Cherry Orange Florentines
These might possibly be the most addictive, scrumptious cookies I have ever tasted. Be prepared to be unable to resist the chewy and crunchy combination of caramel, chocolate, orange, cherries, and almonds.
Field Notes: One important technique to know: it is vital to have the dried cherries, candied orange peel, and sliced almonds evenly and finely chopped. Every piece should be between 1/8 and ¼ inch. There will be some variation, which is okay, but try to get the pieces as equal as possible. If you have a candy thermometer, this recipe will be easier, but I have given you directions to follow if you don’t. Also, these really spread, so space them as suggested.
Lifespan: 1 week refrigerated in airtight container in single layers separated by waxed paper.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Taste and Texturechocolatey, nutty
Type of Dishcookie, dessert
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup sliced natural almonds, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup minced candied orange peel
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Place butter, sugar, heavy cream, and honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Swirl pan around a few times to blend ingredients. Reduce heat until mixture is at a low boil and cook to 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer (if you dip a spoon into the mixture and dribble it in a glass of cold water, it will spin a thread). Stir almonds, cherries, candied peel, and flour into cream mixture with a wooden spoon until evenly combined. Scrape mixture into a bowl (it will cool more quickly) and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir occasionally to release heat; mixture will thicken.
Drop by generously rounded teaspoon 4 inches apart on cookie sheets. The rounder your “drops,” the rounder, and more attractive, your baked cookies will be.
Bake until an even golden brown (absolutely remember to shift pans front to back halfway through), about 12 minutes. Cookies will bubble and spread and possibly lose their round shape. Place pans on rack. If the cookies are misshapen, immediately coax them into a round shape by pushing in stray edges with side of an offset spatula (or butter knife) dipped in hot water. Slide parchment onto racks to cool cookies completely.
Meanwhile, temper chocolate. Carefully remove cooled cookies from sheet with spatula or your fingers. Using a small offset spatula, spread chocolate over bottoms of cookies. Make a wavy pattern with a decorator’s comb or fork, if desired. Place cookies, chocolate side up, back on sheet. Place in refrigerator until chocolate is set.
2003 Dede Wilson