Tinkering with Tuile, and my stint on American Idol.

It seemed like a dream. There I stood , sweaty palms, knees barely supporting my trembling body, and heart about to jump out of my chest, when I heard my name being called.

“Marysol, will you come with me please?”

I took a deep breath and with all the courage I could muster, I proceeded to walk down a long, narrow corridor, escorted by a polite and rather antsy-pantsy gentleman, tightly holding a clipboard with both hands positioned at three and nine.

He led me right into a large, dark and deathly quiet stage. If not for my uncontrollably knocking knees, I would’ve ran home screaming like the mama‘s girl that I am.
“Snap out of it” I thought. “I didn’t camp out overnight in a smelly sleeping bag for a chance at fame and fortune just to throw it all away for fear of being booed off stage by Simon Cowell.

He’s only one of three judges; just a guy with an attitude and a bad haircut. ‘Surely I can handle him.” I said, trying to convince myself.

Finally, there I was, on stage, facing three very unimpressed, uninterested judges. Incidentally, The song I was about to perform, Paul McCartney's "My Love.”

I took a deep breath while repeating to myself: I can get through this. Gulp. I sang my song, eagerly racing for the finish line…

Only my love holds the other key to me
Oh....my love oh...my love
Only my love does it good to me-eeee...

Simon: “ Marysol!”

Me: "Listen here Cowell, would it kill you to let me finish the last two words to this song?!"
I didn’t actually say that. But I thought it.

…only my love, does it goooooood to-o-o-o-o-o-o-oooo meeeeeeee…

Simon: “You awake?”

Me: “Simon, you bastard!”
I didn’t actually say that. But I thought it.

Next thing I notice was my husband’s face hovering over me.

“Hon, wake up. It’s your turn to drive our son to school. “

So, herein lies my dream. Shattered into a million pieces, much like my first attempt at shaping Tuiles.

“Simon, you suck!”
I actually said that.

Speaking of Tuiles, here’s a versatile French cookie that is often used to garnish desserts, but can also be fashioned in all different shapes while it is warm. Here I’ll share a few ways to have fun with this classic cookie.

Tuile Cookies

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Whites of 3 eggs
1 scant cup AP flour

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Whisk in the egg whites. Then, fold in the flour mixture to create a smooth batter. Chill for at least 1 hour. Drop small spoonfuls of batter, about 4” apart onto a nonstick baking sheet, or a baking sheet sprayed with Baker’s Joy or the old, but very reliable cake decorator’s concoction, Pan Coating (equal parts flour, shortening and a few drops of a neutral oil, such as Canola, to make a spreadable mixture).

Bake for about 4 minutes or until the cookies start to take on color. Keep an eye on them as they’ll brown very quickly. Remove from the oven and quickly drape them over a rolling pin, a clean bottle. Or, if like me, you want just a slight curve, use a rolled up poster board (as pictured) covered in wax or parchment paper.

You could also gently press them inside a small round bowl and leave to cool completely.

If you want to make flower petals for a cake like the daisy cake, or butterfly wings (below), use tuile stencils or make your own out of thin cardboard, cutting out your design with an x-acto knife.

Use an offset spatula to thinly spread the tuile mixture over the stencil. Carefully lift off cardboard.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also add a chocolate edging to your cookies, before baking, by mixing some of the tuile mixture with a little (sifted) cocoa powder, and bake as above.