Though Austrian bakers are credited with inventing these cookies, their name implies an Italian heritage. They're a mixture of butter, sugar, cream, honey, candied fruit (and sometimes nuts) cooked in a saucepan before being dropped into mounds onto a cookie sheet and baked. The chewy, candylike florentines often have a chocolate coating on one side.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.