Lenguas de Gato – “Cat’s Tongue” Cookies

Lenguas de Gato Cookies

It wasn’t easy growing up the youngest of five siblings. My three older man-brothers took it upon themselves to toughen up my prepubescent self when I got too good at Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. Sore thumbs abruptly turned into sore everything when boxing gloves and elbows in the solar plexus during intense games of pickup basketball followed. All I ever wanted to do was mash buttons and beat the Hi Score.

When things got extra harsh, my sister always had my back. Whereas one word from her and the brothers listen, any time I made so much as a peep, I end up in a headlock. Not even having my own armpit hair at the time, the prickly-moist sensation against the back of my neck was extra disgusting.

My sister and I have a little bond, you see. Since I’m the youngest and she’s the only daughter, we’re automatically the darling family favorites, and we knew how to take advantage of that. Obsessed with Hello Kitty and all things feline, my sister often asked for lenguas de gato, or “cat’s tongue” cookies, as pasalubong from our parents. Sometimes we would lock ourselves in my sister’s room, far away from brotherly physical abuse, with a boxful of the crisp and buttery treats.

The burnt edges and pale center instantly melt in your mouth, giving the cookie an unexpected complex taste considering the simplicity of the recipe. Of course, my sister and I didn’t really know or care about the wonders of caramelization back then. We just thought lenguas de gato were good and addictive.


recipe adapted from Penelope Casas’ The Foods and Wines of Spain
Eat Christmas Cookies hosted by Food Blogga

Lenguas de Gato
“Cat’s Tongue” Vanilla-Butter Cookies

makes about 70 small cookies

Ingredients:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
unsalted butter                   8 tbsp          4            113
confectioner's sugar            3/4 cup           3.2           90
salt                          pinch
vanilla extract                 1/4 tsp
lemon zest                      1/8 tsp

all-purpose flour               3/4 cup           3.4           96
whites from large eggs            2               2.1           60

Notes:

  • Have all of the ingredients at room temperature before continuing.
  • The use of confectioner’s sugar maximizes the cookie spread and minimizes the amount of aeration in the cookie dough when mixing. It also gives the cookie a finer texture.

Special Equipment:

  • A pastry bag
  • A #11 or #12 round pastry tip (about 1/4-inch opening)

To Prepare Lenguas de Gato – “Cat’s Tongue” Cookies:

Preheat Oven   400ºF / 205ºC

Prepare two half-sheet pans or cookie sheets lined with parchment or
silicone mats.

Mix             Using a rubber spatula, mix together the butter,
                sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and lemon zest until
                smooth.

                Gently fold in half of the flour. Slowly mix in the
                egg whites followed by the rest of the flour.
                Continue mixing only until thoroughly incorporated.
Pipe            Put the cookie dough in a pastry bag fitted with a
                round pastry tip (about 1/4-inch opening). Pipe the
                dough onto the prepared pans in 2 1/2-inch lengths.

                Space the piped dough at least 1 1/2 inches apart
                to allow for spread.

Lenguas de Gato Cookies Piped

Bake            Bake at 400ºF / 205ºC for 6 to 8 minutes, until the
                edges are lightly browned and the middle is still
                pale.

Cool            Immediately transfer the cookies to a wire rack to
                cool. The cookies will be pliable straight from the
                oven but will crisp within minutes.

Lenguas de Gato Cookies Baked

Chocolate Lenguas de Gato Variation:

  • Omit the lemon zest and replace one-fifth of the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder.

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87 Responses to “Lenguas de Gato – “Cat’s Tongue” Cookies”

  1. Rosa says:

    A delightful cookie!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Natashya says:

    Those look wonderful! I haven’t had them before, they look so delicate.
    As an only child who went on to have 3, I was alarmed at the fighting that the boys do – my daughter is oldest though, so she definitely puts them in their place. She’s more strict than I am!

  3. kat says:

    As the oldest I never had to go through as much, though I’d still like some of those cookies

  4. Joelen says:

    What a great cookie! I love how delicate they are and the shape is so elegant too!

  5. sweetbird says:

    Those are definitely getting made soon.

