Thursday, February 27, 2014

Leslie's Delicate Florentines - perfect for Easter!

I intended to post this at Christmas ....then Valentine's day...oh well...aren't Florentines perfect for Easter?
This is my friend Leslie and she really wanted to make Florentines for the cookie exchange at Christmas and asked me to help her.  I have wanted to make them for a while so I was thrilled at the idea and they turned out amazing!

Florentines are very delicate wafer thin cookies and are not that easy to make.  Leslie told me to emphasize how you need to be very very precise in the measurements.  I think she was surprised at the importance I placed on measuring carefully.

Makes 24 Cookies - this recipe is from America's test kitchen...
We started with the ingredients:

2 cups slivered almonds
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup orange marmalade
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Use the flattest baking sheets you have and make sure that your parchment paper lies flat. Process almonds in food processor until they resemble coarse sand, about 30 seconds.

2. Bring cream, butter, and sugar to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to thicken, 5 to 6 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to brown at edges and is thick enough to leave trail that doesn’t immediately fill in when spatula is scraped along pan bottom, 1 to 2 minutes longer (it’s OK if some darker speckles appear in mixture). Undercooking will result in a dough that is too runny to portion. Remove pan from heat and stir in almonds, marmalade, flour, vanilla, orange zest, and salt until combined.

3. Drop 6 level tablespoons dough at least 3½ inches apart on each prepared sheet. When cool enough to handle, use damp fingers to press each portion into 2 1/2-inch circle.

Transfer cookies, still on parchment, to wire racks and let cool. Let baking sheets cool for 10 minutes, line with fresh parchment, and repeat portioning and baking remaining dough.

4. Bake until deep brown from edge to edge, 15 to 17 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Check them after 10 minutes then every couple of minutes.  They can burn quickly

5. Microwave 3 ounces chocolate in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring frequently, until about two-thirds melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave, add remaining 1 ounce chocolate, and stir until melted, returning to microwave for no more than 5 seconds at a time to complete melting if necessary. When melting the chocolate, pause the microwave and stir the chocolate often to ensure that it doesn’t get much warmer than body temperature. Transfer chocolate to small zipper-lock bag and snip off corner, making hole no larger than 1/16 inch.

6. Transfer cooled cookies directly to wire racks. 

Pipe zigzag of chocolate over each cookie, distributing chocolate evenly among all cookies. 

Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes, before serving. 

They really were spectacular Leslie!  Let's do it again sometime:)  and remember you need to teach me how to make your delicious perogies!

Until we bake again...

1 comment:

Arlene Cohen said...

Leslie, you look awesome, as do the cookies! I can practically taste them. What do you guys charge for delivery to Montreal??? So far we have the same currency, but don't wait too long!!!!! Arlene who would like to order 2 dozen, please.

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