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French Florentine Cookies

These crunchy chocolate coated cookies are popular in France at Christmas. They were also great when our friend Kathy made them while we were visiting in December.

1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
3/4 cup candied orange peel* (see note below)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 T butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chocolate chips of your choice

Combine almonds, peel and flour. Set aside.
In heavy saucepan combine butter, cream and sugar. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in floured fruit.
Grease and flour 2 baking sheets. Drop batter by spoonfuls (1 T) at least 3 inches apart,
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool slightly and then remove to cooling rack.

Spread or brush with melted chocolate on the underside of each cookie.
Makes about 24 cookies.

* Since peel isn’t always available, you might want to check the Internet for an easy homemade recipe.

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Chocolate Nut Tart

I first made this recipe for a church function which was called “Broadway and Chocolate”. Members of the choir performed Broadway melodies and during several intermissions, you submitted tickets which entitled you to a plate of various chocolate desserts which had been made by the church members. It was a great fundraiser. That was 7 years ago and still this recipe stands the test of time…I just made it today! Served with a very good vanilla ice cream makes it even better.  Keep the slices small as it is quite rich!!!

Chocolate Nut Tart

Makes: One large tart Total Time: 1 hour (can be made ahead)

what you need

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 T chilled butter in 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 T whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c toasted whole almonds (4 oz)
  • 3/4 c hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 3/4 c walnuts
  • 3/4 c light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c melted butter cooled (1/2 stick)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

make it

Cookie Crust – Combine flour and sugar in processor. Cut in the butter using on/off motion. Add whipping cream and vanilla. On/off motion until moist clumps. Add more cream if too dry. Press dough over bottom and up sides of 11″ diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Let stand for 30 minutes. (I think you could also just do  these as bars in a square pan).

Filling -Combine all nuts in food processor. Chop coarsely. Whisk syrup, sugar and butter in large bowl. Add eggs and extracts. Mix in chocolate chips. Add nuts. Transfer into crust.

Bake at 350 degrees about 40-50 minutes.