Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner? I know, it's too early but before I know it I'll be in the midst of the frantic Christmas rush. A few people in town have their Christmas trees blazing already but I can't do that--that's really too early for me. How do you dust a Christmas tree, anyhow??
Even though I'm not ready to "deck the halls" my mind is definitely on Christmas-- choir practice for our church Christmas program being the top priority at the moment. And along with the practicing and singing of Christmas carols comes the baking of Christmas cookies.
One of the cookies I've been making the last few years are these Oatmeal Florentine Cookies. They are a bit fussy to make so I like to make them well ahead, before all the Christmas fury begins. Each cookie has to be spread out on the baking sheet by hand and then after they are baked and cooled two cookies are sandwiched together with melted chocolate to make the full cookie. So you don't want to make these when you are pressed for time. But, that being said, you will be happy if you find the time to make them. They are delicious. So that's why today, six weeks before Christmas, I'm making Oatmeal Florentine Cookies and packing them away in the freezer. I'm feeling good to have these babies ready to go.
Now, if I could learn that new Christmas song I'm working on and freeze that in my brain...
Oatmeal Florentine Cookies
⅔ cup butter
2 cups quick oats
1 cup sugar
⅔ cup flour
¼ cup corn syrup
¼ cup milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt butter in saucepan. Remove pan from heat and stir in oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk or cream, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Add any optional ingredients. (I think the grated orange peel is especially good with the chocolate filling,) Drop by level teaspoons, about 2 inches apart, onto parchment lined baking sheets. Spread thinly with back of spoon or your fingers.
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure you watch these as they can burn quickly if you are not careful. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes. Remove from parchment.
Makes about 100 single cookies.
To Fill: Melt 1¾ cups chocolate chips, semi-sweet, milk chocolate or white (or some of each). Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate onto flat side of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches. Or you may drizzle chocolate over the top of single cookies.
These cookies will last for about 6 weeks in an airtight container. I have also frozen the chocolate filled cookies very successfully.
Melt butter and then add the remaining ingredients.
When mixed, drop the dough by level teaspoons. Flatten out using the back of the spoon or your fingers. Spread rather thinly. Dipping your fingers in water will make the spreading much easier.
Bake the cookies to a golden brown. You will only need 6-8 minutes. When baked, let cool for a minute or two and then remove to wire cooling rack.
Do not burn the cookies. One pan of my cookies burned at 7 minutes. Six minutes was just enough. One extra minute makes all the difference! Watch, watch, watch.
I used both milk and semi-sweet chocolate to sandwich between the cookies. I melted the chocolate chips over a barely simmering pot of water.
Spread one side of the cookie with melted chocolate and top with a second cookie.
Place the chocolate sandwiched cookies on a tray to set. The cookies can be stored at room temperature in a covered container but if the room is warm I find it best to store them in the refrigerator.
What a tasty treat. Milk or semi-sweet chocolate is sandwiched between these lacy, crunchy cookies.
Perfect for any occasion but especially Christmas!