The people in my household (translation: Eric and I) are really fond of a vast variety of food. That pretty much goes without saying. When it comes to food preferences, however, the two of have distinctly different profiles. I like my steak cooked medium-rare, while I cringe when he orders his medium well. He likes a salad topped with blue cheese, but I opt for vinaigrette. Eric is to Cheerios as Julie is to Flax Plus. Yes, I know that their marketers need to work on the name, but it's still my favorite cereal.
Another difference between our palates is that I need to have at least a little something sweet after dinner, or the meal is just not complete. Ladies, I don't think that I'm alone here. Eric's sweet tooth, on the other hand, only shows up on occasion. During this time, he will buy a half-gallon of Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, eat one very large bowl, and then leave it in the freezer to grow ice crystals. Six months later, when he asks "Hey, where did that ice cream that I put in the freezer go?", he always seems surprised that I had to throw it out.
Now, when I say that I need a "little something sweet" after dinner, I mean just that--something little. I've never been one to order dessert at a restaurant, because I'll only take one bite and the rest would go to waste. Isn't it fantastic when you are at a restaurant and don't order dessert, but they still bring you a plate of small pastries or petit fours along with the check? That trend must have been invented like a woman who, like myself, just wanted a little something sweet.
Sometimes, if you order coffee or tea after dinner, it will arrive with a delicate rolled cookie, or tuile, on the side of the plate. You can either dip it into your frothy cappuccino or eat it on its own. Either way, it is the perfect way to satisfy a sweet craving and end a meal. This version was inspired by the (still) huge collection of Meyer lemons that my tree produced this year. I cannot go through them quickly enough. So, if any of you live near me and need some lemons..... They are very easy to make, but they seem quite fancy. Serve them with sorbet for a more complete dessert! Here are my extra tips for making these light and citrusy cookies:
- The finished tuiles will keep, layered between waxed or parchment paper and covered, for 4 days.
- If you don't have Meyer lemons, then by all means use regular lemons. You can also use a combination of lemons and oranges as well as lemon zest and orange zest.
- The cookie batter can be refrigerated for up to one week. You can make the cookies on an as-needed basis throughout the week, so that they are always fresh!
- I find that the easiest way to form the circles of batter on the parchment paper is to trace 3-inch circles on one side of the paper with dark ink. Flip the paper over prior to spreading the batter so that you can still see the outline, but the ink will not get onto the cookies.
- If you don't want to roll the tuiles into tubes, an alternative is to drape the pliable cookies over a rolling pin or a wine bottle, creating curved shapes.
Lovely Meyer Lemon Tuiles
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup flour
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar, flour, and salt on low speed. Add the lemon juice, and beat until combined. Slowly pour in the butter and increase the speed to medium. Add the lemon zest, and beat until well combined. Transfer the batter to a container, cover, and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spoon 1 generous teaspoon of the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet for each cookie, spacing the mounds at least 2 inches apart. Using a small offset spatula or butter knife, spread the mounds into 3-inch circles.
Bake the cookies until they are evenly light golden, 9-11 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute and then, working quickly, flip the cookies over so that their smooth sides are facing up. Roll each cookie around the handle of a wooden spoon and let stand until hardened. If the cookies become to difficult to roll, return them to the oven until they are flexible. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.