I recently joined the Daring Kitchen as a Daring Baker. This community of Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks come together once a month to cook and/or bake the same challenging recipe and then blog about it. 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. Because we have the freedom to play around with the flavors, I decided to make a vanilla Panna Cotta with Bailey’s Irish Cream gelée along with the crunchy Florentine cookies.
Now, I’ll have to admit, Florentines aren’t my favorite cookies – if you don’t have parchment paper, forget about it. They will turn into a gooey mess! I don’t care for the texture of the cookies, but since this was the challenge I decided to go for it. The Panna Cotta came out delicious and creamy, while the Bailey’s Irish Cream gelée was amazing and I probably could have eaten it by itself. The Florentine cookies were also crunchy and sweet and delicious with the panna cotta. It was the perfect after-dinner dessert/drink all rolled into one. Enjoy!
Panna Cotta Ingredients:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp (one packet) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3 cups whipping cream
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.
- Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
Bailey’s Irish Cream Gelèe Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups Irish Cream coffee
- 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
- 1/4 cup hot water, plus 2 tbsp cold water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- Place granulated sugar and hot water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Sprinkle gelatin over 2 tbsp cold water and let it soften 2 minutes to soften.
- Stir the coffee, Bailey’s Irish Cream, sugar, and hot water into a small metal bowl, add gelatin mixture and stir well until gelatin has dissolved.
- Pour over chilled Panna Cotta. Be sure that Panna Cotta is no longer hot because it will melt it. Refrigerate overnight or until hard.
*Adapted from this recipe in Gourmet Magazine
Nestle Florentine Cookies:
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1½ cups milk chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F and prepare your baking sheet with 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 apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of your tablespoon, or use a spatula (these spread out a lot so make sure they’re spaced far enough apart).
- Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
- 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 parchment and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).
- 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).