Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chocolate Macadamia Florentines

By: Anna Olson

These are truly a pastry chef’s cookie. More like a candy, it’s hard to believe that such small measurements of ingredients yield so many cookies, but they do. Tips for success include using a Teflon-coated mini-muffin pan or a flexible silicone pan for easy removal of the baked cookies. It is also important to measure ½ teaspoon (2 mL) of filling into each cup—this will ensure they all bake evenly in their pan. And lastly, don’t wander too far from the oven—the difference of just 30 seconds can mean the difference between a perfectly golden Florentine and an “over-caramelized” Florentine.

½ cup (125 mL) whole salted macadamia nuts
¼ cup (50 mL) whipping cream
¼ cup (50 mL) sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) corn syrup
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
¾ cup (175 mL) good-quality chocolate chips or chopped coating chocolate (available at bulk stores)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Generously grease 24 mini-muffin cups.

3. Pulse macadamia nuts in food processor until coarse crumbs.

4. Combine whipping cream, sugar, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepot over medium-high heat. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in macadamia nuts.

5. Measure ½ tsp (2 mL) of mixture into each well-greased muffin cup. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until a deep golden brown (watch oven carefully—once Florentines start browning, they progress quickly). Let cookies cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes. To remove, use a bamboo skewer or the tip of a paring knife and push down the side of cooled cookie gently (rotating the tool slightly helps pop the cookie out).

6. Melt chocolate chips or coating chocolate in microwave on medium heat, stirring every 10 seconds. Brush the bottom of each Florentine with melted chocolate and place on a clean, parchment-lined baking tray until set. Alternatively, Florentines can be drizzled with melted chocolate. Florentines will keep up to a week in an airtight container.

Makes about 4 dozen


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