This is half of a Florentine cookie, because it takes two of these cuties sandwiched between either melted semi-sweet chocolate or white chocolate, to become "a single cookie". I realize now that I forgot to take pictures of the finished ones before they were all gone. They were a delicious melange of almond, chocolate and cinnamon with coconut overtones (even though there was no coconut in them), and disappeared quickly. Here in Florida it's tough to create & maintain crisp cookies (especially if there's honey in it), with our humidity. Still, it was finger-lickin' good.
The first mistake I made was to use ground almonds. I should have used hazelnuts because I forgot that Anna is allergic to almonds. She was my indespensible other half during the creation of these and she couldn't even taste one. I feel awful!!
This cookie starts by finely grinding nuts in a blender or food processor. I used my trusty Oskar, a small processor similiar to one that Cuisinart makes. Be careful because if you grind nuts too long they ultimately break down into nut butter, not what you want here. This is what the ground almonds looked like.
The liquids are combined and heated on the stove.
The dry mixture is added and heated to a specific stage.
When it's all cooked to the right temperature it has to cool a bit.
The warm dough is portioned, then baked on a non-stick surface.
After cooling on a rack they are sandwiched between molten chocolate. The amount of time & labor, combined with some pricey ingredients, suggested it wasn't feasible for me to bake & sell any. I hope you were some of the folks that sampled them on Friday. Yum!
This coming Friday Anna & I will be baking HONEY WHOLE WHEAT CHALLAH. I've never created a challah with whole wheat flour before, nor made a 6 strand braided bread. Happily, Norm & Stan's book has very detailed instructions. Warm samples of the bread will be available on Friday from 2-4 if you visit us in the TreeHouse (down the driveway next to the former Bonni Bakes).
Lately I've been making a variety of jams & chutney, utilizing the fabulous Keitt Mango from my tree. At this point the available combos are MANGO STRAWBERRY CARDAMOM; MANGO MEYER LEMON & LIME, and KEITT MANGO CHUTNEY. An 8 oz jar is $4 and comes wrapped for gifting. Try some on the challah...what could be bad?
This week I'll be baking some mega muffins ($1.75 each) -- my CRANBERRY ORANGE, BLUEBERRY LEMON or VEGAN PUMPKIN DATE RAISIN. If you'd like to order any for pick up on Wed. Dec 14th, give me a call by 5pm Monday at 746-6647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Because I'm incredibly lucky, I'm off to spend the holidays with my kids in New York City and family in Maryland. To insure that I can shlep enough Florida-made goodies up North, the kids sent me an early birthday present (see below) that should wrap things safely.
If I don't see you this weekend, have a joyous HOLIDAY, surrounded by people you LOVE and I'll be in touch next year.
Hugs from the kitchen,