Go the extra mile
Indulgence and baked goods go hand in hand. For many people, no baked good is truly indulgent unless it includes chocolate. That’s especially true come Valentine’s Day, when dietary restrictions are often relaxed so couples can cater to their sweet tooths.
Baked goods range from relatively simple (yet still delicious) fare like chocolate chip cookies to more elaborate indulgences, such as this recipe for “Chocolate-Dipped Sesame Tuiles” from Michael Recchiuti and Fran Gage’s “Chocolate Obsession” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang). Tuiles are thin curved cookies that appeal as much to the eyes as they do to the stomach. This recipes makes an ideal choice for lovers who want to go the extra mile for their sweethearts this Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate-Dipped Sesame Tuiles
Makes about 48 cookies
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, preferably unhulled
1/3 cup granulated cane sugar
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tablespoon kosher salt
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter with 82 percent butterfat, very soft
8 ounces tempered 70 percent chocolate for coating cookies
Flavorless vegetable oil for the pans
To bake the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottoms of four 12-by-18-inch sheet pans with parchment paper. Lightly coat the paper with flavorless vegetable oil. Put a rolling pin on a work surface. If you have two rolling pins, ready both.
Combine the sesame seeds, flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk by hand until combined. Mix — don’t beat — the egg whites into the sesame seed mixture with a rubber spatula. Stir in the butter with the spatula until no streaks of butter remain.
Measure 2 level teaspoons batter onto a prepared sheet pan. Using a small offset spatula, spread it into a round about 31⁄2 inches in diameter. Repeat with the remaining batter, putting 8 rounds on each pan and leaving 11⁄2 inches between the rounds.
Bake the trays, one at a time, until the cookies are a uniform golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and, while the cookies are still warm, run the offset spatula under each cookie and place it upside down on the rolling pin so that it curls around the pin. (You should be able to do 5 cookies on a rolling pin, so by the time the sixth cookie is about to be draped over the pin, a few should be ready to be moved. Ideally, though, you will have two rolling pins.) If some of the cookies are not a uniform color, or if some cool too much and are no longer pliable, return them to the oven for another minute until evenly golden brown and again pliable.
Leave the cookies on the rolling pin until they cool completely and have become brittle, a matter of seconds. Carefully lift them off and store them in an airtight container at room temperature until you are ready to dip them. They will keep well for up to 3 days.
Dip the cookies in chocolate:
You can store the cookies and dip them on a day when you have tempered chocolate for another use. Or you can temper chocolate specifically to finish the cookies. Use a tempering machine to temper the chocolate.
Dip the convex (smooth) side of each cookie into the chocolate and then smooth the chocolate with a small offset spatula. Place on a work surface, chocolate side up, and let sit until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.
Store in an airtight container in a cool place, not in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to one week.