Chocolate-Dipped Orange and Ginger Florentines

posted by BeckyB 12-17-101 9:20 AM

Chocolate-Dipped Orange and Ginger Florentines

Chewy, candylike caramel cookies enhanced with orange and crystallized ginger. The leftover orange sugar syrup is a delicious sweetener for hot tea.

Sugared Orange Peel:
3 oranges
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

For peel: Remove peel from oranges (orange part only) in strips using vegetable peeler. Finely chop enough peel to measure 2 teaspoons and set aside for cookie batter. Blanch remaining peel in small saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes. Drain. Return blanched orange peel strips to saucepan. Add 1/2 cup sugar and water and bring to boil, stirring frequently. Boil 5 minutes. Drain; reserve syrup for another use.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar on plate. Arrange orange peel strips atop sugar. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove peel from sugar. Finely chop enough peel to measure 2 tablespoons; reserve remainder for another use.

For cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 heavy large cookie sheets with foil. Lightly butter foil. Combine first 4 ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Add 2 teaspoons minced unsugared peel, 2 tablespoons chopped sugared orange peel, almonds, flour and ginger. Bring mixture to boil, stirring frequently.

Drop 1 level tablespoon mixture (mixture will be runny) onto prepared cookie sheet. Repeat 5 more times, spacing cookies about 3 inches apart. Repeat procedure with second cookie sheet. Bake cookie until edges are pale golden, brown, about 8 minutes (cookies will spread). Remove cookie sheets from oven. Using 3-inch round cookie cutter, push cookie sides in to reshape cookies into 3-inch rounds. Slide foil off sheets. Cool cookies on foil. Turn foil over. Carefully peel off cookies. Line same cookie sheets with new foil. Repeat with remaining batter.

Line 2 cookie sheets with foil. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from over water. Dip 1 cookie halfway into chocolate; shake off excess chocolate. Place cookie on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes. Remove cookies from foil. (Can be prepared 2 weeks ahead. Refrigerate in airtight container between sheets of waxed paper. Let cookies stand 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.)

Makes 24.

Bon Appétit
December 1990

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