“Lingue di gatto” (cat’s tongues) are delicate and delicious cookies with a characteristic thin shape with sharp edges and a color shading from dark gold at the edge to light in the center. Excellent to decorate cakes, to accompany ice cream or cream, and, to make rolls, baskets and cornucopia to be stuffed with whipped cream and fresh fruit or whatever you like. Well, they are really fast and easy to do, but you have to take in mind a few tricks. This is what I learned from my mistakes.
100g unsalted butter (3 1/2 ounces)
14g vanilla powder or extract (1 tsp)
80g icing sugar (6 tbsp)
3-4 egg whites (it should be 100g)
100g flour (3 1/2 ounces)
1 pinch o salt
All recipes that I found give same weight of butter, flour and sugar, I find it too sweet so I reduced the sugar a little bit. In a bowl, add softened butter, vanilla and sugar. Mix to a creamy consistency. Slowly, add some egg whites and mix, add some flour and continue mixing well. Go on alternating whites and flour until the mixture is fully amalgamated and smooth in texture. You can use the electric mixer. At the end the mixture will be soft and creamy-liquid creamy.
Butter a large baking tray. Place mixture into a decorating bag and squeeze it out on the baking tray into approximately 4 cm long strips (about 5 cm apart). If you want to obtain round cookies squeeze little mounds of about 3 cm large, holding the bag in a vertical position. Preheat oven to about 380° Fahr. and bake for approximately 7-8 minute, until the edge of the cookies turns in a dark gold color. Remove the cookies from the tray when they are cold.
Change the dimension of the cookies according to the shape that you want to obtain. If you like to give a shape to the cookies, do it as soon as you pull them out of the oven, when they are still soft (for baskets, mold cookies on the bottom of a small glass).
Tricks I learned:
1) Some recipes advice to flatten the cookies with the back of a spoon before cooking, DON’T do that! You will get a very irregular shape like in the left half of my picture. Cookies (with the melting of the butter) will flatten and expand in the oven, into their characteristic flat shape with very thin edges (in the right up corner).
2) Temperature of the oven is critical, keep it between 360-380. If higher, cooking will be too strong and edges will get too dark too soon. Lingue di gatto need a quick but gentle cooking.
3) Always keep an eye on cooking; time may vary, so looking at the color makes the difference, pull tray out of the oven when their edge turns a dark gold color, if you cook them less they will remain soft and not crunchy. But don’t worry, in case you cooked your cookies less than the necessary you can put them back in the oven for a couple minutes.
4) Butter well the pan, the cookies are thin and delicate and you want to easily remove them from the pan and not break them.