Friday, December 6, 2013

FFWD ~ Almond-Orange Tuiles and How to Blanch Almonds

These were not only beautiful, but a wonderful treat with my tea! 
This week’s French Friday pick is for Almond-Orange Tuiles, a classic French cookie.  Tuiles are lacey, thin cookies that get their name from the curved tuiles (tiles) that line the rooftops of the French country homes in the Provence. To get the curved shape, Tuiles are placed on a wine bottle or rolling pin as soon as they are taken off the baking pan.  This is where my trouble began! Getting those suckers off that baking pan, which your not supposed to grease!!  I threw two trays of Tuiles away, because they were cemented to the pan.  I tried putting them back into the oven to soften them, to no avail!  Now I’m not a novice baker…I make lace cookies every Christmas. They are actually quite similar.  Therefore, I wasn’t quitting!! These Tuiles were not going to be my Waterloo!!

Love the lacey delicate look of these Tuiles 
Late last night, I mixed another batch of batter.  I guess I’m a little obsessive when it comes to baking. I also checked out Tuiles on-line, to see if I could find any helpful information. That’s when I found FXcuisine.  Not only does he have a recipe similar to Dories that you could try, but I picked up some pointers that I found quite helpful.  One thing I found most useful was his use of parchment paper, to make his Tuiles.  That's the only reason I have these beautiful Tuiles to share with you today!

So delicate and pretty….perfect to serve over the holidays
These are actually quite easy to put together.  Whisking the flour, ground blanched almonds and sugar together, then add orange juice and melted, cooled butter. Give the batter an overnight rest in the fridge, and your ready to bake. I would never bake these again without using parchment paper. It made the process so easy.

When making these Tuiles finally worked, they were wonderful!  They looked so pretty and festive!
I love their delicate, lacey look.  Perfect with your tea or coffee and, lovely to serve along side some ice cream  or creme brulee.  Happy Friday, everyone!!

This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspans cookbook, ”Around My French Table”.  Do yourself a favor and put it on your Christmas list! Dorie’s recipe has not been published, if you want to make a batch, try the recipe at FXcuisine.   To see what the other Dorista’s are up to check it out here.

They start to spread once they are in the oven…note the parchment paper
give them lots of room…you don’t want to crowd them
Remove from pan and place onto rolling pin or bottle to get the curve…you could make them flat, if you like

*A note about Blanching Almonds: I had been to BJ’s last week to buy nuts, flour, sugar and butter to start the Christmas baking season.  I bought a huge bag of almonds, so I decided to blanch my own nuts.  This was really easy, although a bit time consuming.  In a saucepan, bring enough water to generously cover the almonds you want to blanch, to a boil.  When the water boils, add the nuts and only boil one minute! This is important so that the almonds don’t soften.  Drain the almonds into a colander and run cold water over the nuts to cool.  The skins will be wrinkly.  Now this is the fun part!  If you have kids that like to help in the kitchen, they would probably love to help with this.  Take each almond and squeeze the skin at one end…the nut will slide out!

Boiled and put into colander…note the wrinkled skin
Squeeze the skin and the almond will pop out
Here you have a bowl of blanched almonds
Ground and ready to use in the recipe


  1. Oh, Kathy, you are my heroine. If you had only found out this little secret and shared it earlier in the week. I didn't even think of using parchment paper (I have two boxes in the pantry) because Dorie was quite clear on not lining or greasing the cookie sheets. Most of us had trouble getting "the little suckers", as you say, off the cookie sheets. I may, at a much later date, even try these again now. Your tuiles are absolutely gorgeous. Well done.

  2. Kathy, your cookies look absolutely perfect, even if you had to discard the first batch. I decided these are just too fussy for me. Thanks for the tip on blanching almonds. I always buy the slivered almonds when I need blanched, but I will try blanching my own because I always have whole almonds around. Have a great weekend!

  3. Kathy, your cookies look perfect! I did not cook mine quite long enough I think. You deserve a medal for your persistence and perfection! Now I'm kind of sorry I gave up so easily. Have a good weekend Kathy!

  4. SO beautiful - and I love that you blanched your own almonds. Also, that you used a wine bottle to rest them!

  5. Great job:). Your cookies are beautiful. Thanks for the lesson on blanching almonds. Have a great weekend.

  6. These are gorgeous Kathy, I'm so glad you persevered! Thank goodness for Mr. Google, right?

  7. I admire your determination and it did pay off… gorgeous cookies.

  8. You're a genius, Kathy! So I needed parchment! And thanks for the tip on blanching almonds...I had to use whole unblanched in a recent recipe when I couldn't find them blanched. And your tuiles look perfect!!!

  9. You are way more persistent than me. After two half batches that didn't go to plan, I aborted this mission. Your efforts were rewarded - those are great looking tuiles.

  10. Leave it to you, Kathy; to be so persistent in making these lovely tuilles twice. As for me, I would not even have the patience to blanch and peel the almonds...there must be whole almond out there without the skins, or for that matter, just buy the almond pieces that are already blanched from the skins. (either way, almonds are so expensive)

    I certainly would love to have these delicate and delicious tuilles for the holiday, to serve proudly at coffee, or tea time! (sorry for not coming to see you sooner...been so hectic for the holidays)

  11. Gorgeous, Kathy!
    I baked a batch using parchment last night and it worked out WAAAAYYYYY better. You were on to something.

    You are very ambitious to blanch your own almonds. I tend to just leave the skins on and call it rustic :-)

  12. I've tossed out too many tuiles that I gave up. After reading this I might give it another try. Yours look really good!

  13. Wow. I skipped the blanching and left the skins on. Kudos for your extra effort!

    1. The second batch was made with un-blanched almonds…by the time I decided to make a second batch it was midnight, and I really didn’t care about the skin on the almonds!!

  14. Kathy, these turned out beautiful. You are a genius for using the parchment paper. This was
    such a mess I said to hubby, I Quit. I will admit, the few that survived we pretty darn tasty.
    Have a great weekend.

  15. oh yes i am ready for a big plate.

  16. Thank goodness for parchment paper! I'm sorry it took a few tries to get them right, but they do look lovely, Kathy.

  17. Glad you are obsessive and tried a second time! (I'm with you, I do not like when stuff doesn't turn out! And I WILL get to the bottom of it. Ha!) Gorgeous plate of tuiles.

  18. They are perfection...I love when you achieve it by perseverance!

  19. I am laughing (at myself) now because I always thought these just curled up on their own ;-)

  20. If I try these again, I will definitely use parchment paper. It's good to know these were finicky for everyone, but I knew you'd conquer these, for sure!