Langues de chat

These are possibly my favourite biscuits.  They are easy to make, don’t require a mixer, you can make them in one bowl (so there isn’t much washing up to do) and they bake in about 5 minutes.

The catch, you need a piping bag and a 5 mm nozzle, which I realize a lot of people out there don’t have.  I suppose, you could just drop small spoonfuls of the mix and let them spread out in haphazard circles, in fact it might look nice.  

Pipping takes practice, lots of it.  I don’t have enough myself and whenever I have to pipe something I think of my friend Paulina who used to be the pastry chef at Melrose and Morgan and is now pastry at Ottolenghi in Islington.  She would show me how to keep the nozzle flush with the surface and pipe out shapes or lines in swift, steady and decisive movements.  Then it would be my turn and my shapes would come looking like a 4 year old’s handwriting, fat, wobbly and terribly askew.  She and the whole kitchen would giggle at my attempts before ushering me out of the kitchen and back to my desk.

There are no bells and whistles on these biscuits, just straight forward vanilla.  You can use them to scoop out softened ice cream, or server along a baked custard, indulge with a cup of tea or give them to your children when they want a snack (the long shape seems perfect for their little hands).  They last for a good two weeks in an air tight container.  I took some along to Jordan for Layla and everyone kept reaching into her backpack and snacking on them.

There are so many Langues de chat recipes out there, all various ratios of sugar, butter, flour and egg white.  My preferred recipe is adapted from Claire Clark’s book Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts and uses icing sugar instead of caster sugar.

Langues de Chat adapted from Claire Clark
Makes 25

65g butter at room temperature
65g icing sugar
1 small egg white, at room temperature
90g of flour
pinch of salt

1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C
2. With a wooden spoon, cream the butter, salt and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg white and the vanilla essence.
4. Fold in the flour until it is just mixed, don’t overwork it because it will make for tough biscuits.
5. Put the mix into a pipping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle.
6. Pipe 5 cm lines onto a non stick baking tray leaving space in between the biscuits because they will spread. Keep the nozzle flat on the tray rather than hovering over it to ensure straight lines.
7. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Check after 4 and then watch until they are done. You want them to be slightly golden on the outside but still pale in the centre.
8. Allow to cool on a cookie rack before storing in an airtight container.

For variations, omit the vanilla essence and try lemon or orange zest instead.

7 Responses to Langues de chat

  1. LDN Eats NYC says:

    Look delicious, and the piping seems pretty perfect to me. Does it have to be a 5mm nozzle, or is that just to control the size?
    Am in London, glorious few days so far, mainly because its so empty. I think if there was a royal wedding every week I would never leave. Even managed to get a little sun burn today even though its only 60 degrees.

  2. Do they? I cropped the photo so they would look better : )
    The 5 mm nozzle is so they are quite thin, but you could go bigger.
    Aww, London… Going in June for 3 days! Can’t wait!
    Have a table at DInner!

  3. Paulina says:

    I do apologise for my friendly giggling at your piping attempts, but what goes around, comes around. i used to didn’t have to write with chocolate, well now i do. i can say i’m getting better, so everything comes with a little bit of practice.

    Well, great you got a table at Dinner.

    • Hey! It’s my superstar pastry chef!!! I am sure your chocolate piping is perfect. I hope this time when I come to London, you are around to give me some baking tips? xxx

      • Paulina says:

        i’d love to, i am in london for the whole june, hopefully see you soon xxx

  4. Babs says:

    Hi Suzy!
    I’ve been meaning to write forever now.. I love the blog!! The recipes always look good and today I made these little tongues… yummy!!!Next time I may need to triple the recipe because I could just eat a whole batch to myself!
    I used a Ziploc with a small cut on the corner for pipping (do not have one of those funky bags….yet!) and it seemed to work well. Also, being a big fan of chocolate, I melted some and dipped some langues de chat in it.. another alternative I guess…
    In any case, thanks for sharing your stories and your love for food. Can’t wait to read more!!
    Kisses to you the rest of the family,

    • Ha! I thought you were my dad for a second!
      Glad you liked the recipe, it’s really good and easy and they do last forever.
      We are going to have a family reunion in June for Sylvie’s graduation, even Layla is going.

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