    Oh, and older siblings are a pain no matter what, but I wouldn’t trade being the youngest in my family for anything! Nothing like being the instant favorite, eh?

  6. Manggy says:

    Ooch. When me and my older brother would fight, since we are nerds, we used words (or good old-fashioned silent treatment). I’m the younge(r)st but not the favorite!

    Containers Lengua de gato always get emptied speedily in these parts– it’s that heady scent of butter that makes them so addictive! I love the chocolate ones you made!

  7. Soma says:

    Wonderful cookies… u r such a professional. I grew up along, I have no idea about sibling fights…

  8. Aparna says:

    I don’t know much about cat’s tongues either, but I agree these biscuits are tasty and adictive. We get something like these in our local bakeries in this shape and as smaller round ones too.
    Do they have a cake like taste?

  9. Christina says:

    Great story!

    Those sound really good, a nice and interesting version of lace cookies, I always thought.

  10. Caroline says:

    Growing up, my 5 brothers and I always fought over this cookies to see who can get the most. My sister has to step in and divvy up. Anyways, just to let you know I just revised my Christmas baking list to include this cookies. Thanks, Jude!

  11. Caitlin says:

    Sibling wars, yikes! I just had an older sister, and we settled all of our problems by just not talking. Seriously, I think I barely talked to her for all of high school. Luckily, we talk a bit more often now :) I bet these cookies are awesome as cookie sandwiches though – chocolate ones with a nice chocolate-mint filling, yum!

  12. Peter says:

    These are how cat’s tongues should look…not like the baking sheet of one big blob of dough my turned out to be.

  13. Adam says:

    Haha that Super Mario story was awesome. I was the exact same way, dude. I probably spent years of my life playing old school NES games.

    Not that you’d want to ruin such a nice cookie, but I bet those make nice flying objects if a brother bugs you :)

  14. Heather says:

    These are way better than the Pepperidge Farms version. Although I’d love to see them get sandwiched with chocolate ganache anyway, just for kicks. :)

  15. Gera says:

    Hi Jude!

    These cookies are classical in Spain and several
    Latin-American countries…a lot of cakes use them
    as decoration especially at the sides, because
    they look wonderful and so yummy :)

    Gera .:. sweetsfoods

  16. noble pig says:

    Okay, just adorable…love the name and they look just like it! What a wonderful surprise this was.

  17. katie says:

    Mmmm….how good would these be dipped in chocolate! Great blog!

  18. Elizabeth says:

    happy food to share with your sister is always a welcome thing. :-D

  19. Dee says:

    Hi Jude! Your blog is looking fabulous these days :) I’m hunting down cookie recipes (we’re going cheap and cheerful for xmas gifts this year) and I’m seriously considering your death by chocolate cookies (if I can get over my macaron fear). Do they keep well?

  20. Y says:

    Beautiful cats tongues! Could easily eat a whole handful of these :)

  21. Sophie says:

    These cookies have such a fun name :) . I like how delicate and crunchy they look, delicious :) .

  22. grace says:

    what a terrific name for some awesome little cookies! i could and would definitely plow my way through an entire batch of ‘em. :)

  23. rainbowbrown says:

    As a lover of cats, their tongues and baking I have always wanted to make these. Don’t know why I haven’t. You make them. I should make them… They sound really incredible.

  24. Jescel says:

    I don’t have siblings – yeah, unica hija po ako- so i never had the pleasure (or horror) of fighting with my siblings.
    Love these cookies! This reminds me of my favorite “pasalubongs” when someone comes from Baguio. They make the best lengua de gatos there…. thanks for the recipe.. i’ll definitely try ‘em..

  25. Alexa says:

    Langues aux chats cookies bring back many memories. It was a favorite of all the kids in our house growing up. My mom use to serve them with ice cream sometimes when we had guests or we had them for snack time as well.
    Your sister sounds great, Jude!

  26. DD says:

    I’ve never had these but they look so cute and delicious! I’m dying to try. And I had a very similar childhood– my brother and two cousins beat the crap out of me with bop bags during a game of dark hide-and-seek and I managed such a convincing cry that my parents bought me a mouse. Ha ha!

