February 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

Last month, Streusel kindly took on the Biscuit Joconde Imprime/Entremet, so it was only fair that this month’s challenge belongs to me (although she did admit that she won’t be able to help herself and plans on Panna Cotta-ing soon!)

wait! there’s more, and it includes a lovely panna cotta


Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies

I’m a total sucker for my nieces and nephews (proudly so!). As an aunt, I understand that my job is involves (but is not limited to): boring people with stories, showing photos, marveling at their intelligence, and gushing over anything that any of them has drawn. Of course, part of my sucker-ness includes buying anything they’re selling.

The kids are all still pretty young (ranging in age from 4 through 8), so my oldest niece, Maddie, is the first to start in her retail career. I got the Phone Call the other day, with Maddie hocking 2011 Girl Scout Cookies. Obviously, I bought 4 boxes.

Certainly, I have a lot of affection for the nostalgic and slightly plastic taste of the GSC (I swear, Hoedowns are really covered in chocolate-colored saran). That being said, GSCs are not where I go for an authentic cookie experience. Brandon loves himself the mint and chocolate combo, and despite ordering enough Thin Mints to last us through a 2019, I decided to see what I could make happen, plastic-free, in my own kitchen.

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Dulce de Leche Cookies

Adapted from a recipe by Ingrid Hoffmann, these cookies are delicious!

It’s a quick recipe once the dulce de leche is made. 

I made my own dulce de leche by completely submersing and boiling two cans of condensed milk (unopened, low boil) for 4 hours.  I didn’t need that much dulce de leche for this recipe but had plans for the other can.  No – I didn’t eat it with a spoon while watching Dexter on Netflix although I seriously considered it!

Don’t stop here…


I grew up in a family that loved traditions during the holidays.  We routinely went to see the Nutcracker around Christmas time.  We would stay up late and eat shrimp cocktail on New Year’s Eve! This was a real treat – we never ate shrimp any other time of year.  I don’t define myself as a person that keeps with tradition.  Whenever I would give my father grief about why we do the same thing every year he would start quoting from “Fiddler on the Roof” and singing “Tradition!”  One year, when I was hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I thought it would be fun to have Mexican food.  Wow – that rocked the family tradition boat and I made turkey the very next year. 

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