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Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Days of Cookies - Day 5 - Florentines & The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap



Today's cookies are not just day 5 cookies, they are my cookie swap cookies.  When I saw the Great Food Blogger Cookie swap through Love and Olive Oil.   I signed right up.  How cool was this idea,  a cookie swap across two countries.  It is crazy.   It is a great to meet new bloggers and find new amazing blogs.   The best part 3 dozen different cookies showed up at my door.   I got so excited every time a box arrived I ripped it open immediately 

These are the cookies I  received : 
1) Haystack Butterscotch Cornflake Cookies from K&K Test Kitchen
2) Nutella Coconut Haystack Cookies from Cravings of a Lunatic
3) Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti from The Bold Baker

They were all absolutely delicious!!



The tricky thing with sending cookies across the country is you have to make sure they will hold up and not fall apart.  I also wanted to choose something that wouldn't go stale, knowing the mail could take longer than I wanted. I have never made florentines before but always have wanted to try them.   They have so many amazing attributes - fruit, nuts and caramel.   

(Adapted from Cuisine Holiday Cookies)
INGREDIENTS:
Crust
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz0 unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup gluten free all purpose
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp orange zest
Filling
  • 3 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots or dried cherries
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS:
1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 10 inch square pan with parchment and spray with non stick spray. 
2) In a large bowl or mixer bowl beat together butter and egg yolks until combined, a few minutes.   Add brown sugar and 1 tsp zest until light and creamy.   


3) Add flour and salt and blend until just combined.  Spread the dough in to the pan with an offset spatula.   Bake crust until golden, about 15 minutes.   Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.


4) Make the filling: Heat butter, sugar, cream and honey over medium heat. Continue to cook until a candy thermometer reaches 240F, about 5 minutes. 



5)  Remove from heat and stir in almonds, zest and dried fruit.  Pour over cooled crust. Bake 15 minutes @ 350F.


6)  Allow bars to cool on a wire rack.  Ensure bars are completely cool before cutting.  Sliced in your desired size and shape.


7)  Heat the chocolate over a double boiler until completely melted and smooth.    Drizzle over bars through a piping bag or loosely with a fork.


I hope all my recipients liked the Florentines.   I sure did.  Chewy, crunchy and sweet, these cookies are the entire package.  I made two batches of these.  One with dried cherries and dried cranberries and one with dried apricots and dried cranberries.   I mailed a mix of both to each person.   If you are not a huge fan of orange zest, leave it out.  This can be a strong taste.

A huge THANK YOU  to Julie and Lindsay  for organizing the cookie swap and to the three ladies who sent me awesome cookies.  I can't wait to see all of the cookies people made and  I look forward to next years,

MEG's RATING: D-EEEEE-LICIOUS

almonds, florentines, dried cranberries, apricots, cherries




Day 4 - M&M Rice Krispie Cookies
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