These thin, delicate, buttery cookies are made with only 5-ingredients in one bowl and are ready in under 30 minutes. Named after a cat's tongue (!), Lingue di Gatto Cookies are perfect with your cup of tea or gifted during the Holiday Season.
If you want a quick and easy cookie recipe, this one is for you!! This classic Italian flat cookie recipe is as simple as it gets. You'll have them fresh out of the oven in under half an hour. What could be better for when cravings hit?
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Uses basic ingredients. You'll be sure to have each of these ingredients in your pantry or fridge, making them perfect for throwing together at the last minute.
- SO quick to make. With no refrigerating time needed, like for some cookie dough, these can be whipped up in 10 minutes and baked in 15. Talk about speedy!
- Simple process. No fancy tricks or methods are needed to make these. Nothing stopping you from making them at all!
- For only using a handful of ingredients, these cookies smell amazing when freshly baked.
- You can fave fun with the shapes. Fresh from the oven, these cookies are quite malleable- you can shape them in twists or curve in an arc. Kids love this part!
❓ What are Lingue Di Gatto Cookies?
Made with only 5 ingredients, butter, egg whites, sugar, flour, and a pinch of salt, anyone can make these! They're traditionally baked in a flat, narrow, elongated shape that looks remarkably like a cat's tongue, hence the name!! How cool!
The exact origin of Lingue di Gatto cookies is a little murky. The French, who call them Langues de Chat, claim them as their own too. Regardless of where they originate, these cookies are incredibly popular in Europe.
With no baking powder, they're meant to be wafer thin and once baked, they have golden brown crispy edges and a chewy, melt-in-your-mouth middle. They're an absolute family favourite and a great way to use leftover egg whites.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
With such few ingredients needed in these Lingue di Gato cookies, each one plays an important role in the overall texture. This means there aren't any substitutions that can be made.
- Butter - Unsalted or salted butter can be used. I like to control the amount of salt by adding it separately, so I prefer unsalted butter. The key is to use room temperature butter.
- Sugar - Powdered icing sugar (confectioners' sugar) is best. It dissolves into the butter, helping to provide that thin, delicate texture. Caster or granulated sugar doesn't dissolve enough and will result in a coarse-textured cookie.
- Egg Whites - the egg whites must be at room temperature to have more liquid viscosity to whip. We don't want to whip a heap of volume into them but enough for them to emulsify into the creamed butter.
- Flour - Plain (all-purpose flour) is needed. As we need completely flat cookies, you can't use self-raising flour as it will add leavening and make them puff up more than we want them to!
- Salt - fine table salt, but omit if using salted butter.
Even though the core ingredients are pretty fixed, the options to flavour Lingue di Gatto cookies are surprisingly large.
- Sprinkle with nuts or cocoa nibs for texture and taste. A couple of minutes into baking, sprinkle the finely chopped nuts or cocoa nibs over the top.
- Flavourings. Add in vanilla extract, orange blossom water or a touch of lemon or orange extract to the dough with the egg whites.
- Citrus zest: Add lemon, orange or even lime zest into the dough. You can then make a simple glaze with the juice to drizzle over the top once baked.
- Add in almond flour or cocoa powder. Swap out half the flour for almond flour or cocoa powder to change the taste completely.
- Chocolate: Dip the end of each cookie into your favourite white, milk or dark chocolate. Or sandwich two cookies together with chocolate for an improvised Milano Cookie.
- Have fun with the shape. When freshly baked, the cookies will mould into an arc, or you can even have a go at creating a spiral out of a long cookie!
👩🏻🍳 How to Make Lingue di Gatto Cookies
I can't wait to dive deep into making these Lingue di Gatto cookies. I mean, there's not too much to them as it's such a wonderfully simple recipe.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
STEP 1. Beat the butter and sugar. Add the butter (remember, it needs to be soft!) and icing sugar and beat together until pale and creamy (Image 1).
I use a hand-held electric beater, but this part can be done by hand with a wooden spoon. You'll just need to beat it for a good five minutes.
STEP 2. Beat in the egg whites. Add in half the egg whites roughly, and beat it in. Scrape down the sides and base of the bowl. Add the remaining egg white and beat again for one minute (Image 2).
