Makes about 24 florentines
15 minutes cooking

I love snacking on packaged Middle Eastern sesame bars, which are very hard and crunchy. These florentines are much chewier, but their sesame flavor reminds me of those. They are great with a cup of black tea. Don’t worry if the batter is not perfectly flat at the bottom of the muffin cups. It will liquefy and even out on its own while baking.

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (50 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and heavily spray two mini muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and honey. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, almonds, and sesame seeds. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the mixture into each mini muffin cup. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the florentines turn light golden brown.

Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly. Place a sheet of waxed paper on your work surface. While the pan is still warm but the florentines have begun to firm up, turn the pan over and tap the bottom so that the florentines fall onto the waxed paper. If you wait too long and have trouble removing them, place the pan back in the oven for about 1 minute, just enough to warm up the pan and soften the cookies. Let the florentines cool completely on a cooling rack, then store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks, placing waxed or parchment paper between the layers to keep the florentines from sticking to one another.

Excerpt & photo from Payard Cookies by Francois Payard. Copyright © 2015 by Francois Payard. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.