Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daring Bakers February: Panna Cotta and Florentine Cookies

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.

Well, it has finally happened. Something I never expected. Something I didn't even think possible. Something I would have never imagined as a possibility.

I found a dessert I don't like.

Not just, "oh, this could use X" or "Next time I'll do Y." No, it was a, "what did I just put into my mouth??" moment. I actually warned my first taster that I thought it went horribly wrong.... and was told it was perfect, exactly what it should taste like. Apparently, Panna Cotta is not my thing. Luckily, plenty of other people around thought it was wonderful and amazing, if rather rich, and it was all eaten. Just thinking about it again kinda makes my stomach turn.

HOWEVER, it is apparently a great recipe... if you go for that kind of thing! I've got an experimental non-dairy chocolate version in the fridge... it tastes delicious, so we'll see if it solidifies nicely! At the least it would be good frozen.

Traditional Panna Cotta - Recipe from Giada de Laurentis

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
pinch of salt

1. Pour the milk into a bowl or pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk (make sure the bowl/pot is cold by placing the bowl/pot in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you start making the Panna Cotta). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
2. Pour the milk into the saucepan/pot and place over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about five minutes. (I whisk it a few times at this stage).
3. Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, and pinch of salt. Making sure the mixture doesn't boil, continue to heat and stir occasionally until the sugar and honey have dissolved 5-7 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.
5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.
The second recipe from this month was a cookie that reminds me of a Lacey - lots of butter, not many 'solid' ingredients. They were super quick and easy!

Nestle Florentine Cookies

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.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.
- 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.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
I skipped the extra chocolate part [- 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).]
- 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).
I skipped the extra chocolate part [- Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.]


  1. YES! I made these this morning, and unfortunately gave most of them away immediately, but they were very easy, quick and good! I used aluminum foil, they only stuck where the cookies were a little thicker, the centers, and less cooked. First batch I cooked the shorter time, second batch were more golden, less stick ;-}
    These remind me more of candy than cookies, very cool. I DID do the chocolate (semi sweet chips, microwaved 1 min,stir, 30 seconds stir and use on cookies). I spread it for a more even distribution and kept it thin. Next time I will make the cookies a little smaller, couldn't find the tablespoon so I used a serving spoon and guesstimated. Turns out I am a generous soul ;-o
    Thank you for the inspiration! Oh, didn't have dark corn syrup so I used light and substituted 2 teaspoons of molasses for an equal amount of corn syrup. xoxoxox

  2. If it's from Giada it's gotta be good!


Try this and want to share how it went? Have questions before you try it? Let me know!