If you are a toffee addict like me, the classic florentine cookie will be one of your new favorites. This flourless cookie is reminiscent of a toffee wafer and every bit as delicious!Reporting for duty, such as it is. --B.] Anyway, sorry for putting this up a few days late.
Moving along! I bought a new "toy." Okay, not so much a toy as the most insanely wonderful book, one that will engross me more than a pre-teen reading Twilight. Oi. [I think we're past the cultural moment when Twilight jokes are funny. Not that I'm going to stop making them. --B.]
The book in question is Bo Friberg's The Professional Pastry Chef. Nearly 1000 pages of baking glory, a glossary that doesn't quit, and tables and charts comparing, among other things, the composition of eight types of pastry dough. It's intense. There were types of dough I've never heard of, and in honor of this book that is teaching me so much, we made an adaptation of its Florentine cookies.
I'd like to say we immediately gloried in our success at this particular recipe, because that would mean that we are close to the level of skill this book deserves. That would be lying. So, when we first opened the oven door the reaction was a little less than triumphant. Turns out they spread out a little more than we had expected based on our previous experiences with florentines. We had one pan-sized florentine. But the good news is that this recipe is surprisingly forgiving--the sugar is so hot at first that it hasn't solidified yet, so we made an attempt to pull the goop back into cohesive cookie-sized forms. It resulted in rather misshapen cookies, but cookies nonetheless. Butchie actually thought they were cute that way [I like imperfect things, ok? Bite me (Edward). --B.], but while her back was turned I made a play for a circular cookie cutter and trimmed the edges back into perfect circles. I'm sneaky like that. [Sneaky like a vampire. Not that anyone likes those. --B.]
Then we tried our hands at making that iconic wavy florentine chocolate bottom to the wafer. It's just a fork and chocolate. I would have thought that would go a little better. [It went as well as a werewolf in a...ok, never mind, I'm done. --B.]
At the end of the day I am so thrilled about this book! I can't wait to keep digging my way through it! Anybody want to buy the book and bake their way through it with me? At 1000 pages it should only take us our entire lives if we bake one recipe a week. :) Who's in? In any event I can't start that this weekend, because in just a few hours I'm heading to the airport for vacation. But maybe when I get!
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
Scant half cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 cup heavy cream
Scant half cup almonds, chopped
Combine butter, sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the almonds and cook for about 3 minutes.
Refrigerate the dough until firm.
Preheat oven to 375.
Using wet spoons divide the dough in to teaspoon sized balls and place four inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Flatten each about to be about three inches wide.
Bake for roughly 8 minutes or until light brown.
If you prefer a perfectly round cookie, allow the cookies to set up for a minute or two, and then use a cookie cutter to trim the edges.
When the cookies have fully cooled brush the bottom with melted coating chocolate. Using a fork, you can carve the wavy pattern iconic to the Florentine cookie.
Allow the chocolate to set up and serve.