Most specialized bake shops in the Philippines carry this delicate cookie. It is a Spanish cookie but since we were ‘once upon a time’ a Spanish colony, this must have rubbed off on us. It’s supposed to be shaped like a cat’s tongue but other bake shops have shaped them into thin discs. The secret of this cookie is the butter that one uses. Use the best butter that is available so that the flavor comes out and it’s good to the last crumb.
Lenguas de Gato are a delicate butter cookies; an old fashioned afternoon delight. Memories of my grandmother, Natividad ‘Naty’ Lichauco de Leon, and her afternoon mahjong games comes to mind. Coming home from school, I would find her with her friends scrambling the mahjong tiles on the gaming table, and I would sit beside her and try to figure the game out. I never learned to play this Chinese tile game, but memories of Mama Naty’s afternoon delight linger in my mind.
- 1 1/2 cups (335 grams) butter – cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) margarine – cut into cubes
- 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
- 6 egg whites (3/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons evaporated milk or powdered milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups (490 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 cup finely chopped cashew nuts (optional or for another type)
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF or 180ºC
Baking cookie sheets lined with baking paper
- In the mixing bowl of an electric beater, using the paddle of mixer, slowly cream the butter and margarine until well blended.
- Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, alternately with egg whites, beating well after each addition.
- Do not hurry; it must be well blended before adding sugar or egg white.
- Blend in the vanilla and the milk; blend well.
- At the slowest speed of the mixer, mix in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
- Mixing well before adding the next 1/2 cup.
- Add nuts if desired.
- Fill a medium sized pastry bag, fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip, half full of batter.
- Press 3-inch strips of dough, one inch apart on lined cookie sheets.
- Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.
- Place on cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes and with metal spatula, remove from sheet and continue to cool in another cookie sheet.
- When totally cool, store in an air tight container.