Florentines may not be a traditional Christmas biscuit but they always remind me of this festive season.
I don't advocate eating too much dried fruit (as it's sugar-laden compared to fresh fruit), however, Christmas is for treats and what better way to enjoy a favourite treat than by creating a healthier version.
These usually contain candied fruit, sugar and butter, however the only sugar in this recipe comes from the rice malt syrup and the natural sugars from the dried fruit, so even though they're not on par with carrot sticks, they're much better than the traditional Florentine.
Makes: 18 biscuits
Time: prep 20 mins, bake 8 mins
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup or 10 large dried figs chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup coconut shreds
- 2/3 cup rice malt syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 Tbsp almond meal
- 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line two cookie trays with baking paper.
2. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until they are roughly chopped.
3. Spread almonds, walnuts and cashews flat on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until nuts are starting to brown slightly. Remove from the oven.
4. While the nuts are cooking, chop the figs and combine with cranberries in a large bowl.
5. Add chopped nuts to dried fruit.
6. Heat rice malt syrup (either over stove top of in microwave) until bubbling gently and add vanilla and almond meal stirring for 1 minute.
7. Pour the syrup over the nuts and fruit and mix to combine.
8. Spoon mixture onto the prepared baking tray to form a biscuit shape (you may need to mould with wet hands slightly), ensuring there is approx a 4cm gap between each biscuit for spreading as they cook.
9. Bake for 8 minutes, remove from oven and let cool for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Place chopped chocolate over a double boiler in a heatproof bowl and when completely melted, dip the florentines in the chocolate and then place on baking paper and transfer to the fridge for the chocolate to harden.
These biscuits will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.