Florentines

Naked Florentines

Naked Florentines

Florentines

Florentines

For Christmas 2014 I didn’t have a lot of baking planned but wanted to try a couple of new recipes. There have been a few Florentine recipes being posted recently and I do like the look of them! So I decided to give them a try… My dad is pretty difficult to buy gifts for so this Christmas he got a hamper of goodies, mainly shop bought foods as I worried that he won’t get round to eating homemade foods with all the extra treats that are around during the Christmas holidays!

My dad has to control his intake of sugar and fat intake as diabetes and heart problems run in the family. He likes to snack in between meals but isn’t a fan of chocolate. These Florentines seemed like an ideal addition to his hamper since they are mostly made of store-cupboard ingredients, so can sit around for a little longer in a hamper. Although they are made of sugar, a little goes a long way and the use of dried fruits adds lots of natural sweetness too.

I came across this useful article where the writer did all the hard work of trying out several Florentine recipes and came up with the ideal one. Who am I to go look a gift horse in the mouth? I did change make some changes to the ingredients for the recipe to adapt to the dried fruits that I had to hand. I also decided to skip the chocolate coating, hence the ‘naked’ Florentines!

Florentines

Naked Florentines

Ingredients:

  • 45g Butter
  • 60g Demerara sugar
  • 100g Dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 50g Soft dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 60g Blanched almond slivers
  • 15g Plain flour
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 tbs Double cream

Method:

  • Heat oven to 180 degrees C and line a large baking tray with grease-proof paper
  • In a small saucepan melt the butter and sugar on a low heat, set to one side
  • In the meantime combine all the dried fruits and nuts in a bowl and toss in the flour
  • Stir the double cream and salt into the melted butter then add the fruit and nut mixture
  • Spoon 1 tsp blobs of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and flatten as much as possible and leaving enough space around each round for spreading when baking
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, mine took 10 minutes and were already very brown on the edges! Allow to cool completely in the tin otherwise they will fall apart
  • Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days
Florentines

Florentines

 Apologies for the poor quality of the photos but you get the idea! 🙂

Candied Nuts

 

Spiced Candied Nuts

Spiced Candied Nuts

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about candied nuts on blogs recently and have really wanted to try them out! I saw them at the German Christmas markets but they were very expensive, being sold by weight, so I stayed well clear…

Tammela Platts shared in her blog ‘Wherever I am, you are there also’ a recipe for ‘Candied Almonds’ which I just had to try out as the recipe is very simple and I like the idea of separating them into little food gift bags…

However my plans of Christmas baking this weekend have been scuppered by a disaster at home involving a leaking toilet and waking up to pools of water in the living room on Saturday morning. After a stressful 24 hours of having no water in the house, I finally got back on track and settled down to baking some tasty treats to celebrate the holiday season.

Spiced Candied Nuts

Spiced Candied Nuts

The only problem I had was that the caramel stuck a little to the grease proof paper that I lined the baking tray with, so next time I will use baking paper (I’ve run out after lots of baking recently!).

I would highly recommend this recipe! The balance of sweet, salty and spice are perfect and the nuts are so yummy! It takes a lot of willpower to stop eating them and portion them up for gifts. I also used a bag of mixed nuts that I had in the cupboard which contained hazelnuts, brazils, peanuts, almonds and pecans. My favourites are the hazelnuts so I’m slowly picking them all out for myself…

Thanks Tammela! I think I will making many more batches of these beauties in the coming weeks… 🙂