Sagaponack cookbook author Hillary Davis shares this recipe for an autumn treat. These delightfully light and crunchy homemade snacks appear in Davis’s recently released French Desserts.
Pumpkin Seed Tuiles
Tuiles aux Graines de Courge
Quick | Makes approximately 14 cookies
One of the easiest and fastest cookies to make, tuiles are traditionally served in France with ice cream or sorbet. They take just minutes to make once you let the batter rest for half an hour. They are crispest the day you make them but are also great right out of the freezer.
Special Equipment: 2 baking sheets; food processor; rolling pin
7 heaping tablespoons salted pumpkin seeds, divided
1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites, room temperature
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly butter and flour the baking sheets.
Place 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds in the food processor with the sugar and orange zest and process until the pumpkin seeds are finely ground.
Add the butter and process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl. Add the vanilla and egg whites and process for about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and corn starch and pulse just until combined, no longer. Scoop into a bowl and let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, clean and dry the food processor bowl, then process the remaining pumpkin seeds until they form small chunks. Set aside.
To bake the cookies, drop level tablespoons of the batter onto 1 baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart.
With the back of the spoon or a wet finger, gently spread out into thin circles.
Lightly sprinkle the circles with the reserved pumpkin seeds, place in the oven, and bake for 6–10 minutes, until the edges turn light brown. Take out of the oven but keep the oven on.
Work quickly as the cookies will rapidly harden. Use a spatula or palette knife to transfer the cookies from the baking sheet and drape them over the rolling pin before they become too hard. You want them to take on a U shape. I often just use my hands to hold them for a few seconds until they harden in to shape, or roll them into cigar shapes.
When they are thoroughly cool and hardened, remove from the rolling pin.
Repeat the process with the second baking sheet as it is not hot from the oven. Keep rotating baking sheets and baking cookies until the dough is finished.
Form the cookies into cups to hold ice cream or fresh fruit and whipped cream by fitting them into muffin tins while still warm. Also, you can shape them into fortune cookies with individualized fortunes inside.
Photograph by Steven Rothfeld from French Desserts by Hillary Davis, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.