Baking Diary – log 5 – 1/5/2012
Today, I want to bake some cookies for Vappu picnic. Something sweet, buttery, super crunchy, and something cat-like… Uhhm, I still have some egg whites left from yesterday baking. Eureka! I know what I should bake today! I will bake langue de chat cookies (French for cat’s tongue). Meowww.
So why do they called them cat’s tongue cookies. No one knows. I have a funny theory. They have that name because they have shape like real cat tongue, and they also have rough surface after baked, just like real cat tongue. So that should explain the name. : D
It is a very easy to bake and easy to eat-up-all-of-them-at-once cookies. It only contains only 5 basic ingredients for baking. This is a recipe that I recommended for beginners to enter the wonder world of baking.
Ok, moving forward with the recipe, should we?
- 120g butter at room temperature. (See, I told you to get it out of the fridge on purpose )
- 120g granulated white sugar
- 100g egg whites (approximately 3 egg whites from regular size eggs)
- 130g all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. salt
The original recipe that I used to work with does not use salt. But one thing that I learn from my baking experience is that contrary is the key for dynamic flavor, like in Indian curry, you adding sugar to make the your dish more spicy. By adding a very small amount of salt, you are actually enhancing the sweetness and complexity flavor in your baking. So, what the harm?
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 200 degree Celsius.
Put sugar and butter into your mixing bowl. Cream them up with the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, like mine. Or use the whisks of the hand mixers.
Start at low speed to incorporate the sugar into the butter. At first, they will look grainy and they butter color is yellow. Keep beating at high speed. Be patient.
After 5 minutes of creaming, they should look like this. The butter color is now pale yellow, almost white and it has gained some volume too since this step is to introduce air into the mixture. Like below.
Step 2: Add egg whites into the mixture, one by one, with stirring by paddle attachment every time. After adding the 3rd egg whites, your mixture might look like everything is not well combined, almost like egg or tofu curds. It is totally normal. Don’t worry, mine are like that too, look.
Step 3: Now add 1/3 of the flour, vanilla extract, and salt in. Mix well just until incorporated. Add another 1/3, mix again, and repeat one last time. You don’t want to add all the flour in at once, it might cause lumps in your batter. As I said, be patient and delicate.
After 3 times adding and mixing flour in, you should have a very thick batter like this.
Step 4: Put the batter into a big piping bag. I usually put mine into a big tall glass, open it up and the scoop my batter in. That way, the batter is more manageable and you will have less cleaning to do after.
Step 5: Prepare your cookie trays (recommended 2) with baking papers. Pipe the batter out from the bag in form of small long cigarettes of 1cm wide, 5 cm long, each 3cm away from each other. DO NOT pipe them any closer to each other than 2cm. Be generous, these cookies do know how to spread.
Again, thanks Bear for his wonderful demonstrating skill. Btw, the misshaped one next to his hand is one of his first try. But that’s OK, because it will still spread beautifully. He did pretty well with the next one, though. Practice makes perfect, right?
Step 6: Bake that cookie tray in the middle rank of your oven for 10 to 11 minutes, just until the edge have light brown color. Like this. This batch is beautifully and correctly baked.
At first the cookies are soft and bendable. But they will crisp up very quickly after 3 minutes. And they should come out of the tray very easily.
Do stay near the oven and watch those little cookies, because once they brown up, they brown up real fast. Learn from my (another) mistake. Here is an over-browned batch that I just neglect for less than 2 minutes. They are still edible, lucky me.
Here is how I arrange these cookies baking. When I put the 1st tray into the oven, I start piping batter out on the 2nd tray. When the 1st tray is ready, I take it out and put the 2nd tray in. I then let the 1st tray cool down a bit, let’s say 5 minutes, take all the cookies out, and pipe another batch on (while CAREFULLY watch the 2nd batch in the oven). The batter may spread a bit on the 1st tray because it’s till a bit hot and that’s OK, they still perform the same inside the oven.
Step 7: Let the cookies cool down for 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, prepare yourself a cup of rose tea. And then, enjoy!
I packed these up for today’s picnic. Today must be a fun and crazy day for Finland, as in every year. It’s an inside joke that today, every year Vappu – May Day, is “Finnish Drinking Day”. The main point is to drink, drink, have fun, get drunk, and then drink some more. Meh, just kidding!
Hey, do you know that there is a saying: “There’s always a little truth behind every “Just kidding,” a little knowledge behind every “I don’t know,” a little emotion behind every “I don’t care,” and a little pain behind every “It’s okay.”"
Am I a cat person?
I am wondering.
First, please take butter out of your fridge. Please, I insist. Then come back here.
Already? Ok, here we go.
I definitely love cats. Everything about cats is very lovable to me: their walking toward you when least expected, their sleeping in your lap while you are napping too, their meowing when you give them food, their purring when you caress near their ears, and their leaning on your legs to get your attention. I love them so much that 2 months ago, when one of my kittens in Vietnam died of sickness, I cried and sobbed myself to sleep several nights; Bear started to worry.
But I love dogs, too. They are loyal and friendly, and energetic. Sometimes I think if I could be as simple and ingenuous as my dogs, life wouldn’t seem to be so complicated. Do you ever have a moment, when you feel cheerer up, just by playing fetch with your dogs?
Bear and I plan with each other that in the future, when we buy a house for ourselves, we will have 1 dog and 1 cat. So that is a draw. Next!
About personality, dog people are more extroverted & agreeable, while cat people are more neurotic yet more open-minded & creative.
So am I extroverted or am I introverted? Am I agreeable or am I neurotic?
When my friend first met me, they said that they thought I am a cat person, because I am very cautious and quite quiet, I do not talk much unless I know for sure what was about what. But then they said that they changed their mind after getting to know me. They think I am a simple person, easy to smile, and energetic. But then, they get to know me even better (meaning our first fight and make-up); they said that I am abnormally sensitive and hard to please but loyal and caring.
So who am I? Meow?
Ahaha, I am thinking too much again, my brain start to slow down.
I have succeeded to make these wonderful cookies even tastier now, Muahaha. And you know what, it cannot be any simpler, here, I gave you two examples: try green tea and chocolate.
How to cooperate the flavor into the batter:
Make one recipe of basic cat tongue batter following the given recipe above. Now divide them to whatever portion you want your flavored cookies to be, I divided them into 3 portions: one for green tea, one for chocolate and one for basic.
In the bowl of chocolate, add 5g of Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder.
Mix until combined with a hand whisk.
Do the same thing with green tea, I use about 3g (1 tsp.) because I just love green tea very much, but you can reduce the amount if you don’t like its bitterness.
Now put them all into separate pastry bags.
Pipe them onto a lined cookie sheet. Try 1cm diameter, 5cm long, and 2 cm apart.
Bake at 200 degree C for 10-11 minutes.
Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Easy, huh? You can also try cinnamon cookies (add ½ tsp. for 1/3 recipe), or lemon (1/2 zest of one lemon for 1/3 recipe), or coconut (add 10g of unsweetened coconut flakes for 1/3 recipe), or add about ¼ cup of chocolate chips into the basic batter, and many more.
Let me know your unique cookies flavor.