Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daring Baker's Challenge: Panna Cotta & Nestle 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.I LOVE ALL THINGS CREAMY... and this yummy dessert makes the list! This was fairly simple to create, but something about it makes you feel fancy... and something about that creamy texture is just heaven to me. I think this was one of my favorite challenges so far! I'll be making this again... after I loose a bit of weight from this go around. :)

Giada's Vanilla Panna Cotta

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.
(*My daughter sees me taking "food" pictures, and she said she needed a turn. :) She felt like a face with a beard would be "artistic".)

Nestle Florentine Cookies

Recipe from the cookbook “Nestle Classic Recipes”, and their website.

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.

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat. (Rather then do this over the stove, I just melted the butter in a big glass bowl in the microwave... I think it was quicker and worked fine.)
  2. 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. (No matter how far apart I spread my cookies, I still ended up with a "sheet" of cookie, rather then individuals... not sure what I did, but they still tasted good, I just broke them apart.)
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
  4. 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). (Or just use Netella like me... who doesn't love an excuse to use Netella. :)
  5. 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).
  6. 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).


jess and seth said...

You truly are a gourmet! These look delicious! I might have to try that panna Hannah Montana business--it looks really scrumptious. Boy, you and Amy and your fancy foods . . . :)

AmyJo said...

Lyd! Your Panna Cotta looks awesome! I love Amberlee's bearded face. I had trouble with my Florentines spreading and filling the whole baking pan too. I finally just dropped little tiny teaspoons full onto the sheet and I got two sheets full of circle ones, but I burnt one really bad. In the end I had just a couple circles to take a picture with. But most of mine were just broken chunks of of the big rectangle monster cookie.

Momma Kaye said...

Sorry-- this recipe is just too fancy for your old mother hen to make. I will let you bring them to our parties though!