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Crispy Walnut and Cranberry Florentines

Crispy Walnut and Cranberry Florentines

This is a recipe for florentines baked with a generous topping of walnuts and cranberry nougat.
They feature a delightfully crisp texture.

Ingredients: one 25 × 25 cm baking tray's worth

Cookie dough using Recipe ID: 991341 (or your favorite cookie dough)
using 200 g cake flour (enough to make 400 g of dough)
Walnuts
130 g (100 g if using sliced almonds)
Dried cranberries (or your choice of dried fruit)
40 g (refer to Step 5)
Butter...★
30 g
Granulated sugar...★
70 g
Honey...★
20 g
Mizu-ame syrup...★
20 g
Dairy heavy cream...★
100 ml
Your choice of aroma essence (optional)...★
as needed
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Steps

1. Thoroughly chill the Recipe ID: 991341 dough in the refrigerator for more than 30 minutes.
2. Use your choice of cookie dough (to yield about 400 g of dough). I recommend this dough, however, since it is very easy to make and does not become hard.
3. Crush the walnuts into bite sized pieces and spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast them for 15 minutes in an oven set to 340°F/170°C.
4. Once the walnuts cool to the touch, chop them vertically and horizontally into 5-8 mm pieces.
5. Cut the cranberries into small pieces. If you prefer a stronger berry flavor, add 30 g more cranberries.
6. Combine the walnuts and cranberries, and set them aside in a bowl.
7. Combine all of the ★ ingredients in a pan (I recommend using a pan that doesn't burn easily).
8. To bake, generally, the baking tray is first lined with a sheet of parchment paper, but instead, I recommend placing the parchment paper over the dough, then flipping it over onto the baking tray.
9. On your working surface, lay out a sheet of plastic wrap larger than the size of your baking tray, and place the dough from Step 1 on top, then place another sheet of plastic wrap over the dough.
10. I recommend placing a thin board underneath the plastic wrap under the dough to make the following steps easier.
11. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to a size slightly larger than your desired baking size. Remove the plastic wrap from the top, then trim the dough into your desired baking size.
12. While it depends on your taste, the florentine will be crispier and easier to eat if the dough is rolled thinly (about 3-4 mm).
13. Place a sheet of parchment paper slightly larger than the baking tray over the rolled out dough, then gently roll your rolling pin over it to make the parchment paper stick to the dough.
14. Let the dough sit for 15 minutes in the fridge or in the freezer to harden. Since the cookie dough is thin and large, this will make it easier to arrange on the baking sheet.
15. Once the cookie dough hardens, flip it over onto the baking sheet with the parchment paper still attached to the dough.
16. I actually roll the dough on my rolling pin and spread it on the baking tray after Step 11, but if that sounds too tricky, I recommend following Steps 9-15, which is easier.
17. I recommend chilling the dough after rolling it to make it easier to spread out (and flip over) the dough.
18. Poke holes randomly in the dough after placing it on the baking tray. This will prevent the dough from rising and will help it bake flat.
19. Bake Step 18 for 20-25 minutes in an oven set to 360°F/180°C. Let the dough cool on the baking tray. In the meantime, prepare the nougat.
20. Heat up the pan from Step 7 over medium heat while stirring. The ingredients will start to produce tiny bubbles, which will gradually increase to medium-sized bubbles as shown.
21. The bubbles should become larger and the mixture should become thicker. The color should also slightly become cream-like. Keep your eye on the pan.
22. Continue stirring the mixture from Step 21 and continue to cook. It should become thicker and the cream color will become darker.
23. Stir the mixture from Step 22 slightly faster with a spatula while simmering. It should become even thicker, meaning it is almost ready.
24. Turn off the heat once the mixture resembles the mixture shown here. Be careful not to simmer too long or else it will caramelize to a hard texture.
25. Add the walnuts and cranberries from Step 6 to the mixture from Step 24 and mix.
26. Adding the cranberries and walnuts makes the color of the nougat appear darker, but ideally, it should be a light cream color, which is lighter than shown in Step 25.
27. Evenly spread the nougat from Step 26 over the cookie dough from Step 19. Use a spatula to smooth the surface. The nougat will spread out while baking, so there's no need to be precise.
28. This photo is an orthodox florentine made with the same amount of cookie dough, using nougat made with just 100 g of sliced almonds.
29. Bake the nougat topped cookie dough from Step 27 for 25 minutes at 360°F/180°C. The baking time will depends on your oven, so keep your eye on it after baking for about 15 minutes.
30. This is the florentine with sliced almonds from Step 28.
31. Don't worry if the surface bubbles a bit after it is finished baking. It will harden naturally. If you bake it too long, the texture will not turn out, and the florentines will be hard to eat, so be careful.
32. Slide the dough onto a cooling rack from the baking sheet, and let it cool. Once it is cool to the touch, cut it into desired sizes and they are done.
33. The florentines from Step 28 will become harder and more difficult to cut as the dough cools. Don't forget to set an alarm to ring after 5 minutes.
34. I cut the walnut florentines into 3 × 8 cm for a handy size to fit the plastic bags that I have, but you can cut them into any size you like.
35. I don't like hard and sticky florentines. The combination of the crispy, light cookie and the crunchy nougat is so delicious, everybody will love them.
36. I put each piece in a plastic bag with a package of silica gel, and sealed them with a sealer.
37. I love both walnuts and cranberries or sliced almond. You can also mix them, of course. Have fun making your own version.
38. I posted a delicious florentine-style tart. It is Recipe ID: 1377041 for Florentine Amandines. Give it a try, too.

Story Behind this Recipe

I love walnuts and cranberries.
So, I used them to make florentines.
And, they turned out delicious.

I based the nougat on a recipe from a cookbook. It is made so that it should not become sticky, as long as you stick to the instructions.
Combining this with the Recipe ID: 991341 dough made the florentines crispier.