These heavenly bars are a little time consuming, but well worth the effort. They are part bar cookie and part candy. I found the recipe about five years ago and have made them every year since at Christmas. They are as delicious as they are attractive.
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
Filling:2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup butter, cubed
2/3 cup liquid honey
4 cups sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups candied cherries
3/4 cup currants
Garnish:1 lb. white candy coating
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Gradually add flour and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
Press dough into an ungreased 15-inch x 10-inch x 1-inch baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cream, butter and honey. Cook stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 246 degrees F (firm-ball stage). Remove from heat; stir in the almonds, cherries and currants. Spread evenly over the crust.
Bake for 18-22 minutes or just until filling is set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate overnight.
Remove Florentine from pan. With a sharp knife, trim edges of crust, discard the trim. Cut lengthwise into six strips; cut each strip into 16 triangles.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating; stire until smooth. Dip the short side of each triangle into candy coating, place on waxed paper. Drizzle with additional candy coating. Let stand until set. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 8 dozen