Sunday, February 27, 2011

February Daring Bakers Challenge: Panna Cotta and Florentine Cookies

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               The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

     I love being a part of the Daring Kitchen challenges because I am given the opportunity to make so many new things.  I had never had either of the challenge recipes this month. While both are a bit too sweet for my preference, that doesn't mean they weren't delicious!   Even better was that both recipes were super easy to make!
Chocolate Panna Cotta
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups (480 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
½ cup (115 gm) (4 oz) sugar
¾ cup (145 gm)(5 oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) vanilla extract

1.Pour milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top, set aside for 2-5 minutes.
2.Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir in cream, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a low boil.
3.Add chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk the milk/gelatin mixture into chocolate cream mixture. Whisk until gelatin has dissolved.
4.Transfer to ramekins, or nice glasses for serving.
5.Cover and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight

Florentine cookies
Recipe from the cookbook “Nestle Classic Recipes”, and their website.
2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5.3 oz) unsalted butter
2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) (5 2/3 oz) quick oats
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) dark or milk chocolate

Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
1.Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.
2.To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Drop a tablespoon full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of your tablespoon, or use a spatula. These cookies are intended to spread thin so it is very important not to leave room on the cookie sheet.  I baked six cookies at a time.
3.Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
4.While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes), or stovetop (in a double boiler, or a bowl that fits atop a saucepan filled with a bit of water, being sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl).
5.Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).
6.Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.
This recipe will make about 2 1/2 - 3 dozen sandwiched Florentine cookies. You can also choose not to sandwich yours, in which case, drizzle the tops with chocolate (over your wax paper).


  1. I love the daring bakers' challenge because it forces me to make things I normally wouldn't or haven't before. Like the panna cotta or florentines! Yours looks great!

  2. Your challenge looks perfectly delicious! I may just have to try the chocolate version. I enjoyed this challenge enough to try it again I think.....since it's comes together so quickly:)

  3. WOW lovely work on this challenge well done I love the cookies so lacy and thin and crisp. Wonderful work.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.