Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daring Bakers February 2011: Panna Cotta & Florentine Cookies

Okay, okay. Y'all can officially call me a slacker.

I cannot believe I haven't shared a new recipe since the Daring Cooks recipe.

I feel like I am in a time warp lately.

I wish I could tell you that I have been crazy busy...I mean, I have been pretty busy...but not crazy busy.

What has really happened is that I got wrapped up in a new book.

I know. What kind of excuse is that??? Well...it's my excuse.

See...I'm a reader.

Like...a crazy, insane, voracious reader.

So when I find a new book (in this case actually 2) that I really enjoy, that's about all I do.

So. I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (Oh. Em. Gee. Amazing!) and now I'm reading Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind (the fourth book in the Sword of Truth Series).

Also, I just keep losing time.

Seriously. Can someone please tell me where February went?? I can't seem to find it!

I know I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I don't think I've mentioned it here...but I'm also a bit knocked up.

So I'm going to blame the sapping of time and what used to be an adequate thinking device (i.e. my no longer existent brain) on the baby. I'm 15 weeks now and I'm hoping it won't get much worse than this.

We are also looking at moving again! We will be heading down to the Austin area late next month.

So....I kind of have some stuff going on...but then it feels like I don't.

Anyway. Enough about me. Let's talk food!

In a perfect world. Well, my perfect world. I would be Italian.

I would be able to drink wine with breakfast (not that I don't already but at least people wouldn't look at me strange).

I could eat pasta and bread all day long (oh wait, I do that too, but at least I wouldn't be lectured about my carb intake).

And I would drink coffee like it is the elixir of life (crap! I do this already as well).

See. Since I already do these things I should at least be an honorary Italian.

I love the culture, the language, the beauty of the people and most of all...the food.

So when the Daring Bakers challenge was announced for February (yes I'm late in posting this) I was more than thrilled!

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 knew I wanted to incorporate coffee into my recipe. So I waited for the perfect opportunity to make this delicious dessert.

That opportunity presented itself when a friend invited us to a delicious spaghetti dinner. Perfecto! (is that Italian or Spanish...or maybe neither?? Hey. I said I wanted to be Italian, not that I spoke the language!)

This dessert was cool, creamy, sweet, full of coffee flavor and perfectly accompanied by a crunchy, chocolatey florentine cookie. My florentine cookies aren't the roundest or prettiest cookies, but they were still good!

Thanks to Mallory for the wonderful challenge!

Let's step into the kitchen!

To start, we will make the coffee gelee. You will need, coffee, water, vanilla extract, granulated sugar and unflavored, powdered gelatin.

In a small bowl, place 2 Tablespoons of cold water. Then sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Allow to sit about 2 minutes so the gelatin can soften.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring 1/4 cup hot water and the granulated sugar to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

In a metal mixing bowl, pour in the water/sugar mixture, vanilla and brewed coffee and mix it up.

To that, add the gelatin mixture. Stir until the gelatine dissolves. Then place in the refrigerator to set.

Now we will make the panna cotta. For this you will need granulated sugar, whipping cream, whole milk, honey, unflavored powdered gelatin and salt.

Place a small bowl or pot into the refrigerator to chill. Remove and pour in the milk. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top of the milk. Allow to sit about 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

Pour the milk into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat the milk until it is hot, but not boiling. Then add the cream, honey, vanilla, sugar and salt. Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey and sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot, but still not boiling. This takes about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Pour the mixture into your desired dish. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

After a few hours, when the panna cotta is firm, you can top with the coffee gelee. Then return to refrigerator for the remainder of the chill time.

And finally, we can make the cookies. For this you will need: all purpose flour, quick oats, dark corn syrup, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, milk, granulated sugar, salt, and chocolate.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan or pot.

To the melted butter add the oats, sugar, flour, vanilla, corn syrup, milk, and salt. Mix well.

Drop the batter in Tablespoon fulls onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. They should be about 3 inches apart. Slightly flatten with the back of your spoon.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.

When the cookies are cool, peel them off the parchment or silpat and place them face down on a cooling rack above wax or parchment paper (so you don't make a mess).

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double broiler.

Spread a Tablespoon of the melted chocolate over the bottom of the cookie, top with a cookie of the same shape and size, creating a sandwich. Allow the chocolate to re-harden.

Serve the cookies with the chilled panna cotta and enjoy!!

We enjoyed ours with some spicy spaghetti, great friends and a game of Taboo!

Cafe e Latte Panna Cotta
Retrieved from The Daring Kitchen

Printer Friendly Version

Coffee Gelee


  • 2 cups good quality brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 Tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Place granulated sugar and hot water into small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let sit about 2 minutes to soften.
  3. Stir the sugar, hot water, coffee and vanilla together in a metal mixing bowl. Add gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin has dissolved.
  4. Place in refrigerator to "set" then layer with panna cotta.
Panna Cotta

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 cups whipping cream (30+% butter fat)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  1. Pour milk into small bowl (refrigerate bowl for a few minutes to chill), sprinkle gelatin over the top, allow to sit about 5 minutes to soften.
  2. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisking occasionally, heat mixture until hot (not boiling), about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cream, honey, sugar and salt. Continue to heat (not to boiling) and stir occasionally until honey and sugar dissolve, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Pour mixture into desired dish, refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. 
  6. Garnish as desired. Serve and enjoy!
Florentine Cookies
Retrieved from The Daring Kitchen via Nestle

  • 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 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) dark or milk chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan; remove from heat.
  3. To the melted butter, add the oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla and salt. Mix well.
  4. Drop a tablespoon full of batter about 3 inches apart on the lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake in preheated oven about 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Cool completely on baking sheet. 
  7. While cookies are cooling, melt chocolate in the microwave or over a double broiler.
  8. Peel cookies from silpat or parchment and place face down on a cooling rack placed over parchment or wax paper (so as not to make a mess).
  9. Spread a tablespoon of melted chocolate over the bottom of the cookies, top with a similar size cookie so as to make a sandwich. Allow chocolate to re-harden.
  10. Serve and enjoy!
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