Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bocca Di Nonna - Back to Blogging

Oh boy have I been lax again! I took a week or so off from baking and it turned into a month! As it turns out after my small baking hiatus I got sick with some kind of flu-like wonder and it turned right into bronchitis which put me out of commission for a while. Then once I started baking again I seemed to be too busy catching up on stuff I neglected while I was sick that I didn't have any time to blog it. Well I am back. Sadly I only have one offering right now, unlike my sister's epic posts that tend to have 5-10 delicious treats at a go, and frankly it was quite disappointing.

I made a batch of cookies called Bocca Di Nonna. From the recipe the cookies appeared to be similar to florentine lace cookies with and earl grey chocolate ganache sandwiched in the middle. Although I made them from a recipe book you can also find the exact recipe posted online HERE (along with my less than stunning review of it). The recipe seemed simple enough. Like one of my sister's recipes for walnut cupcakes it uses a large amount of ground nuts, in this case almonds, for the bulk of the cookie. There is also a HUGE amount of butter. Herein lies my problem with these cookies. The cookies spread out a lot more than they were supposed to even though I used cold butter to begin with and chilled the dough after processing. I also made sure to allow the pans to cool between batches. There was nothing that could be done, they just contain too much butter. After removing each batch of cookies from the parchment paper they were baked on I could see rivulets of buttery grease that had been left behind. The cookies were also exceptionally brittle. After preparing and cooling the earl grey ganache (which was actually quite interesting and tasty) I endeavored to spread it on half the cookies so I could top them with the other half but the edges were so extremely fragile that I probably ended up with a few whole cookies worth of crumbs by the time I was finished. At this point I still had a feeble amount of hope that they might end up ok because they actually looked rather nice. This all being despite the fact that the ganache was oozing through some of the thinner parts of the cookies and that my hands were getting covered in grease from handling the buttery abominations. Well, I decided first to layer the cookies in paper towels. Maybe after absorbing some of the grease they would be salvageable. Then I decided to put the paper towel layered cookies in the fridge; maybe hardening up the grease would at least make them more palatable. Well nothing made me satisfied with these cookies. The flavor components are not substantial enough to hold up to the overwhelming flavor of greasiness. The only way Favorite and I have been able to dispose of them down our gullets is to break up the cookies and smother them with vanilla ice cream and cowboy sauces (chocolate and brown sugar dessert sauces made with beer). I may try these again someday, with a good amount of the butter removed from the recipe, but more likely than not, if I get the urge to make these again, I will just make florentines and add the earl grey ganache to those instead.

In defense of my lack of baking, you should know that I also made some allergy free brownie bites right before I got sick that were pretty darn tasty, but I have no pictures of them. I used the recipe posted HERE. Despite the lack of flour and eggs and dairy these little brownie nibbles were very chocolaty and satisfying. I'm sure they would be good with a dairy free ice cream if you wanted to go vegan all the way, but I know for a fact they were splendid with the good old cow ice cream that I ate them with.

So, for lack of stunning dessert pictures I will now pummel you with some adorableness. Prepare:

Peanut (the big headed guy) seems like he knows when I am taking pictures and endeavors to be supremely adorable. His charisma easily translates to pictures.

Marmalade (the mountain lion looking guy) doesn't appreciate the camera as much as he knows he ends up looking ferocious and fearsome. While I don't doubt his ability to take down a gazelle given the chance, this guy is the biggest mooshy love bug you will find.

Well that's it for this post. It is already the end of the weekend, but perhaps I could whip up something tasty as an offering to the gods of baking so that they may forget about the greasy cookies I made. I must atone for this baking catastrophe.


  1. Um, these pictures are too cute for words. Excellent strategy - instead of writing just about a baking disaster you assail the readers with adorable cat pictures. Tremendous idea. These guys are such cuties! Tell them I love them and that their cousin Elaine says "Hello!".

  2. Hi Kerri! I love the pics of your cats. I particularly enjoy that one of them (Peanut?) looks like he has a little mustache due to his coloring!