Hazelnut and Cranberry Florentines

'Tis the season for giving and my favourite foodie gifts to give and receive for Christmas are the homemade ones, packaged beautifully, with a bit of love in there. And chocolate, usually.

These Florentines with a festive spin will be in my Santa sack this year. They have all their almondy toffee goodness along with fragrant orange zest, ruby red cranberries and rich roasted hazelnuts. Deeeelish.

Over the coming weeks, Sydneysiders may find them, along with my Christmas mince tarts, at Bacino at Chowder Bay and Clifton Gardens, Thelma & Louise at Neutral Bay wharf and in the CBD at Two Penny Blue, Pitt St in The Westin, and Joe Black X, next to Louis Vuitton on King Street.

For more homemade gift giving inspiration, check out these super cute truffles and yummo cherry tarts.

Got anything planned for your foodie Santa sack this year?

Larissa x

(Makes 15)

100g flaked almonds
100g roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
150g whole dried cranberries
80g plain flour
Zest of 1/2 a small orange
80g butter
50g brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
200g couverture dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 170C. Spread two to three large baking trays with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the almonds, hazelnuts, dried cranberries, flour and orange zest.
Melt together the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 mins.
Mix the caramel into the dry ingredients.
Using a round medium sized pastry/cookie cutter, place tablespoons of mixture inside the pastry cutter on the prepared baking trays and squash the mixture with a spoon until it is spread to the edges of the cutter. Remove cutter and you should have a round shaped florentine. Allow about 3-4cm between each biscuit for spreading.
Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Leave on trays to cool and harden.
When the Florentines are completely cool, melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until it reaches between 43C and 46C. Take off the heat, avoiding steam from the water, and cool to 35C before spreading onto the back of each biscuit.
Wait for the chocolate to almost set on each biscuit before recoating and creating a wavy pattern with the prongs of a fork.
Allow the biscuits to set completely before serving or packaging.
They will keep in an airtight container or package for a week.


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