Monday, 2 November 2015

Lengua de Gato


Lengua de Gato or  popularly known as cat's tongue refers to the thin and crispy cookies that have long, flat, with rounded ends shape and which resembles a cat's tongue. That explains the moniker. It is not only popular in the Philippines but is also known in Europe and in Asia.


Before I proceed,let me give you a brief story and background about this lengua de gato I made.

1. The  recipe I formulated was based on three Lengua de Gato recipes from Filipino food bloggers and cook which I found on the world wide web: Lengua de gato by pinoyrecipe.net , lengua de gato cookies by heart of Mary, and How to make lengua de gato by Jun Belen .  

2. The recommended tips to be used were #11, #12, and  #21.  But I used 1M instead and I was able to produce about 35 cookies with length ranging from 2 1/2 to 3 inches.

3. With this recipe, I baked the cookies in 2 batches.  For the first batch of cookies, I placed two layers of waxed paper on top of my non-stick baking tray.  I am using Tefal's airbake non-stick cookie sheet. The cookies were baked for 15 minutes and the resulting cookies have lighter brown edges.  I had to check the cookies every minute after 8 minutes of baking.  For the 2nd batch of cookies, I used the same cookie sheet which is still a bit hot.  I placed one layer of waxed paper and placed it on the same baking tray.  The result, cookies with darker brown edges and the baking time though the baking time is 5 minutes shorter than the first, the edges almost got toasted. My mistake was that, I did not check on the cookies. Next time I will buy silpat and try baking lengua de gato using it. One other and most important thing is that, I need to buy another cookie sheet. It is not advisable to use only one cookie sheet when baking several batches of cookies.

4. The resulting lengua de gato based on my recipe below according to my husband is sweet and by that definition I think the sweetness is acceptable for the regular "sweet-eater".  The cookies were thin and crisp after baking.  I transferred the cookies on a cooling rack to cool them down and after 2 hours I placed them in a container. The result is a soft and chewy cookies which is not what I was expecting. Lengua de gato should be crispy not soft and chewy.  Though the husband liked it that way which is the only reason I am retaining this recipe, I searched for ways to make my lengua de gato crispy again.  And I did by baking them again at 160 degrees celsius (pre-heated for about 20 minutes) for 5-7 minutes or even longer. After "re-baking" my cookies, they became crispy and stayed that way for 2 days more ( there were about 3 cookies I hid so I can monitor the shelf-life)

The texture of the cookies are usually affected several factors, ranging from the actual recipe, temperature and texture of the ingredients, kinds of ingredients, and the amount of ingredients use.  For the purpose of my explanation, I opted not to convert my recipe to the usual volume measurement (cups and tablespoons). So, here are several factors that made my lengua de gato soft and chewy. 

1. I used an all purpose flour with 12.5% protein content which generates higher gluten making the cookies to absorb more moisture. So next time, I will find a pastry flour or an all purpose flour with 10% or lower protein content.

2. I used a 1:1:1 flour:sugar:butter ratio for my lengua de gato. Though it is true that the use of more fat will make the cookie spread more and thinner, then again, butter contains only 80% fat and 15% moisture. Using a high protein flour with more butter makes my cookies absorb more moisture than needed.  I need to lower down the butter next time

3. I need a dehydrator. Do you know why chips ahoy cookies are what they are- crunchy?  Because the cookies are dehydrated after baking.  That's just it (evil grin) my husband is actually thinking of buying a dehydrator. Come to think of it, with a dehydrator, we can make crunchy vegetable chips without frying them

LENGUA DE GATO
(http://www.myfresha-licious.com)

Ingredients: 


All-purpose Flour -  100 grams
Powdered Sugar - 100 grams
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Real Butter, unsalted, softened - 100 grams
Egg whites - 60 grams
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp


Baking procedure:

    
Baking : 180 degrees celsius / 10-15 minutes 
    Dough Scale:  35 pcs
         
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 
2. Mix together the all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.


3. Cream the softened butter and sugar on low speed until fluffy.
4.  Slowly add the egg whites and vanilla extract. Cream on low speed until the mixture becomes light in color.


5. Add the flour to the mixture mix under low speed until fully incorporated. The dough mixture will become creamy and fluffy
6. Fit a piping bag with a piping tip (you can use #11, #12,  #21, or 1M.

7. Scoop the dough into the piping bag.  
8.  Pipe out cookie strips about 2.5 or 3 inches long.  Make sure to provide about 2 inches space in between cookies as the dough will spread when baked.

8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until the edges around the cookies become light brown. 


The baking time indicated in this recipe is based on the baking tray and the wax paper I used. Just a tip, start checking your cookies after 7 minutes and continue checking if the edges of your cookies are already brown every 1 minutes.

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