Florentine Bars

December 20, 2010 § 8 Comments

Italian Florentines are supposed to be thin, round, lacy cookies. Clearly, mine have none of these characteristics. To make these lacy treats, the cookie dough ingredients are integrated in a saucepan and then mounds of the dough are spooned onto a baking sheet to form individual cookies. I might have placed the mounds too close to each other, or the mounds were too large. Either way, the mounds baked into large masses rather than a tray of cookies. I almost threw them away, but instead I folded each mass over itself and let them cool. Once it was slightly cooled and the parchment paper was able to pull away easily, I placed one mass on top of the other and pushed them together, letting the huge mass cool further and then, once firm, cut them into bars. At this point I realized that my Florentine mistakes actually looked intentionally bar-like! And they were quite tasty. They have a very light, sweet and citrusy flavor from the honey and orange zest with a very delicate crunch from the almonds. They are slightly gooey right out of the freezer and are best served cold. These don’t have to be a holiday cookie, but they would make a great addition to your holiday cookie tray!

Florentine Bars:
adapted from Giada’s Florentines
yields approx. 24 1 inch bars
– 2 cups sliced almonds, chopped
– 2 tbsp AP flour
– 2 tsp grated orange zest (I used 1 medium orange)
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
– 1/3 cup whipping cream
– 2 tbsp honey
– 8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk almonds, flour and zest in a small bowl. Stir together sugar, butter, cream and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in dry mixture thoroughly and then cool for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Spoon batter onto two medium parchment paper covered baking sheets forming rectangles a few inches from the pans’ edges. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and the middle is slightly golden and firm. Move the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to a flat surface, and fold each over itself after they have cooled for a few minutes. Let each log cool for 20-30 minutes longer, peel the parchment paper from one log and then return it the paper, peel the parchment paper from the other log and place it on top of the first log. Let the whole mass cool for about 20 minutes longer and then use a serrated bread knife to cut the log into 1 inch bars. Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler (in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water), stirring constantly. Dip one end of each bar into the chocolate, and chill on fresh parchment paper in the freezer. Serve from the freezer and enjoy!

As I mentioned, this has been submitted to this week’s I Heart Cooking Clubs where the theme is December Holiday Potluck.

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