March 14, 2013

Florentines

A delectable dessert that elegantly fits into an Italian themed menu! 

Floretines are delicate, crispy, lacey cookies made of almonds coated with a sweet mixture of sugar & honey. These cookies are great for give-away as gifts especially during the holiday season.


I remember seeing Giada making this recipe in one of her "Food" network shows. Frankly, it didn't strike a right note for me then and I kind of forgot about it! Last week, as I was searching for an Italian dessert recipe, I stumbled upon this one. Though unsure about the outcome and taste, I decided to give it a try simply for its not-so-intricate details & ingredients.


Nevertheless, the cookies came out wonderfully baked - sweet, nutty, crunchy, chewy - perfect mingle of texture & flavors. Orange zest made all the difference by adding a deep flavor and gave an extra zing that the cookie needs!


These cookies are so good that you wouldn't want to stop after munching on one. So, make plenty of them. All my cookies were over in just few hours.


Basic Info
Complexity - simple
Prep time - 20 mins
Cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 25 cookies

Ingredients
Whole walnuts - 1/4 cup
Blanched whole almonds - 3/4 cup  (couple of nuts here or there doesn't matter)
All-purpose flour - 1.5 tbsp
Orange zest - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Heavy cream - 1 tbsp
Honey - 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter - 2.5 tbsp
Pure vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp

Method
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F for atleast 15 mins.

Pulse almonds & walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped, but not pasty. Combine the nuts, flour, orange zest, salt in a big bowl. Set it aside.

In a small saucepan, cook sugar, heavy cream, honey, butter over medium heat. Cook the mixture until it comes to a rolling boil and the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil for another 1 min. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour it over the almond mixture and stir just to combine. Set aside to cool.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take about a tsp of the batter and make small balls out of it. Place them on the baking sheet leaving about 2-3 inches between each cookie, as it spreads out in the oven.


Bake for about 10 mins until the cookies are thin and evenly browned, rotating the baking pan in between (after 5 mins).


Cool on the baking sheet for 15 mins or more. Enjoy!


Notes:
  • Let the cookies cool completely before removing from the parchment paper, otherwise they stick to the paper and don't come off easily.
Serving suggestions: (optional)
  • Chocolate sandwich: Spread about 1/2 tsp of melted chocolate onto the flat side of a cookie, cover it with the flat side of another cookie and let the chocolate set.
  • Ice cream sandwich: Mound about half a scoop of chocolate (or any other flavor) ice cream; spread it gently with a spatula, top it with another cookie. Freeze & enjoy.

  • Chocolate decorDrizzle melted chocolate over Florentines and let the chocolate set at room temperature.
Events
Linking it to the event 'Healthy food for healthy kids - Italian' hosted by Nivedhanams and Nithu's kitchen.



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