The Florentines Recipe These crisp Italian cookies are packed full of fruit and nuts, and coated with luxurious dark chocolate. Wonderful for a quick afternoon treat.
4 tbsp butter
1⁄4 cup sugar
1 tbsp honey
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1⁄4 cup chopped mixed peel
1⁄4 cup glacé cherries, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp heavy cream
6oz (175g) good-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2 Put the butter, sugar, and honey into a small saucepan and melt gently over low heat. Then allow to cool until it is just warm. Stir in all the other ingredients except the chocolate.
3 Using a teaspoon, drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheets, leaving space between them for the cookies to spread.
4 Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden. Do not let them get too dark. Leave them on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
5 Melt the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water.
6 Once the chocolate has melted, use a palette knife to spread a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of each cookie.
7 Place the cookies chocolate-side up on a wire rack to set. Spread a second layer of chocolate over the cookies. Then just before they set, make a wavy line in the chocolate with a fork.
8 STORE These will keep in an airtight container for 5 days.
You can make a beautiful display of three different colors of Florentines by topping a third with milk chocolate, another third with white chocolate, and the remainder with dark chocolate. Or use different tones of chocolate both to top and to drizzle over in a zigzag fashion, for a stunning effect.