Thursday, October 26, 2006

Florentine Cookies for Two

We are finishing up my cookie marathon with some fancy French cookies. Have no fear, the next few are beautifully simple. This lacy Florentine comes straight out of a new cookbook called "Cooking For Two or More" from Pampered Chef. These are really simple to put together and will definitely dazzle your dinner guests. Serve up a generous scoop of your favorite ice cream in a large wine glass, add a few fresh berries and place a Florentine on top. Viola! (yes I know, that's a family joke!) You have a treat that looks like the $9.95 desserts served in white tablecloth restaurants. From a cart, pushed by a indifferent server, and you still have to leave a tip! If you are blessed to have Silpats, these Florentines will turn out perfectly. To assure success, please do not make substitutions with the recipe ingredients. If you want to get seriously decadent, drizzle melted white and bittersweet chocolate over the cooled cookies or dip one side into melted chocolate for a beautiful dessert garnish.

FLORENTINE COOKIES - adapted from "Cooking For Two or More"
makes 2 to 4

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon light Karo syrup
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
Optional: one ounce melted bittersweet or white chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment or, if you have one, a Silpat, you lucky baker! In a bowl, whisk together the melted butter, Karo, flour, and sugar and mix well. Scoop mixture by spoonfuls onto baking pan, making either two large or four small circles, placing each at least two inches apart. These cookies will spread out quite a bit, so allow enough room. Spread the mixture evenly with an offset spatula or the back of the spoon. Sprinkle the chopped almonds on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Slide parchment sheet from pan onto cooling rack to cool completely for flat Florentines. If you desire a curved cookie, then immediately remove from pan, carefully placing them onto a rolling pin to shape while still warm. When completely cool, decorate with the melted chocolate, if desired.

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