"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Lengua De Gato (Cat's Tongue)



Lenguas de Gato
Who does not love lenguas de gato??? I have yet to meet one who doesn't.

I am not sure how and why I started looking for a recipe of this, but I ended up seeing a starting point with rushlynn's post here. I guess it was an attempt to use the 2 egg whites I had in the fridge, which was about 1/4 cup.

This post is a result of my third attempt at baking these delightful lenguas de gato.

The first time I tried to bake using the above link's recipe, I burned the first batch after baking for a full 10 minutes without watching carefully. I piped the dough thin and flat. The next unburned batches tasted very good, but I felt it was too tough for me. I thought maybe the flour was too much (the fluffiness of butter-sugar-eggwhites gone after beating in the flour). In any case, my kids liked it so much.

I attempted a second time, after gathering and printing out a lot of different recipes online, and experimenting with amounts, and piping them round instead of flat. It was a disaster.

So in the third attempt, I went back to the original recipe I saw, decreased the flour amount, and doubled everything, sifted the flour before adding gradually to the mixture, and beating slowly just until blended. The reason why I wanted double batch was so I would have enough to play with in case I bork up the first few batches again. I also modified the flavors, including lemon because a hint of lemon always results to more interesting flavors, and almond extract just because I love almond flavor. I went back to piping flat, bought a whole set of piping tips to get the biggest flat tip I could find, and disposable piping bags that were big enough and sturdy to remain intact as I squeeze. You will just have to excuse the odd shapes I created, as I never had artistic and steady hands.

I loved the result, and so did my husband and kids.

Hubby: (after I handed to him a handful, "Want some?") "Oh! Cat's tongue! I love that!"
(He remembered the name after I gave him some of the first batch I made!)
Later on he said to me, while still munching on them, "You know what makes them so good? They taste like the butter cookies, if you will be able to make them round with sprinkle of crystal sugars...hmmmm!"

Now that's an idea, but I don't know if they will have the crispiness if they are that thick. Maybe I should use cake flour instead, or add baking powder to puff them up...and use a cookie press. Made a mental note for such future experiments.

Kids: "Those are so good they are addicting!"

Here's my final recipe, and please feel welcome to experiment using cake flour.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter (soften at room temp for 30 mins)- I used salted butter
1-1/3 cup sugar
4 egg whites (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
few drops lemon extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (measure then sift)

Equipment/Tools:
piping tip (cake decorating) #47
piping bag
parchment paper (I measured out 4)
non-insulated aluminum baking sheet (I used two)
hand mixer
cooling wire racks

Instructions:

After getting the butter out of the fridge, time for 30 minutes and start measuring the other ingredients.

Cream the butter and sugar well.

Add the egg whites gradually, beating well.

Mix in salt, vanilla, almond extract, and lemon extract.

Add half of the flour, beat some, add the rest of the flour, and beat just until blended.

Assemble the piping bag and tip. Place some of the dough in the bag, and keep the rest chilled in the fridge.

Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF while you pipe out dough about 3 inches long, flat, and about 1/8 inch high, just a little bit wider than the piping tip, onto parchment paper.
Note: I have now been using a cardboard where I made a pattern of just straight lines that I can use as guides in piping out the dough.

(If parchment paper tends to slide off the baking pan, stick it to the pan using a thin smear of Crisco shortening at the four corners of the pan).

Space them apart about 1-1/2 inch to allow for expansion while it melts some more during baking.

Bake for about 5 minutes, rotate the pan, then bake some more for about 2-3 minutes, depending on how thick your dough is.

Transfer the parchment paper onto cooling racks, and remove the parchment paper after about 2 minutes to cool completely before transferring to a box or cookie jar.

The equipment
The piping tip
Dough in piping bag
Piped out dough
The whole tray
After baking
Cooling on wire rack
In the cookie jar
As Christmas giveaways
NOTES:
(1) Baking time may be shorter or longer, depending on whether your oven actually is hotter or cooler than mine, and maybe you piped out not quite exactly right. For the first batch, wait until you get the result, cool some, and have a bite. Correct the thickness and the width of the dough and baking time accordingly on the next batch, and watch carefully until you have learned the right combination of these factors. Once you got it right, proceed with better rhythm of piping the dough onto parchment paper while the other batch is baking.

(2) You can re-use the parchment paper after removing the baked lenguas. That is why 4 of them pre-cut are enough.

(3) While one pan is inside the oven, and the other pan already has dough piped on, you can place the other parchment paper on the table or countertop and pipe out some more. Once you have a hot pan out and you have removed the parchment paper and cookies, let it cool down some (at the same time you are piping dough onto PP on the table), then spray with cold water and wipe dry when you are ready to place a the next batch into the oven. (magulo ba?) What I am trying to say is, since I only had two aluminum pans, one is still warm by the time I am ready to take out the other, so to be able to place the next batch right away, my PP is ready with the dough on the table, and I just have to cool down the pan using cold tap water. With this setup, I had two PP ready on the table, just waiting for the cookies to bake while cooling down the other pan.