  27. monzie says:

    i <3 lenguas de gato. one of my favorite cookies when i was a kid and now as an adult.

    as far as siblings go, i’m the ate so i had no problems with familial turf wars, since i always won. my baby sister got bossed around by all three older siblings, but she’s definitely the favorite.

  28. Mike says:

    lol about the stories from childhood. The cookies look fantastic–I’ve had things like them, but I can’t recall ever having cat’s tongues specifically, so I’ll have to get on this. So many great looking cookies I need to try have come out of this month!

  29. Nate says:

    Those are beautiful looking cookies. I could devour a whole lot of them.

    I admit, when I first saw the post title, I thought you were making some kind of burrito filling using cat’s tongues instead of cow tongues.

  30. Natashya, Caroline – Why is it always the sister that sets everyone straight?

    Caitlin – We also call “not talking” as giving the “dagger look”

    Adam – Make an x out of it to make shuriken?

    Gera – I think I need to check out recipes for cakes that use lenguas de gato…

    Dee – I actually don’t know if they keep well… They barely last a day around here.

    Jescel – I remember stuff like ube jam and strawberries from Baguio. Never got to try lenguas from there.

    Alexa – She’s a pretty cool cat.

    DD – Don’t know what bop bags are, but I hope they weigh less than small pillows.

    Monzie – I guess you’re the bully, then? :)

    Nate – I’m seriously hoping there aren’t any delicacies with real cat tongues.

  31. joey says:

    Ooooh! These really are addicting! Lengua de gato is something you can eat a hundred of if you don’t watch it ;) Yours came out just perfect!

  32. lisaiscooking says:

    Your lenguas de gato look fantastic! Crisp, buttery, and delicious.

  33. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    I used to love these but didn’t know what they were called. Cool!

  34. Maggie says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful cookie! The ones I have had before were excellent but I never knew the cookie’s name. I can’t wait to try your recipe.

  35. Jaime says:

    those are cute! while they are certainly the shape of cat’s tongues i am glad they are not the same, spikey texture ;)

  36. Lore says:

    You’ve made langues de chat….aaaah, I’m in love with them you know, my first cookie love!

  37. chop chop a to z says:

    This looks so good! Can’t wait to try!

  38. lalaine says:

    So, that is the secret…confectioner’s sugar! Thanks Jude. Lovely pictures, as always!

  39. Alemar says:

    This is my mom’s favorite cookies, thanks for sharing the recipe with us.

    Did you beat the egg whites before mixing it in?

  40. Alemar, I didn’t beat the whites mainly to keep the air out of the batter. It will look separated at first but will come together with the flour and butter.

  41. nina says:

    I like your site! I will surely visit often and subscribe to the feed. I love baking and I would love to try the recipes here :)

  42. Langues de Chat (Cat's Tongues) | The CookMobile says:

    [...] the Philippines. One of my favorite food bloggers, Jude of Apple Pie Patis & Pate, explored lengua de gato cookies in his kitchen and came up with the secret to everyone’s fragile, buttery childhood [...]

  43. zona says:

    yum i <3 these

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    [...] a child, he and his sister would lock themselves inside her room with a whole tin of rich, buttery Lenguas de Gato Cookies (Cat’s Tongue Cookies). They don’t lock themselves away anymore, but they still love their cookies. Rosa of [...]

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  48. Rhoda BL says:

    I tried this recipe last night and they’re just as I remember the best ones made by nuns from Baguio City’s Good Shepherd Convent. Lemon rind is the key, simple ingredients yet so tasty & elegant. Thank you so much!

  49. josyl says:

    it’s soo delicuos I think that it soo delicuos because nice cookie and my brother’s taste he say ate it’s deliuos thanks for yhe recipe>>>>>>>>>>>>> :) :) :)

  50. jing says:

    do you whip the eggwhites first, or do you just add them into the butter mixture straightaway? thanks!

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  57. Summer of Food 2011, Week 3: Lenguas de Gatos « tiny bites, big delights says:

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    Woah!! Seem so yummy!! :9

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  62. Elisha says:

    Is this really a cat tongue?

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    Thank you verymuch for providing such a wonderful recipe for cats tongue ….its yummyyyy…he ..he …

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