Time given: 1hr 15 min My time: About that much
Items purchased: demerara sugar,
golden syrup, so many nuts.
These are delicious. And easy! Also incredibly messy. The hardest thing about this in fact, was that they were supposed to be 18 of them. For some reason, I had real trouble dividing the dough into 18 even segments. I couldn’t just halve it over and over until I was done, and weighing it wasn’t working so well, because it seemed to be solidifying by the second!
I actually ended up doing this twice – I know – CHEATING. But I wasn’t super happy with the first batch, and ended up leaving them in too long. And then I was in too much of a hurry and didn’t get 18 out of the second batch, more like 15. So, I didn’t do so well. But they were really good!
So, to make these, you basically make a caramel “dough” out of golden syrup and demerara sugar, with a little flour and butter. Then you add a bunch of chopped nuts, cranberries, and grated orange peel. Trouble is, I could not find golden syrup ANYWHERE for love or money. I even went to Whole Foods and World Market, but no dice. Golden Syrup is a British Staple, I guess – something like a cross between molasses and corn syrup. I could have ordered it from Amazon, but I’m really too impatient for that. Though, if I’d just ordered it in the first place it would have gotten here in two days, and it probably took me four to search every store in the city. Oh well. I ended up using corn syrup as a substitute, which I think worked out OK in the end.
Its funny, because I thought the trouble would be the demerara sugar. I was not previously familiar with that type of sugar, but I found that almost everywhere I looked. I actually found a very helpful article on The Kitchn that explained different types of sugars, and now I feel so much smarter and more worldly.
I did not grate orange peels, either. I happened to have some dried orange peel from Penzeys. So, I wasn’t really sure how much to put in. But I’m of the opinion that you can’t have too much orange flavor, and put in about half the jar.
So here’s the real trouble with these cookies: They’re supposed to be crisp, crunchy, with lacy edges. And my instructions were to make 18 of them using the recipe provided: This one. 18 cookies out of this recipe end up HUGE. Maybe that’s the challenge. But it made them very uneven. This is probably why my first batch overbrowned – I was trying to make sure the middle was done and overshot. If I was making this for personal use, I would make the cookies about half the size – for ease of eating, if nothing else.
You also have to cover the back of the cookie in tempered chocolate.
Confession: I have no idea how to temper chocolate.
I suspect I’ll be learning very soon.
I feel like the chocolate masks the pretty caramel color on the edges… Oh well, not my decision.
And very important: The forking.
Yes, make sure you give a good forking to the chocolate, in order to satisfy Mary Berry.
There you have it! Florentines! They came out quite well, if I do say so myself. I may have eaten 6 or 7. I’ll never tell.