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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

uptown cookies

I set out to make a fancy dessert a few nights ago: pots du crème. I followed Emeril’s recipe, and it was a failure. (Not that the white chocolate pots weren’t delicious – they were. But they didn’t firm up as much as I thought they should.) I could go on and on about my dislike for Emeril and his incoherent babbling, but I’d hate to sound rude…

I was saved, however, by the Florentine cookies that were meant to be served along with the pots. This recipe I did change a little; I added some almond extract and subtracted some vanilla. They’re fantastic, light and crisp - not nearly as rich as the cookies I normally make.

Florentine Cookies

1 stick butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup pecans (or pecan pieces)

Preheat the oven to 350.

Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.

Beat in the egg.

Add the vanilla, almond extract, baking soda, and salt. Mix until smooth.

Put the oats and pecans in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Emeril claims you can use a blender for this, too.

Add the pulverized mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat until it’s incorporated.

Drop teaspoonfuls about 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten them a little with your fingers.

Bake for 6 minutes, until golden brown. (In my oven, I baked them for 4 minutes, turned the pan for even heating, and baked them for another 4 minutes.)

NOTE: Only bake about 5 or 6 cookies at a time. Why, you ask? Because of this next step.

After you remove them from the oven, let them cool briefly. While they are still warm, roll them carefully into cookie cigars. I found that sliding a knife under the cookies got them off the parchment paper best, and I could only get 5 or 6 cookies rolled before the rest cooled too much to roll. (Though they taste just fine if they’re flat.)

Cool completely on a wire rack.

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