Florentine cookies - Caramelised almonds layered on top of buttery shortbread
Florentine cookies are toffee-like cookies that are made from a base of nuts, fruits, butter and cream. In this version, I decided to make a shortbread where the toffee can sit on top. If you wanted to go the extra mile, drizzle on some dark chocolate on top, or even better coat the bottom of the shortbread with chocolate!
The texture of the nougat is chewy but there is also a snap from the sliced almonds. The added pinch of salt also balances the flavour, so definitely don't forget to add that in.
Makes: 21 pieces | Prep time: 15 minutes | Baking time: 40 minutes
53g unsalted butter
33g icing sugar
13 g almond flour
87g plain flour
23g caster sugar
15g double cream
40g sliced almonds
pinch of salt
In a large bowl, beat the butter with a spatula until smooth. Then add the icing sugar and mix until fully incorporated.
Add the almond flour to the butter mixture. Mix until combined. Next, add in the whisked egg - you may need to do this in two stages.
Once all the egg has been incorporated, add in the plain flour and mix until combined. You will notice that the dough is slightly wetter than usual - this is fine. Just cover the dough in clingfilm and try to shape it into a square. Cool in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
Remove the dough from the fridge - it has now become firm. On a clean surface, sprinkle some flour to prevent the dough from sticking and onto the rolling pin.
Gently, but firmly, bang the dough so that it softens slightly - this will help with rolling it out. Once you can feel the dough is more pliable, roll it out into a square that is 5mm thick. Re-wrap in the clingfilm and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 190°C/ 170 fan/ gas mark 3.
Place the dough onto a lined baking tray, and using a fork, dock the dough to help release the steam. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
When you have removed the shortbread out from the oven, it's time to make the nougat. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan except for the sliced almonds. Once the mixture has become bubbly and golden, add the sliced almonds into the pan and mix to coat.
Spread the nougat mixture on top of the shortbread. You may want to use foil to barricade the edges so it doesn't spread so much in the oven. Bake in the oven for a further 20 minutes.
As soon as they're ready, you want to cut these into 21 slices while they are hot. Let them cool completely on a cooling rack after you have cut them.