Pecan Florentines

Pecan florentines

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup, honey, or golden syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Eggnog filling

4 large eggs, hard-boiled
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons dark rum

Make the florentines: Heat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the flour, pecans, cinnamon and salt and pulse until the nuts are very finely chopped, about 1 minute. Turn the nut mixture out into a large bowl.

In a small-medium saucepan set over high heat, combine the butter, sugar, heavy cream and syrup and bring it to a boil. Boil the mixture for one full minute, then turn off the heat and add the vanilla. Pour this caramel mixture over the nut mixture and stir to combine them. Set aside for at least 30 minutes, until it has cooled. Mixture will firm up and seem worrisome, but you should not be worried.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measure , scoop the dough into small balls and place them 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are thin and golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes. They will not crisp until they are cool, so don’t worry if they’re soft.

Let cool on baking sheets for 5 or so minutes before using a thin metal spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to paper towels to blot excess oil for a couple minutes. After they’ve been blotted, transfer cookies to a cooling rack, though they should be pretty cool by now. If any butter is left puddled on the parchment, wipe that off too before repeating the process with the remaining cookie dough.

Make the eggnog filling: Peel the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Save the whites for another use. Press the egg yolks through a fine-mesh strainer so that they become mashed and powdery. Place in a large bowl with butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Beat together until smooth, then raise mixer speed and beat until mixture is thick and frosting-like, about three minutes. Stir in the rum by hand.

Spread a dollop of eggnog filling on one cookie, then gently press a second one on top of it. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Place them in the fridge for 10 minutes before serving, to firm up the filling.