from Simple French Desserts by Jill O'Connor
2/3 cup sugar
1/ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup diced candied orange peel (optional)
1 cup cake flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1. In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Stir constantly over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and combined.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the almonds and candied orange peel, if using. Add the flour and salt to the batter and stir until smooth. Transfer the batter to a cool metal bowl to speed up the cooling time. Let the batter chill for at least 1 hour. At this point the batter can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week. The will be very stiff. (Note: works to return to room temperature)
3. Place an oven rack on the middle shelf of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat sheet.
4. Roll level tablespoonfuls of batter between your palms into small balls (Note: I sometimes do smaller for teas) Place them on the prepared pan at least 2-3 inches apart.
5. Bake the florentines for 7-10 minutes, until they are flat, lacy, and a deep golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the florentines to cool completely on the pan on a wire rack.
6. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring constantly, or in a microwave oven. (Note: I don't always do the chocolate, as they are also good plain)
7. Use a metal spatula to remove a cooled florentine from the baking sheet. Spread 1 or 2 teaspoons melted chocolate over the bottom of each florentine. Give the florentine a decorative flourish by tracing a wavy pattern of lines across the soft chocolate, using the tines of a fork. Alternatively, you can sandwich 2 florentines together with melted chocolate in the middle.
8. Store florentines in a tightly covered container for up to 2 to 3 days.