I had leftover egg whites from baking the holiday desserts, so I made the classic Filipino Lenguas de Gato, thin butter cookies. Lenguas de Gato is Spanish for ‘cat’s tongues. These slim, yet decadent, buttery treats are shaped nearly like a cat’s tongue. These cookies have been a longtime favorite snack or dessert, as well as Christmas gift of Filipinos all over the world.
I’ve enjoyed these cookies since childhood. In the Philippines, we often received these as gifts during the holidays. I loved them so much, I experimented with recipes when I was in high school. Afterwards, when I mastered my own Lenguas, I gifted these to friends for holidays or birthdays. I’ve been baking these since then.
Though the cookies are tiny, each teensy-weensy Lengua is packed with the richness of butter, sugar, eggs and baked quickly to a crisp, delicate goodness. Savor the buttery aroma as each batch comes out of the oven. Your family won’t be able to resist. They’ll hover in the kitchen while you bake and ask for free samples.
Often, friends and readers who bake my recipes for ensaymadas and Leche Flan ask me what I do with the excess egg whites. These Lenguas de Gato butter cookies are what I suggest they make with the egg whites. Since the holidays will be upon us in a few weeks, start baking these now. Store them in clear, covered containers or decorative cookie tins. Wrap a red ribbon around the package. Give as gifts. A home baked treat is always welcome and savored by anyone who gets them. Put a smile on friends’ faces these holidays with these indulgent cookies.
Filipino Lenguas de Gato Butter Cookies
- Large cookie trays
- Cake mixer - stand or hand-held
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 8 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup softened butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Using a cake mixer, with clean beaters and bowl, beat on high speed the egg whites combined with the cream of tartar. Beat for about 5 minutes till soft peaks form. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Blend well.Add the 1 whole egg and vanilla. Mix well.Mix in the dry ingredients, a little at a time. Continue beating with a mixer till smooth.
- Carefully fold by hand with a spatula, the egg whites into the rest of the batter. Do it gently or the mixture will collapse and won't be as frothy anymore.
To prepare for baking:
- Place the cookie batter into a pastry bag (or use a large ziploc bag and cut the tip). Pipe the batter on the cookie sheets, in slim, pencil-like 2-inch length pieces.. Leave about 3-inches space between the cookies. The cookies will expand while baking.
- Preheat the oven at 375 F.Line a large cookie tray with parchment paper. Bake the Lenguas de Gato cookies at 375 F for 7 minutes.When done, remove cookies gently with a spatula. Transfer to a cookie rack to cool down.
- Store the Lenguas cookies in air-tight cookie jars or cookie tins. Wrap brightly- colored ribbons around the containers, to give as gifts.
- Use premium butter that's newly purchased for this recipe. Do not use stale butter or expired flour that's been around the shelves for a while. Taste the butter before baking. If butter tastes rancid, do not use at all. The quality of the ingredients affects the outcome of the recipe.
Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking or baking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Did you love this recipe? I have more Philippine dessert recipes in my popular cookbook How to Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks.
If you need Filipino Instant Pot recipes, find more in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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