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Florentines

Here is a recipe for some festive cookies for the Christmas period. Florentines are surprisingly easy to make, and in my family they disappear alarmingly quickly, so if you are expecting crowds it’s worth doubling up the quantity. Also they make a very welcome gift, if you are planning to visit friends.

Although almonds, candied peel and cherries are traditional, feel free to use other nuts, such as chopped hazelnuts, walnuts or pistachios, or a combination. Similarly you could substitute the cherries and peel with finely chopped preserved ginger, dried apricots or figs.

Makes 12 – 18, depending on their size.

Ingredients

  • 25g butter or vegan butter
  • 25g Demerara sugar
  • 25g golden syrup
  • 8 glace cherries, cut into quarters
  • 40g mixed candied peel
  • 40g flaked almonds
  • 25g plain flour
  • 100g plain chocolate, broken up

Method

Heat the oven to 180°C, gas 4. Line 2 oven trays with baking parchment.

Measure the butter, sugar and syrup into a pan. Gently heat and stir until everything has just melted.

Remove the pan from the stove.

Combine the quartered cherries, peel, almonds and flour and add the melted butter/syrup mixture.

Stir thoroughly to ensure everything is coated and combined, then place teaspoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking trays. Be sure to leave plenty of space between them; they will spread out as they cook. Bake the florentines for 10 minutes, or until they are a deep golden colour.

If they are a bit misshapen, use a table knife to push the edges into a round shape while they are still warm and soft.

Leave them to cool for a few minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack.

They will crisp up as they cool.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Once the chocolate has melted, use a spoon to spread a layer over the underside of each cooled florentine. As the chocolate starts to harden, use a fork to make zigzag patterns.

Allow the florentines to cool upside down, until the chocolate has hardened completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Posted in Erika’s Kitchen on Dec 01, 2023