White Elephant

Almond lace cookie
Last night, I hosted my annual White Elephant party.  Normally, I cook something extravagant.  After last years disastrous attempts at a pork loin recipe from Bon Appetit, I decided to keep it simple.  Pizza, an arugla, orange, dried cranberry and goat cheese salad and two types of dessert.  Obviously, the dessert part is my favorite. 

My favorite was the Almond Oat Lace cookies (above).  It was easy to make and it was delicious.  One caveat:  the instructions say to spoon the batter by two teaspoons.  I recommend one teaspoon scoops instead.  Mine spread all over the baking sheet.  I had to reform them into circles with a spatula.  Mine weren't pretty but my friends enjoyed them.

Orange1
I also made the made the Candied Orange Peel recipe from Style Notes.  I'm using their picture because mine DID NOT look like this.  Although the final product was also tasty, they were not attractive.  (Notice a theme to this cooking adventure?)  

Enjoy!

 

Recipes below:

Almond Oat Lace Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole natural unsalted almonds with skins
  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
Instructions:

Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper. Pulse almonds and oats in a food processor until coarse meal forms. Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add both sugars and honey; whisk until blended and sugar dissolves, 1–2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add nut mixture, flour, and salt; stir until well blended.

Spoon batter by 2-teaspoon portions onto baking sheets, spacing 2 1/2" apart. Using your fingertips, pat cookies down to 1/4"-high rounds; push in any jagged edges to form smooth circles. Bake, rotating sheets after 6 minutes, until dark golden brown and cookies spread out into a thin layer, 10–12 minutes. Slide cookies on parchment onto a wire rack and let cool.

Using a pastry brush, brush half of each cookie with melted chocolate. Let stand until the chocolate is set, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight between sheets of parchment or waxed paper.

Chocolate Candied Orange Peel
 
Ingredients:

  • 2 large naval orange
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • fleur de sel for garnish

 Instructions:

  1. Cut the oranges in quarters and remove the segments. Slice remaining peels into thin pieces; Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the sugar and water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add sliced orange peels and reduce the heat to simmer. Let simmer about 45 minutes until the sugar water is very thick and sticky and the orange peels have almost become translucent.
  4. Remove orange peels and let dry and harden on wax paper for two hours.
  5. Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler and dip each peel halfway in.  Top with fleur de sel.
  6. Let harden and serve.

 

Almond Oat Lace cookie recipe from epicurious.comCandied Orange Peel recipe from Style Notes.

 

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