaping the tuiles in cups or over other objects, have these ready.
- Stir the batter. Drop rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon and a circular motion, spread the batter evenly into 3-inch rounds about 1/16-inch thick. Bake, watching carefully for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tuiles are mostly golden brown with pale splotches. Rotate the sheets from front to back (and top to bottom if baking two trays) halfway through the baking time, to ensure even baking. If tuiles are not baked enough, they will not be completely crisp when cool.
- Tuiles must be shaped while hot from the oven.
- If using Silicone mats: As soon as you can coax a thin metal spatula under a tuile without destroying it, transfer it to a rack to cool flat. Or shape it by draping it over a rolling pin; nestling it into a little cup; or twisting it with you fingers. Working fast, remove and shape the remaining tuiles; Reheat them if they become too brittle to bend by returning them to the oven for a couple of minutes, until they're flexible.
- If using regular or nonstick foil: For flat tuiles, slide the entire sheet of foil onto a rack to cool. For shaped tuiles, transfer and drape them as described above. Tuiles are easiest to remove from regular foil when they are either very hot or completely cool.
- Bonus technique for regular foil only: You can curve an entire sheet of tuiles at once by rolling the foil into a fat cylinder with hot cookies attached, here’s how: As soon as you remove the baking sheet from the oven, grasp the edges of the foil (without touching the hot pan or the cookies) and roll it into a fat cylinder, gently curving the attached cookies. Crimp or secure the foil with paper clips. Set the cylinder between a couple of heavy objects (cans or jars) to prevent it from sagging. When cool, unroll the foil carefully and remove the tuiles.
- Repeat until all of the tuiles are baked. To retain crispness, put tuiles into an airtight container as soon as they are completely cool. Store in airtight container for at least 1 month.
- TIP: While tuiles are baking, you can continue to spread batter on extra pan liners set on the counter (or on extra pans if you have them). Slide the batter-laden liners onto cookies sheets and into the oven as soon as the oven is empty. You do not have to wait for the pans to cool between rounds so long as the liners are already filled with batter when you slide them onto the pans and the pans go into the oven immediately.
- PAN LINER CHOICES: * * * Regular foil (lightly greased): Tuiles baked on regular foil will spread in the oven, sometimes making beautiful but slightly irregular organic-shaped cookies with extra thin delicate edges. They will be even more irregular if the pan under the foil is not perfectly flat or the foil is creased or wrinkled! Don’t choose regular foil if you want perfect control over the shape of your tuiles. Tuiles are easiest to remove from foil while very hot, or completely cool. * * * Non-stick foil: Tuiles baked on nonstick foil hold their shape and are easy to remove at any temperature. * * * Silicone mat (lightly greased): Tuiles baked on Silicone will hold their shape and can be removed at any temperature. * * * Parchment: I don’t recommend parchment because it does not brown the tuiles as well as the other choices.