Quite an elegant version of cookies and ice cream, these chocolate-dipped almond florentine cookies are almostcandy. The dough may be made up to three days ahead of time and cooked on the day you plan to serve them. Note that this dough spreads out very thin when cooked. If you opt for making them by dropping spoonfuls on a Silpat- or parchment-lined pan, use very small spoonfuls and place them far apart. If your cookies spread together, cut or stamp them into individual cookies. Likewise, if you don’t have enough molds to do the whole batch at once, bake just a few at a time, keeping the rest of the dough in the refrigerator between batches.
- Unsalted Butter - unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- Sugar - 1 pound
- Honey - 1-1/2 pounds
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 10 ounces
- Almonds - 2 pounds, sliced, toasted
- Semi-sweet Chocolate, - 4 ounces, chopped
- Vanilla ice cream
- Cocoa - for dusting
In a large saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, honey, and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens. It should not begin to color. Put the almonds in a large heatproof bowl and pour the hot mixture over them. Fold together. Cover with plastic wrap. Place the batter in the refrigerator and let chill for at least 1 hour, until the batter has thickened to a sticky mass. The batter may be made up to 3 days ahead.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking pans with silicone liners or parchment paper. Using a 4-inch ring molds, place the molds on the prepared pan and press the almond mixture into the molds. Keep the dough inside the molds thin, 1/4 to just less than 1/2 inch thick. Make at least 24 florentines. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the centers are set. Remove and let cool. Lift the molds. Bake in batches if necessary, keeping the dough refrigerated between batches.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Take the chocolate off the heat. One at a time, lift a florentine in your fingers and touch it to the top of the chocolate, coating one side of the florentine. Set aside to cool and set.
To serve: Place a scoop of ice cream on each serving plate. Lean two florentines against the ice cream scoops. Dust the plates with cocoa powder.