Monday, February 28, 2011

honey panna cotta and florentine cookies

I think to myself, I look ridiculous. I can tell that those passersby who turn their heads are thinking, "What is she wearing?" I am sporting my decorous work skirt, smart blouse, and professional work jacket. But on my feet are bright white sneakers and I'm carrying a bulging backpack. Bustling along the sidewalk, I look a out of place to those around me, but I have decided that I just don't care what they think. My sports shoes are propelling me along my walk home from work and I think that I look quirky, not ridiculous.

Similar to my unorthodox ensemble, this panna cotta and cookie combination seems a bit odd at first. It's decidedly out of place to some people, but the crispy cookies are a great fit for the dignified panna cotta. Together they make a perfect dessert to end a meal.

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. This was my first time working with gelatin, and it was both easy and effective. I will make this panna cotta recipe many more times--and hopefully serve it with a crunchy cookie as well. They are an inspired pairing.
Honey Panna Cotta
adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
serves 6

1 T gelatin
1 c (250 ml) cold milk
3 c (750 ml) heavy cream
1/3 c (80 ml) honey
pinch of salt

Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and let stand for 5 minutes.
Gently heat the milk and gelatin in a saucepan for 5 minutes and do not let it boil.
Add the cream, honey, and salt. Stir to dissolve and heat gently for 5 minutes more.
Cool, then pout into 6 glasses.
Chill for 6 hours or overnight.

Whole Wheat Florentine Cookies
adapted from a Nestle recipe
makes 3 dozen small cookies

2/3 c (150 g) butter, melted
2 c (160 g) oats
1 c (230 g) sugar
2/3 c (80 g) whole wheat flour
1/4 c (60 ml) honey
1/4 c (69 ml) milk
2 T orange juice
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
250 g dark chocolate, chopped

Mix together all the ingredients except the chocolate.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet and flatten out into circles.
Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 12 minutes, until golden.
Cool on a rack.

Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
Use a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off to decorate the cookies with drizzled chocolate.


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