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COOKING WITH GALA

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FLORENTINE COOKIES
CHOCOLATE DIPPED ORANGE FLORENTINE 

Remove peel from 3 oranges in strips and finely chop enough to measure 2 tsp and set aside for batter. Blanche the remaining peel in a saucepan in a small amount of boiling water for 2 minutes, drain, return to the saucepan and add c sugar and c water. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Drain and reserve syrup for tea or whatever. Sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar on a plate and arrange orange strips atop it, then sprinkle with 2 tbsp more sugar. Let it stand for 15 minutes, remove the peel from the sugar and finely chop enough of the peel to measure 2 tbsp. Reserve the remainder for another use.

c plus 2 tbsp whipping cream
c sugar
c firmly packed golden brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 c lightly toasted sliced almonds
2 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
6 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F and line 2 large cookie sheets with lightly buttered foil.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat just until sugar dissolves. Add the 2 tsp unsugared peel, 2 tbsp sugared peel, almonds, flour and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Drop 1 level tbsp of the mixture onto prepared cookie sheet spacing about 3" apart. Bake until edges are a pale golden brown (about 8 minutes). Cook cookies on foil, refrigerate for about 30 minutes and then carefully peel off. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler until smooth. Dip a cookie half way into the chocolate and place on a sheet of foil to set. Makes about 24 cookies. 
Allow to stand and room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.