Monday, May 4, 2009

Florentines - from me to you!

(if you haven't noticed already, I am having supreme issues controlling the font on this publisher. It 'appears' in my editor as Georgia but spurts out something else. *frustration squiggles emitting from head* "Aaaack!")

Florentines are like macaroons - they come in so many shapes and forms. I have seen (and eaten) them with macadamia nuts, whole hazelnuts, coconut, chopped almonds, dipped, sandwiched, and mixed with orange and ginger. But what is a florentine, really? After some personal reflection a florentine = nuts + tuile batter = suspended in culinary science. There are so many recieps out there of different variations (chewy or crunchy? nutty or fruity?) it was hard to pick one to try.

During my mothership's art exhibition days,
she used to order baked goods from some lady (yeah, I know, "some" lady! Nevermind that she has her own in-house baker to churn out goodies - she has to outsouce! Be still my Kitchen-Aid whisking heart.) and in the order were these almond cookies. I admit, they were good. All tuile, very little cookie. A nice crunchy, thin, waffle-y type of tuile too. Almonds (not so generously) sprinkled throughout. I have never been able to successfully replicate this recipe. I just can't be stingy with the almonds. Oh well, another project for a rainy day.

I came across a new recipe on another food blog, Chocolate Fool , of a chocolate-dipped almond florentine. What I liked about this cookie was that it was more almond than tuile and it didn't hurt that they were liberally dipped and decorated with chocolate. The site, Chocolate Fool, is pretty awesome on its own and is worth a peruse. The recipe was adapted from one provided by David Lebovitz, dessert artist extraordinaire. Anyway, without further ado, I present to you:
Chocolate-Drizzled Almond Florentines!

c/o Chocolate Fool, c/o David Lebovitz

1 large egg white

1/3 cup icing sugar

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 teaspoons orange zest

1 ¾ cup sliced almonds (I used ‘regular’ vs blanched b/c they were cheaper, still good)

½ cup chocolate (for dipping/drizzling)

Preheat your oven to 300F. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment and lube or Silpat (or equivalent – pshaw!)

In a medium bowl, whip egg whites lightly and briefly until they are slightly frothy. Add the salt, sugar, zests, and almonds until combined.

Drop tablespoon-sized mounds onto the cookie sheet and spread the batter out gently with a fork or your fingers. You want a nice, even, and crunchy cookie, so spread it out in a thin layer.

Bake until golden brown. The original recipe said 10 minutes or so – but it took mine at least 20. Maybe it’s because they weren’t blanched? Anyway, keep your eye on them and take them out when they are golden on top.

Let cool completely on the cookie sheet.

Melt the chocolate drizzle or dip as you like.

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