(4) If I try to make the piped dough higher (thicker) or so much wider, the middle part tends to get chewy instead of crispy, which I do not like.

(5) If I bake and do NOT wait for the sides to get golden brown (so that they appear light brown all over), I end up with chewy cookies even if they are flat. I don't like that.

(6) This recipe will be enough to fill half of a typical cookie jar (hard to keep track of the number, as it will vary depending on how much you pipe out per piece, and you will tend to munch some of those done while you bake the rest. It is that addicting!)

This is a good Christmas giveaway if you manage to find tin boxes liked the ones in the photo above:

UPDATE 1/7/10:
This is a feedback by Chef Vanessa (an fb friend):
"I made the recipe you shared for Leguas De Gato and my kids absolutley loved it and it didn't even hit 48 hours in the jar hahahhaa..The first recipe I made was from a site but it did not turned out right..It was too leathery and tasted like flour.Thanks for sharing that recipe!!!"

Thanks for your feedback, Chef!

17 comments:

  1. I bet these are very addicting, anang. They look sooo good. I like anything with crispiness and crunchiness. and these looks like they are going to my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ooops! sorry, I need to put back the letter "M" for Manang!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where did you buy your tools to make this Lengua?
    A whole set of piping tips?I love Lengua de Gato!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is our favorite cookie to make at Christmas time!

    If your hubs likes sugar cookies, I will send you a recipe that uses whites for lengua and the yolks for the sugar cookies. I thought I sent it to the LP group a long time ago but I think maybe you didn't get it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Manang K,
    kamusta? Hmmm..mukhang malaki yung cookie jar ah.=p Madame din ba magagawa nung isang recipe? I once tried it,may pagkamalabnaw and it ended madaling masunog.hehehe. I'll try your recipe this weekend, my baby Pao loves that.=) and I'll buy some big cooking jar.=) hehe.

    ReplyDelete
  6. yeah...very addicting. My younger son confessed he got almost half of what the jar contained, for his breakfast and baon for merienda.


    Luz,
    I got them from Walmart. If you click on the links I provided above, you will see how they look like.

    JMom,
    I would appreciate you sending me a recipe for sugar cookies. I recently made a batch basing on my MIL's recipe, which turned out heavy, chewy, and bleh taste. (I did not tell my MIL!)
    At a neighbor's BBQ party, one guest brought the best sugar cookies I have ever tasted - crisp, light, airy, oh so good! I asked for a recipe and she looked at me like "duh" and told me it was a regular sugar cookie...so I was hoping my MIL's recipe would be it, but it was a disappointment.
    So please, send me your recipe...pretty please...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jane,
    basta do not let the butter sit at room temp too long, and do not overbeat. Syempre bantayan mo yung oven mo during the first batch para matantya mo maige.
    mga isang gallon ata capacity nitong cookie jar na to.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I tried legua de gato before - I forgot which recipe but I think Market Manila's. I used the round tip because that's what most recipes say but mine did not spread so I ended up with thick cookies. On the second try - I tried another recipe but ended up with chewy cookies :) I should try this again.

    Anyway, how does the insulated cookie sheet affect the quality of cookies? I have two because when I needed baking sheet during fund-raising event, only insulated sheet are available. I think they were okay and much better than traditional aluminum cookie sheet because the cookie spread evenly. However, cooking time is increased which did not surprise me since the insulation lowers the temperature.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Nina,
    I saw your comment in rushlynn's post that is why at first I did not use MM's recipe, but after I have made adjustment and doubled my recipe, I compared it with MM's and it was the same basically!

    I think I tried to compare both non- and insulated sheets the first time and I had a hard time controlling the results with the insulated ones, so that the second time I attempted I just used the non-ins, but used round tip. Went back to flat tip and non-ins, and had better control. Up to a certain thickness, they remain crispy. If I try to make it wider and thicker, it ends up chewy. I think if you want chewy cookies, insulated ones will be good. So far I have used my insulated pans more for attaining non-burnt undersides of yeast rolls.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I tried your recipe this evening and it turned out extremely well. Thanks so much for posting the recipe and the pictures really helped. It was delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Comment through shoutbox:
    23 Mar 10, 20:11
    Iris: Hi Manang! I Tried ur lengua d gato...gosh! it really taste like ones I used to buy back home...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Where can I get the Vanilla? What brand of Vanilla is best to be used?

    ReplyDelete
  13. i made this manang yesterday and it was so good...thank you so much fro the recipe..

    ReplyDelete
  14. let me try this.. favorite ko to sobra gusto ko matry :] .. first time ko lang makahanap ng recipe.cool. kasi ngaun ko lang nalaman ung name nyang lengua de gato..
    ..tnx for the recipe. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous, thanks for your comment! Let me know how yours turns out. :)

      Delete
  15. Did you know you can create short links with AdFly and make cash for every click on your short urls.

    ReplyDelete

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