It may not look like it'll emulsify, but gradually the mixture will become smoother and less lumpy. Again, if you don't have an electric beater, use a hand whisk.
STEP 3. Add in flour and fold through. Sift into the mixing bowl the flour and salt. Use a rubber spatula to fold it through the mixture until just mixed in (Image 3).
STEP 4. Add the batter to a piping bag, pipe & bake. The easiest way to fill a piping bag is to pop it into a tall glass and scoop the batter in, then twist the top closed (Image 4).
If you don't have a piping bag, use a zip lock bag and snip the corner off.
I don't use a piping tip to pipe out the cookies, I simply snip the corner off the piping bag leaving a 1.5cm (½inch) hole. Feel free to use a round piping tip if you prefer. Or you can fold a piece of parchment paper into a cone and snip the end.
Pipe batter onto two lined baking trays. Pipe 7-8cm lengths of cookie dough in a straight line. Make sure to leave space as the cookies are designed to spread (Image 5).
Bake. Place the cookies in a preheated oven and bake at 180C/350F for 15 minutes. Turn the trays halfway through baking. They can burn pretty quickly being so thin.
The cookies are ready when the edges are golden brown and crisp (Image 6).
Mould into shape: The minute the cookies are removed from the oven, lay them hot onto a rolling pin or another such round object, and mould them around (Image 7). The cookies will cool into that shape.
Dip into chocolate. Dip the ends of the cooled cookies into melted chocolate for a twist (Image 8).
🥣 How To Serve
In Italy, Lingue di Gatto cookies are often eaten at breakfast alongside an espresso or a thick Italian hot chocolate. They're also served with gelato or even a fruit salad.
The French love to serve their version of 'Langues de Chat' dipped into traditional French chocolate mousse or alongside a creme brûlèe or sorbet.
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Stop the parchment paper from moving. Pop a dollop of batter under each corner of the parchment paper and stick it to the tray.
- Don't have a piping bag? Dollop a teaspoonful of batter onto the baking paper for round cookies.
- Watch the oven temperature and bake time carefully. These are such thin cookies, they'll burn around the edges if you don't keep an eye on them.
- Yield. The recipe uses a simple ratio of equal parts butter, icing sugar, egg whites and flour. This means that you can scale it down easily to produce more cookies.
- Weigh the ingredients using a digital scale for accuracy. It's important, especially for a recipe relying on the exact equal weight of its ingredients for success.
📋 Recipe FAQs
The oven may not have been up to the correct temperature if in doubt, use an oven thermometer. The cookies may also have been underbaked. They should be crisp and golden around the edge.
My French Butter Cookies and Sable Breton Tart are two desserts that use up egg yolks. Using them in a traditionally made ice cream such as my Crème Brûlèe Ice Cream or to make Crème Légère is another great option.
They are best eaten on the same day they are made. However, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container and kept at room temperature for 2 days before losing their crispness.
To freeze, store baked, cooled cookies in a zip lock bag and freeze for up to two months. Thaw overnight and re-crisp in a hot oven for 5 minutes.
🍪 More European Bakes You'll Love
If you tried this Lingue di Gatto recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
Italian Lingue Di Gatto Cookies Recipe
- Baking Tray
- 120 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 120 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted
- 120 g egg whites, approx 3-4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 120 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- pinch fine salt
- Beat butter and sugar together. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Using a hand-held electric beater, cream butter and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl until pale and creamy.
- Whisk in egg whites. Add half the egg whites and beat until combined. Add the remaining egg whites and beat for 1 minute until the mixture is smooth.
- Sift in flour. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in with a rubber spatula until a few flour streaks remain.
- Pipe and bake. Fill a piping bag with the cookie batter and cut the corner off, leaving a 1.5 cm (½ inch hole). Pipe the batter in straight lines measuring approximately 7 to 8cm (3-inch).Bake for 15 minutes until the edges are crisp and golden, turning the trays halfway through. If shaping, then remove trays from the oven and immediately lay each cookie over a rolling pin to cool in an arc shape.Cool completely on the baking trays. An option is to dip the end of each cookie in melted chocolate. Serve immediately and enjoy!
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.