I always choose one outstanding, beautiful and more complicated cookie to add to my Christmas cookie trays. This year I chose a recipe from December's issue of Bon Appetite, called Lemon Cranberry Florentines. The recipe seemed a bit more complicated then my regular flour, sugar, butter cookies that I make...but what the heck I was up for the challenge. If you do plan on making these cookies just know that they are a two day cookie making process, because you have to make home-made candied lemon peel that has to sit over night. Also....please....if there is one thing you take away from this post is please, please...when a recipe calls for parchment paper...just use parchement paper....do not...I repeat...do not use wax paper instead.
Not only did it take me two days to complete these cookies, but when I went to take these beautiful cookies off the wax paper....the darn wax paper melted on to the bottom of the cookies. There was no saving them! I tried to peel the wax paper off, but it did not work...the cookies were ruined! I asked my husband to eat a cookie and pretend he did not know there was wax paper on the bottom. I wanted him to tell me if he could tell that there was the wax paper. He took one bite with a weird look on his face and said, " I can't do it. I can't eat this cookie knowing there is wax paper on the bottom off it"! So the cookies now sit in a tin waiting for me to throw them away. I just can't bring myself to do it knowing the hard work that was put into them! The topper on the cake is that these cookies are delicous! The are amazingly pretty and taste like a crsipy, caramely cookies....soooooo....good! Try to make them at home knowing that they do take a while to make. Remember to use parchement paper! But also know that these cookies will be worth all the hard work!
LEMON CRANBERRY FLORENTINES
- 6 TB. unsalted butter - cut into 6 pieces
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 TB. honey
- 1 1/4 cups silvered almonds, finely chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped Candied Lemon peel, divided (see recipe)
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 9 oz. semisweet chocoloate
- Immediately add chopped almonds, 1/2 cup Candied Lemon Peel, cranberries, and flour; stir until evenly distributed.
- Cool to room temperature (dough will thicken as it cools)
- Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and pre-heat to 350 degrees.
- Line 2 baking sheets with PARCHMENT PAPER. Spoon generous rounded teaspoonfuls dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing about 4 inches apart.
- Bake until cookies spread out, bubble, and are golden brown, rotating baking sheets halfway during baking, about 16 minutes total.
- Place baking sheets on cooking racks.Slide parchment paper with cookies onto racks; cool completely. Let baking sheets cool completely, then repeat process with remaning dough, lining baking sheets with fresh parchment paper between batches.
- Stir semisweet chocolate in metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Can add a bit of vegie oil to make more smooth if needed.
- Using fork, drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Decorate with remaining 1/2 cup finely chopped Candied Lemon Peel. Chill to set chocolate, about 20 minutes.
CANDIED LEMON PEEL
- 3 large lemons
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups sugar plus additional for sprinkling
- Place a cookie cooking rack on rimmed baking sheet.
- Cut 1/4 inch off top and bottom of each lemon. Score each lemon lengthwise in quarters, cutting just through peel (not into flesh). Carefully pull off each peel quarter in 1 piece.
- Cut each quarter lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide strips.
- Cook peel in large saucepan of boiling water 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain peel; rinse well and drain again.
- Bring 4 cups water and 4 cups sugar to boil in heavy large saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Add drained lemon peel to saucepan. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until lemon peel is very soft and looks translucent, about 40 minutes.
- Using fork, transfer lemon peel, 2 or 3 strips at a time, to prepared rack. Seperate strips and arrange crosswise on rack. Let peel drain 15 minutes. Sprinkle peel generously with sugar. turn strips over and sprinkle second side with sugar.
- Let dry uncovered overnight.
*Recipe Courtesy of Bon Appetite