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I have baked a tray of florentine pastry, and I have spread chocolate on it (dark and milk). It's about 35 x 35 cm. Now I'd like to make cookies out of it.

I know recipes say to cut the pastry when it's still warm, but it was just far too thin and fluid to do so: it would basically have amounted to pushing a knife into almond flakes which are floating in a sauce; it didn't seem realistic at all.

The pastry is nice and crisp and thin now (as thin as I could get it, maybe 3–5 mm), as it should be. The consistency is a bit like semi-hard caramel. but of course with almond flakes over the entire surface (so much less hard, easier to break/cut). How can I best cut (square-shaped) cookies out of it?

I don't think breaking is an option, so it has to be cutting or sawing? I see no option but to use a large kitchen knife. Should I press it down until it snaps? Or should I move it along the length of the desired cut ('sawing')? Should I use a smooth knife or a serrated knife (probably not)? Or is there anything else you can recommend?

I'm afraid I might break the pastry into irregular shards and bits if I do it wrong, but I haven't tried yet without asking you!

P.S. It doesn't stick to the baking-paper much, so that won't be an issue.

P.P.S. You see the orange in the picture which I grated for the zest.

enter image description here

Epilogue: I ended up cutting them with a non-serrated knife, which I put in a pan of very hot water between 'cuttings', to partly melt the cut (wipe with paper towels in between). I cut by moving the knife up and down the length of the cut ('sawing'), but I did also exert some downward pressure. It worked well enough, except for some breaking at the edges which were not flat at the bottom (because of the uneven baking tray).

enter image description here

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  • Florentines are tricky, I've found it easier to make individual sized ones rather than trying to cut them later, but if you do want to make them as a sheet let them cool just a bit to harden up and then cut them as quickly as you can, the window is short. – GdD Feb 20 at 9:56
  • @GdD: Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe I missed the right window. – Cerberus Feb 21 at 0:21
  • Those look pretty tasty @Cerberus, shape notwithstanding! – GdD Feb 21 at 14:10
  • @GdD: Merci! These are actually the worst one, qua shape.The large majority turned out as nice squares or diamonds. – Cerberus Feb 21 at 16:09
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I find that it's easiest to cut fragile, hard things with a serrated knife. I would go with a bread knife and slowly saw though it. In the future, I would recommend waiting until they're slightly set but still warm and cut then instead of waiting until it's completely cooled.

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    Thanks for the idea! I think maybe a very finely serrated knife might work, but I only had a large one with large teeth. I couldn't muster the courage. Up until the pastry was hard, it didn't seem possible to do anything with it at all; but perhaps I should be looking for the right window more closely next time... sawing with a hot knife worked well enough, though. – Cerberus Feb 21 at 0:17
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I'm not sure how brittle your recipe is, but if it has a little bit of plasticity, I would try scissors. They will likely produce better cuts. If it is not scissor friendly, a sharp pizza wheel might also do better than a knife.

If you do use a knife, sawing should be better than pressing, less chance of it spluttering under the knife.

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  • Thanks for your suggestion! I tried cutting with scissors, but it was too aplastic, it broke. Pizza wheel might be nice, if I had one. I sawed with a plain knife, which worked well enough where the bottom was flat (because one does need to exert some pressure). I used a hot knife (put in a pan of water between cuts). – Cerberus Feb 21 at 0:17

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