Photo by Romas Foord
Florentines with Cranberries
The cranberries and chocolate caught my eye and I thought they would be a nice addition to my Christmas baking. They sound delicious.
You can vary this recipe to suit your tastes. When I investigated further there were variations on this recipe with quantities and temperatures. I am going with the one I found first which I translated from German.
Translated from Kuechen Goetter
The sour berries harmonize perfectly with these almond biscuits. While this portioning and baking requires a little practice, but the enjoyment compensates all.
Number of portions: 2-3 sheets
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Preheat Oven 400 °F or 200 °C
100 g cream (heavy) (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon honey
75 g brown sugar (eg Demerara) (1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see link to vanilla sugar below)
30 g butter (2 Tablespoons)
40 g dried cranberries (1/4 cup)
100-125 g sliced almonds (1/2 cup)
1 -2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional)
30-40 g of flour (approximately 1/4 cup)
100 g chocolate coating (optional) (4 oz)
Step 1 – The Preheat oven to 200 °C or 400 °F
(But looking at other recipes they range from 350 °F to 375 °F.)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2 – Melt honey, sugar, vanilla sugar, cream and butter in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Step 3 – Chop the cranberries (or other dried fruit). Take the creamy boiled sugar-cream from the heat and stir in cranberries along with the nuts.
Add the flour and mix until it forms a ball and fruit and nuts are well mixed.
Step 4 – Use teaspoons (maximum walnut size) add on the cookie sheet, leaving space between for the dough to melt. Press the balls with a wet finger or an oiled spoon back cautiously flat so they will brown evenly.
Bake for 8-10 minutes (or until the desired degree of browning achieved)
Bake in the center of the oven and make sure that the edges are not too dark.
Remove from the oven, wait a few minutes then pull the baking paper with the Florentines on to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Store in airtight cans, they taste best fresh in the first week.
Step 5 – Optional: Melt chocolate in hot water slowly and brush the bottom of the completely cooled Florentines.
** You need to boil the cream-butter-sugar mix until it gets thick and turns caramel brown (stir the caramel mix the whole time or it’ll burn or boil over) or your Florentines will be very pale.
** You can change the fruit to candied fruit, cherries, raisins, orange peel, marmalade, lemon peel. The same with the nut combinations walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds etc.
** Vanilla Sugar from Food Network http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/vanilla-sugar-recipe.html
** Conversions are added but metric is hard to convert precisely but as the portions are unified in one system this is okay.
I live in a metric country and in my youth I learned the Imperial Measurements. Canada did not convert to metric until 1970. Today Canadian youth understand the metric measurements.
My neighbours in the US are using US Standard Measurement based on the Imperial Measurement. Here is a link to a conversion chart.