Tuiles (pronounced "tweels") are super thin wafer cookies that can be shaped or molded while hot before hardening into their final shape. They have a distinctive crunch before the smaller pieces dissolve in your mouth. One of the most classic ways to serve tuiles is with vanilla ice cream to add crunchy texture to the soft texture. Tuiles serve as the top of my Apple Tartlet Mignardises, adding crunch and flavor to the spiced cream tartlets.
The ultra-crisp, ultra-thin properties come from the higher ratio of sugar and fat, with just enough flour to bind. Cookies like chocolate chip and sugar cookies are more "cakey" due to a lower ratio of sugar and higher quantity of flour. Tuiles are actually very easy to make! The only tricky parts are that you need stencils to form the shape and must work with them very quickly while hot.
If this is your first time making tuiles, here are a few tips to make it sure they come out perfectly on your first try:
Makes 24 small tuiles or 16 large tuiles
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Melt the butter in a small bowl.
If you don't have acetate, you can use any sheet of cardstock paper as a single-use stencil. You may have to make multiple stencils if your material starts to absorb water from the batter.
As the tuiles bake, they will bubble and congeal to form small holes. Bake at 350°F (175°C) until the tuiles are a deep brown color and there the centers are no longer pale and soft.
Generally speaking, you want to use the tuiles within a couple hours of coming out of the oven. Due to the large volume of sugar, they will start to draw moisture out of the air. And even a small amount of moisture will soften them. So you can use them right away or store them in a very airtight container, preferrably with some desiccating material like rice or silicone packets. If you have a chamber-style vacuum sealer, you can also use that to remove air from a rigid container like a jar to keep them under vacuum.
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