Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cocoa Nib and Hazelnut Florentines


Cocoa Nib Hazelnut Florentines

It's been about a week since i've posted anything here. It's not that I haven't been baking- I made lemon bars, brownies, coconut chocolate chip cookies, mocha slices, and one or two other things. Unfortunately, most of these recipes turned out to be duds.

The brownie tart from Maxine Clark's Tarts: Sweet and Savory was too sweet and weakly flavored. 4 ounces of 72% chocolate was not enough to cut the 2 cups of sugar and 14 tbsp of butter. The brownies did have an interesting texture though.

The tangy lemon squares from The Weekend Baker tasted good, but they were extremely difficult to serve neatly. The smooth lemon curd topping tasted great, but it was messy and the shortbread crust got a little soggy. Since they were hard to handle, I ate them with a fork. I might try the recipe again with some modifications.

The chocolate chip coconut cookies from Pichet Ong's The Sweet Spot didn't spread much in the oven and had a weird texture. I probably over-measured the flour, but i'm wondering if other bakers have had problems following the weight measurements in this book. It's not the first time i've had weird results.

I think the bad baking and photography mojo is some combination of stress, personal error, and recipe troubles. After all of these frustrating attempts, I decided to make a recipe that always turns out well.

I've posted these florentines on the blog before, but I didn't include the recipe. They are thin, crunchy and elegant. They do spread a lot in the oven, so I suggest erring on the smaller side of 1 tsp while measuring the batter. Keep an eye on the baking time too, as these cookies quickly go from perfect to burnt.

Cocoa Nib Florentines
adapted from Emily Luchetti's A Passion for Ice Cream

2 oz (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp + 3/4 tsp all purpose flour
1/3 cup (1.5 oz) pistachios (or other nuts), toasted, skinned, and chopped
1/2 cup cocoa nibs

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cream, sugar, flour, the 1/3 cup nuts, and the cocoa nibs. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and comes clean from the bottom of the pan as you stir, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Drop teaspoonsuls of the batter 3.5 inches apart on the prepared pans. The cookies will spread as they bake. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool to room temperature on the pans and then remove them with a metal spatula.


Christina said...

I had a recipe I wanted to blog about a month ago, but unfortunately it just wasn't up to par.

These look really good! I like the use of cocoa nibs.

Aran said...

hmmm... love these... and beautiful photos too!

Tartelette said...

I love Florentine cookies! I use a lot for decorations on finished plated desserts for parties! Wonderful pictures!