- 3 tablespoons California Olive Ranch Arbequina or Arbosana extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan liners
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons (2 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or lemon thyme leaves (removed from the stems)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Position a rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line cookie sheets with foil, dull side facing up. Smooth the foil to remove any wrinkles (which will distort the cookies). Or line with silicone mats. Lightly, but thoroughly, grease the foil or mats with California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil.
In a small saucepan, gently heat the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil until it is warm (not hot). Off heat, stir in the thyme leaves. Cover and allow to infuse for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil and thyme together with the rest of the ingredients until blended. The batter should have the consistency of thin or runny cream of wheat cereal, if it seems too thick, add a tiny bit of extra melted butter.
Drop level teaspoons of batter 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon and a circular motion, spread the batter into two ½ inch rounds, less than 1/8 inch thick. Bake, watching carefully, for 10-15 minutes, until the tuiles are golden brown, half to three-quarters of the way to the center, but still pale in the center. If the cookies are not baked long enough, they will not be completely crisp when cool.
If using silicon mats: As soon as you can coax a thin metal spatula under a tuile without destroying it, transfer it to a rack to cool flat. Or shape it by draping it over a rolling pin, or nestling it into a little cup. Work fast to remove the remaining tuiles while they are still flexible enough to shape (reheat them if necessary).
If using foil, slide foil sheets of cookies onto racks to cool flat. Or, for curved tuiles, grasp the edges of the foil when the sheet comes from the oven (without touching the hot pan or the cookies) and roll it into a fat cylinder, gently curving the attached cookies like potato chips. Crimp or secure the foil with a paper clip. When cool, unroll the foil carefully and remove the tuiles. Flat or curved, tuiles are always easiest to remove from the foil when they are either very hot or completely cool.
Repeat until all of the tuiles are baked. To retain crispness, put the cookies in an airtight container as soon as they are cool. May be stored airtight for at least 1 month.
Chef's Note: Here’s an excuse to use extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs, both usually associated with savory foods, to make a dainty and elegant little cookie. The aroma of the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, herbs and sugar is divine coming out of the oven. Serve with a simple Panna cotta, or California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil ice cream or vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of olive and a sprinkle of sea salt, or with homemade honey ice cream.
Measure flour carefully. Too much flour makes a tough cookie. Use a scale if you have one. If not, spoon the flour lightly into the measuring cup and level it without tapping or shaking the cup. Do not pack the flour into the measures or dip the measuring cup into the canister or sack of flour.
Recipe adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich (Artisan, 2010)