Once again, my good friend Patricia has shared a tried and true recipe with me and it would be wrong for me to keep something so delicious to myself.
Last Christmas, we were fortunate enough to have been showered with a hamper (gift basket for stateside readers) full of lovely baked goods from Patricia but my favorite were these bars known as Poor Man’s Florentines.
Florentines come in many forms – cake, cookie, and bar – and are popular in Europe although are not necessarily Italian in origin. This recipe combines the traditional Florentine ingredients of almonds, walnuts and glacé cherries but utilizes digestive biscuits to form a soft base. If you’re in the U.S. and would like to try this recipe, you can find several varieties of digestive biscuits at World Market or you can order them online. I think McVities are the best.
Make sure you have the right size pan for this recipe – I actually bought a jelly roll pan at Sur la Table specifically for this recipe (it’s that good). Seriously, the bottom layer of digestive biscuits can’t be too thick (which would be caused by a small pan), so it’s important to have the right sized pan and this one worked well for me.
You’ll start by whizzing the digestives in a food processor or you can place them into a plastic bag and smash them with a rolling pin (good option if you’re feeling stressed!). Then, on to preparing the almonds, walnuts and glacé cherries.
I made my own glacé cherries by cooking maraschino cherries in sugar and their own juice over low heat for about 45 minutes.
Next, you’ll combine melted butter and sugar with the digestives and place the mixture into the baking pan. Top the mixture with the almonds, walnuts, and cherries and finish off the preparation by pouring one can of condensed milk over the top.
Twenty minutes or so on the oven, and you’re done!
I promise, you will love these bars – and no one will know they only took you a few minutes to put together.
Many thanks to Liam for inviting me to guest post!
Looking for other Irish inspired recipes? Liam’s got some great leads here on his site, and you can head on over to Wee Kitchen, too!