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(c) Julia Briggs for use by English Tea Store. All rights reserved.

If you need something sweet then Florentines are wonderful. They sound Italian but I think they are of French origin. They are fairly easy to make but require constant attention so don’t start them if you are doing something else. For approximately 20 Florentines you will need:

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(c) Julia Briggs for use by English Tea Store. All rights reserved.

A quantity of quartered glace cherries, chopped almonds, flaked almonds, candied peel and chopped dried apricots.  Difficult to be precise but about 10 oz in total.

3 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
1/2 oz plain flour
2 tablespoons of double cream
4 oz block of chocolate.

Oven 180 C, 350 F or gas 4.  A greased baking sheet or one lined with baking parchment.

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(c) Julia Briggs for use by English Tea Store. All rights reserved.

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(c) Julia Briggs for use by English Tea Store. All rights reserved.

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(c) Julia Briggs for use by English Tea Store. All rights reserved.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the sugar and bring gently to the boil. Take off the heat. Cover the fruit and nuts with the flour and then stir into the mixture add the cream and leave to cool and set. When quite cold and set, place teaspoons of the mixture onto a baking sheet leaving plenty of room for expansion. Bake in the centre of your oven for about three minutes then take out and pull the biscuits together into a circle with a metal pastry cutter. Bake for another three minutes.  If necessary repeat the pulling together one more time and cook for another two minutes. Once cooked the biscuits will change to a darker colour; leave on the sheet until cold then very carefully remove to a cooling rack with a spatula. The biscuits are fragile at this point; it is the chocolate that makes them more robust. Once cold, melt your block of chocolate (if you have not eaten it by this time!) and dip or spread the underside of the biscuits with the chocolate and leave upside down to set. Just before the chocolate sets, move a fork through and make wavy lines on the chocolate. These will keep for some time in an airtight tin but they are very moreish so hide them away if they are for a special occasion.

~JB

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