The first time I had a Florentine was in Sydney when a friend brought some over for an afternoon tea that I was hosting. I have to admit, I had never heard of Florentines before then. I had seen them in cafes, but had never looked twice at them because (to be honest) I am not a huge fan of nuts and dried fruits. I thought that they were a variant of a muesli bar lol!
Long story short, after having tried the Florentine – I found a new favorite snack!
When I was doing my research on recipes for Florentine this month, I found that there is some debate on the web about the origination of the Florentine. I had assumed that it originated from Italy (also noted in Wikipedia), however, there appears to be evidence that the Florentine originated from France……thought that was an interesting bit of dessert trivia.
My recipe is a variation of the classic Florentine. I used toasted, flaked almonds, cranberries and glace cherries over a shortbread biscuit. The result is a light, buttery, caramel almond biscuit. It is a bit more substantial than the Florentines that I have had from the cafes, but I like the biscuit combination. The shortbread recipe is one that my mother used when we were growing up.
A combination of other nuts and dried fruits can be used in place of the almonds, cranberries or glace cherries. Because of the multi-colored glace cherries I used in this recipe – the result is a sort of Christmas-y biscuit. Christmas in June anyone?