Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not your same old, same old cookie

Milk Chocolate Florentine Cookies
Nestle Tollhouse Best-Loved Recipes Copyright 2005

2/3 cup butter
2 cups quick oats
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light or dark corn syrup I used light because that's all I had
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (11.5 oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with foil. Read my commentary for more on this

MELT butter in medium saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla extract and salt; mix well. Drop by level teaspoons, about 3 inches apart, onto foil-lined baking sheets. Spread thinly with rubber spatula.

BAKE for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets on wire racks. Peel foil from cookies.

MICROWAVE morsels in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Spread thin layer of melted chocolate onto flat side of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches.

I was looking for a recipe that used chocolate chips since I bought a huge bag of them in Costco before Christmas and I still had about half left. I was looking for something that wasn't same old same old and this recipe caught my eye. Then I realized these called for milk chocolate chips and that bag contained semi-sweet chips. While I pondered making the substitution (which I think would have been fine), I found a bag of milk chocolate chips in the cupboard. So, the bad news is that I didn't make a dent in my semi-sweet chocolate chip surplus but the good news is that I didn't need to buy anything to make these and I made a dent in my oatmeal surplus.

I've been aware of this type of cookie for many years but they always seemed like they would be a pain in the rear to make. I did have a few hiccups but I think with the lessons I learned, next time I make these it should go much more smoothly.

The batter (which mixes up superquick - nothing fussy about that) was difficult to spread at first (it was sticking to the spatula). Then I started dipping the metal spatula in hot water first and that solved that problem. I dipped between each cookie. If there was no solution to that problem I may have stopped right there because without the water dip, trying to spread the batter into a circle was very frustrating.

I started off baking these on parchment. I drew circles on one side to give me a guideline and then flipped it over and spread the batter onto the parchment.

Then I decided to see how well foil worked after a couple of sheets. I felt like I could freestyle the circles pretty well by then and the cookies don't need to be perfectly round.

Well, the parchment cookies did not stick at all but I did find they spread a bit more than the ones on the foil.

The foil gave me some sticking problems. These are very delicate cookies and even the slightest bit of sticking can be fatal to these cookies. It is nearly impossible to peel one cookie off the large piece of foil without damaging the rest. By the time I realized the foil was a problem, a second batch was already in the oven on foil. So I made sure they cooled completely then I used scissors to cut the foil between the cookies before peeling it off so I was peeling foil off of one cookie at a time. That was much better but still not ideal.

The foil did have an advantage though. The bottoms of those cookies had a thin but solid surface that formed on them, presumably from the corn syrup. This kept the melted chocolate from seeping through the lace-like holes of these cookies during the final step.

So next time I will try nonstick foil. I love that stuff but I haven't replenished my stock in a while.

Parchment or foil, make sure you really do use only about a teaspoon of batter for each cookie. That is plenty.

I think I have seen these with only chocolate on the bottom but I think these are even better sandwiched. (By the way, did you know that Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies originally only had chocolate on the bottom but they ran into melting or sticking problems hence the sandwiched design you see now.)

I made these for my son's lunch this week. It's not the ideal cookie for packing in a lunch since it's rather fragile but I don't think my son will care if it breaks up a bit. The chocolate gives it some sturdiness.

These look pretty and they taste delicious. I'm so glad I finally made these. Who would think that these fancy cookies came from a brand-name recipe board book? I usually don't buy those since they don't tend to contain that many recipes but I spotted a few enticing recipes in this one. I'm pretty sure I bought it at Ollie's. I wouldn't pay retail for one of those books.

P.S. Don't you just love the natural light photos? Why don't you see those more often here? Because I have almost no natural light in my house! There is a small window of time in the day that I can get a picture in natural light. I am not home most days during that time frame. When I am home, I rarely have something ready to photograph that early in the day. Believe me, this pains me. Once in a blue moon I get lucky.

Question of the Day: What was a typical treat in your lunch when you were a child? I didn't pack a lunch, I ate the school lunch. Back then I think there was usually some type of dessert but oddly only a couple of them stuck in my memory. There was something called peanut butter kisses which were scoops of a peanut butter mixture drizzled with chocolate. They were super popular. I thought I'd figured out the recipe but I never got a chance to try before discovering my son had a peanut allergy. Another thing I remember is a cake (or maybe cupcake) that tasted like baby aspirin (orange?)


Annie Jones said...

Shane likes the florentine cookies, but just by themselves...no chocolate in the middle. I haven't made them in a few years because I think they are such a pain.

Like you, I bought school lunch exclusively as a child (and as a teen as well...we had wonderful school cooks). My favorite treat at school was actually not a sweet, but their homemade whole wheat dinner rolls! Yummy.

They did make a sweet treat that was a spice cake with a melted butter glaze on it. Also very yummy.

Florence said...

It's all wrong what you're writing.