Milk chocolate Florentine cookies

I have no idea what a Florentine cookie is but I’m going to make them because I’m hardcore like that. Actually one reason I like making recipes I’ve never tried is there is no preconception of how the item should taste. I find that competing with nostalgia is often a quick road to disappointment.

Since I don’t know what to expect I’m going to treat this like a scientific experiment. I will need to:

  • ask a question
  • do background research
  • construct a hypothesis
  • test my hypothesis by running an experiment
  • analyze data and draw a conclusion
  • communicate your results

Notes related to the experiment will be written in red, like so.

Ask a question: what is a Florentine?

Do background research: I used my Google-Fu but was not enlightened. I have deduced that a Florentine is a flat, “Old World favourite”, sometimes made with cheap ingredients and sometimes jazzed up with lots of funky stuff, but mainly a sandwich-style cookie with a layer of something between the cookies. But that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. I remain confused.

Construct a hypothesis: If I follow the recipe in Chocolate 3 books in 1 by Nestlé, which is available on Amazon.com, I will make Florentine cookies, and I will know what they are.

(Mini book review: hard cover, sturdy ring binding, some good recipe ideas, lots of pictures, the majority of the recipes are contained on one page each which is always a plus. It contains contains Holiday ClassicsVery Best Baking, and Family Favorites. Cannot locate on on Amazon.ca)

Time required: 1 hr

Yields: supposedly 42 cookies

Cost per cookie: $1.24

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $34.00

Kitchen implements I used:

  • large cookie tray
  • tinfoil

Ingredients:

  •  ⅔ C butter, melted (10.6 TBSP)
  • 2 C quick oats
  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • ⅔ C flour
  • ¼ C corn syrup
  • ½ C milk
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • 1¾ C milk chocolate chips, melted

Test my hypothesis by doing an experiment:

1. Pre-heat oven to 190.5°C / 375°F. Line baking tray with tin foil.

2. Measure out and set aside:

  • wet mixture: milk, corn syrup, vanilla
  • dry mixture: combine in a medium bowl: oats, flour, sugar, and salt
  • chocolate chips (in a small microwave-safe bowl)

In retrospect I would have put the milk and corn syrup into one liquid measuring cup.

3. Melt butter in large pan and remove from heat.

(The vanilla was added here. I was not very efficient in making these.)

4. Stir wet mixture and dry mixture into the butter.

5. Drop cookies by using a level teaspoon onto foil, about 3 inches apart, and spread flat with a spatula.

Poor experiment control # 1: accidentally used tablespoon instead of teaspoon. Big cookies.

Hmm. Lots of goop. Not liking this so far.

6. Bake 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. I expected flat cookies since there is no leavening agent but I didn’t expect them to spread out into Mega-Cookie.

Perhaps it would have been smarter using a maximum of 2 cookies per row, teaspoon sized.

7. Cool cookies completely in pan on wire rack. Once cooled, remove from foil and flip upside down.

Poor experiment control # 2: a lot harder said than done, used a butter knife to pry them apart. Much cursing and shouting.

8. Melt chocolate chips by microwaving on High for 1 min or so, stirring until smooth.  Spread melted chocolate over half of the cookies (on the flat sides), then top with the remaining half of the cookies.

Poor experiment control # 3: didn’t want to eat a lot of cookies so returned most of the chocolate chips back in the container, and melted about ¼C. Am unable to comment on how these cookies taste the next day after the chocolate has set. This is bad science!!

Analyze your data and draw conclusions: I didn’t like these at all. They were very greasy, and the taste was nothing special. I used cheap vanilla extract but doubt my premium vanilla would have saved them.

I suspect Boyfriend didn’t like them either. He didn’t say, but normally he’s falling over himself to eat my cookies (naughty!), but not this time.

I made these because I’ve had a bottle of corn syrup for a year and done nothing with it, and I wanted to get rid of some ingredients in the pantry before Boyfriend has an apoplexy every time he opens it. “It’s bursting with stuff Patty, why do you need so much stuff??”

I’m looking forward to trying other recipes from this book though.

Conjecture:

  1. Is this really an “Old World favourite”? I am thinking no, not if it’s made like this.
  2. Suspect this recipe is loosely based off the idea of a traditional Florentine, whatever that is, but Americanized to utilize cheap ingredients and make it easier to produce. Hard to  imagine traditional Florentines contain corn syrup and quick oats.
  3. Suspect cookies from the Old World, like their architecture, is superior to modern ones. Suspect a traditional Florentine is probably delicious and nothing at all like this recipe.

Playlist: Ayashi no Ceres – OST

Communicate your results: and… publish!

Have you ever been disappointed by a new recipe?

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