Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Blackberry Pockets Special

Recipe Review
berry ranking scale -- 5 berries!

Welcome to a special recipe review edition of Blackberry Pockets. These recipes are part of the Food Network’s “Twelve Days of Cookies”, an annual newsletter they publish that provides exclusive holiday cookie recipes, and will be ranked using my newly developed Five Berry Scale!

The Twelve Days of Cookies contains, appropriately, twelve cookie recipes plus one bonus but unfortunately, I only had time to test two. I did initially plan to blog the entire series but as it turns out, the holiday season has not left me with much free time for writing (I really need to start bringing the laptop to the bar…). In any case, the recipe under evaluation today is Almond Lace Cookies (Florentines) from The Food Network Kitchens.

*In order to properly judge these recipes, I made sure to adhere strictly to the recipe and also made three simple judging criteria, which are the following:

Accessibility: Does the recipe consist of ingredients that can be found at an average grocery store (for reasonable prices)?

Pay off: Is the resulting quality of the cookies worth the necessary effort required to make them?

Taste: Obviously the most important criterion and the one that carries the most weight in the decision making process — do the cookies taste good?

Almond Lace Cookies (Florentines)

almond lace cookies

My thoughts:
These cookies consisted of simple, easy to find ingredients that many people would usually have around the house, especially around the holiday baking season. The need to boil sugar and essentially make candy to use in the batter was, although not terribly difficult, kind of a pain. Ultimately, I found their taste to be a kind of bland and the texture to be somewhat gritty. I probably won’t make them again but they were very pretty and if you really like almonds, they are worth trying.
Overall rank: 3 out of 5
berry ranking scale -- 3 berries

*Note, I found the following sentence of the recipe to be somewhat confusing and thought I would clarify it for you in case you make the same mistake I did and burn your cookies:
“Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown color throughout, rotating pans halfway through baking time, about 10 to 11 minutes.”

The way the sentence is constructed, I took it to mean that halfway through the baking time was 10 to 11 minutes in. However, this was incorrect. 10 to 11 minutes is the total and MAXIMUM amount of time these cookies should be baked.

I took the liberty of rewriting that section. For clarity's sake:
Bake 1 pan at a time, about 10 to 11 minutes, until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown color throughout. Rotate the pans halfway through the baking time.