August 19, 2012

Langues de Chat (Cat's Tongue cookies)

I recently celebrated a birthday.  I shamelessly love my birthday and, particularly, the time leading up to it where I constantly remind my husband it's coming up (not that he needs reminding). 

My husband always wants to buy me something "special" for my birthday but as I get older, there's not much that I want and what I do enjoy are ordinary things.  To head him off from buying anything remotely extravagant, I usually come up with a few things I'd like, such as cookbooks.  While he's usually disappointed with my simple requests and still comes up with some additional things to give me (which, the control freak in me doesn't necessary appreciate like I should), he always complies with my list.  One of the books I got this year was the Ladurée Sucré book, in English.
The little book comes beautifully packaged, like the famed macarons you might buy from the shop.  I was pleasantly surprised by photos for each recipe.  Admittedly, I won't be baking too much from this book but it is great to look through.  I did want to make something and a simple cookie recipe with a whimsical name caught my eye: Langues de Chat, or Cat's Tongues.  I'd never heard of these!  They're basically biscuit cookies, the shape of which (use your imagination with mine) are reminiscent of cat's tongues. 
I followed the recipe, which can be mixed by hand though there's piping involved.  I divided the recipe in half since I didn't need quite so many cat's tongues and couldn't resist adding some orange zest into the mix.  The cookies are thin, crisp, and buttery; I think the addition of the orange zest added a nice extra flavor beyond just butter.  My husband really hit the nail on the head when he said they taste like Pepperidge Farm's Milano cookies!

In the book, there's a beautiful photograph with the cookies dipped partway into dark chocolate and various colored white chocolate.  I couldn't resist doing the same, although dipping cookies in chocolate on a hot, humid summer day was not the greatest idea.  I really adored the dark chocolate coating against the orange flavor of the biscuits - the two flavors make each other pop.
The book suggests these biscuits are great accompaniment to chocolate mouse or fruit salad.  Of course, I thought of ice cream.  I served some of them with homemade chocolate gelato.  These little cookies could almost be used as little spoons.

You could quickly mix the cookie dough with the mixer or by hand.  I opted to follow the book's instruction and do it with a bowl, spoon, and whisk, particularly since I made half a recipe.  Even dividing the recipe, I had roughly 50 small cat's tongues!

I started by stirring 4 1/2 tablespoons room-temperature butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon and whisk.  Once it becomes creamy, I whisked in 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar.  Once combined, the recipe calls for a packet of vanilla sugar or 2 teaspoons of sugar plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I think you could just the vanilla alone).  Mix thoroughly.
At this point, I should've added the orange zest but forgot until I'd already incorporated the egg white!  So if using, zest an orange directly on top of the bowl after the vanilla and stir together.  Then stir in 1 egg white and mix until combined.

Whisk everything together.  Then sift 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour to the mixture, stirring everything together until just combined. 
The batter should be very smooth.
Transfer it to a piping bag with a plain 1/5 inch tip.  I used a 1/4 inch tip, or you could cut an opening in a pastry or plastic storage bag.  Pipe strips of the dough about 2 1/3 inches long on lined baking sheet.  They do spread a bit while baking so leave at least an inch or so of space between each.  To make them look more like cat's tongues, you might want to squeeze a bit more batter at the beginning and end of the stripes.
The cookies bake for about 12 minutes or so in a 325 degree oven.  They are done when golden, with the outer edges likely a bit darker than the center.  My cookies were rather thin (they didn't spread as much as I anticipated).  If you like, you can be a bit more firm/generous when piping the dough or use a slightly larger opening for a wider cookie.  I got 50 dainty cookies from this recipe.
Once cooled enough to release, remove the biscuits to cool completely on a wire rack.  Store the biscuits in an airtight container.  I found that stored this way, my cookies stayed crisp for more than a week.
Following Ladurée's example, I dipped some of the cookies in dark chocolate, white chocolate, and white chocolate tinted with a bit of food coloring (you can make any color you fancy).  I won't go into the mechanics of tempering the chocolate here (so it doesn't bloom where white spots come out) since I haven't had the patience to give it a serious go.  I cheated by storing my dipped cookies in the refrigerator. 


Langues de Chat (Cat's Tongues)
Adapted from Ladurée Sucré

- Makes approximately 50 thin biscuits -

4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (to mimic 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar)
Zest of one orange (optional)
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour

Cut butter into small pieces and place into a large bowl.  Stir the butter with a wood spoon and lightly whisk until creamy.  Whisk or stir in confectioners' sugar until fully incorporated with the butter.  Add orange zest (if using) and stir until combined.  Add granulated sugar and vanilla extract, again mixing well together, before stirring in the egg white.  Whisk everything together.

Sift cake flour into the mixture.  Stir with a wooden spoon until combined and batter is smooth.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.  Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip about 1/4 to 1/5 inch wide.  Pipe 2 1/3 inch long strips on the lined baking sheets, leaving space between each to allow spreading.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes, until the biscuits are golden.  Remove from the oven and allow biscuits to cool before removing with a spatula and transferring to a wire rack.  Once fully cooled, store biscuits in an airtight container. 

You can dip the biscuits in dark, milk, or white chocolate.  Dark chocolate is particularly good with the flavor of orange zest I've added.  You can tint the white chocolate with a bit of food coloring for desired color.  Place dipped biscuits on parchment paper to allow chocolate to set.  Unless chocolate is tempered (slowly melted and used in the 86 to 88 degree range), store chocolate dipped biscuits in the refrigerator.

Serve these biscuits alone or as accompaniment to ice cream, gelato, or mousse.


  1. I want to see how this compares to the Milano cookie recipe I followed. Those cookies were so-so...this sounds like it could be a winner!

  2. Hi "Fudgingahead" - thanks for stopping by. These really tasted like mini Milano cookies to us. I can see making them bigger/wider, keeping the orange zest and filling them with chocolate/fudge for the full effect. : )


    I just made these this morning.....OMG. DELISH AND SUPER EASY.


  4. Thank you for taking the time to say that. I'm so glad they turned out well for you! I do love these relatively simple mix-in-the-bowl batters. You've got me wanting to mix up a batch again soon! : )

  5. I literally just made a post about Langue de Chat biscuits and then noticed your recipe. It looks great and much better than mine. Fair play for that and a really nice post.

    1. Thank you for the comment. I think your biscuits came out beautifully! Happy cooking and baking. : )

  6. WOW!!! I am making these right now and they are gorgeous! Light. . . flavorful. . . crispy! Exactly what I was looking for!



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