These delicate almond lace cookies are fragrant with the zest of an orange. The Florentine batter is made on the stovetop and then cooled, and then the cookies are baked up thin, crispy, and sweet. Drizzle with chocolate or make sandwich cookies.
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Fancy lace cookies for the holidays
If you love the combination of orange and chocolate then I think you'll love these chocolate florentine cookies. I began making them five or six years ago when my brother-in-law described a cookie he used to get at a bakery in Victoria BC.
I spent some time searching and then playing around with recipes. Usually, when I make this cookie, I melt the chocolate and then sandwich the cookies together. This year for our Christmas baking I drizzled chocolate on the individual cookies. They are good both ways so you can make it whichever way you want.
Ingredients you need
I use both slivered almonds, which I chop, and some almond flour. A lot of recipes use all purpose flour but I prefer leaving it out and using almond flour. I think it makes the cookies a little softer and chewier.
You'll also need sugar, heavy whipping cream, and unsalted butter. Some recipes use light corn syrup, but I don't. You'll also need the zest of one orange and then your choice of chocolate to melt. I also add a half teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Chocolate: I use dark chocolate because I just always use it, it's my favorite. I love orange and dark chocolate together. You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips if you prefer.
- Almond Flour: Instead of buying 2 products, you can simply buy slivered almonds and process them into both chopped almonds and almond flour.
How to make Florentine Lace Cookies
The batter for florentine cookies is made on the stovetop and then is cooled before you drop the cookies on the pan and bake them.
Just a quick note here about equipment - when I'm away from my cabin in the winter I don't have my large food processor. So I use one by Oster which is very similar to this hand blender.
I like mine because it has three attachments. You can chop nuts in the chopper attachment for this recipe, blend a soup or make mayonnaise with the immersion blender and whip a cream cheese icing with the whisk attachment.
I got mine at a garage sale last year and I love it and use it all the time. I'm sharing this for people who don't want a whole big food processor sitting around all the time because this appliance really does a lot!
Back to the recipe..
To start, chop the almonds. Use a food processor or knife to chop the slivered almonds until they are finely chopped into small pieces. Combine the chopped almonds with almond flour, orange zest, and salt.
In a medium pot, combine the sugar, butter, and heavy cream together. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and then hold at a boil for one minute.
Remove the pot from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix fully. Set aside and let cool for 20-30 minutes.
How to bake the cookies
When the dough has cooled a bit, use two teaspoons to drop smalls portions of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Drop portions that are about 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons in size. Place 12 per pan, leaving plenty of space in between the cookies, they will spread out a lot.
Flatten each cookie a little bit with wet fingers. Don't worry about getting the edges perfect, you can fix them a bit when they come out of the oven.
Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes or until they have spread completely and are golden brown and the edges are a bit darker. Remove from the oven and use a spoon or small offset spatula to make the edges neater.
Let cool for 10 minutes or so before moving to a cooling rack to fully cool. Be careful, these cookies will be very soft and delicate.
Melt the chocolate. Dip a fork into the melted chocolate and then drizzle the chocolate over the top of the florentines. Let them dry and set (I move the whole pan to the fridge for this). You can also read below to make sandwich cookies instead.
More recipes with orange zest
Tips and Tricks
How to melt Chocolate in a microwave
- Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat for 30 seconds.
- Heat further at 15-second intervals until chocolate is about 90-95% melted.
- Stir until fully melted.
How to melt Chocolate on the stovetop
- Add an inch or two of water to a small pot.
- Set a glass bowl on top of the pot.
- Place the chocolate in the bowl.
- Bring the water to a simmer.
- Continue to heat and stir the chocolate until fully melted.
How to make Florentine Sandwiches Cookies
- Melt chocolate.
- Spread chocolate on the bottom of one cookie. Press the bottom of another cookie into the chocolate and push gently to adhere. Allow to cool and set completely.
How to Get Perfectly Circle Florentine Cookies
- If your cookies are a bit misshapen when they come out of the oven and you want to fix them, you can. (You can also leave them, it's fine!) To reshape them, just gently nudge the edges while they are still hot. You can use a butter knife, back of a spoon of a small offset spatula to do this.
Yes, I store mine in the freezer.
Mine are but most recipes I've read contain a few tablespoons of all purpose flour. I use almond flour instead.
Florentine Cookies with Chocolate and Orange
- 1 cup slivered almonds (chopped)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (approximately, from one orange)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cups sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- chocolate for melting (about ½ cup chocolate chips)
- Chop almonds in a food processor or with a knife until finely chopped. Combine with almond flour, zest, and salt.
- In a medium pot, combine the sugar, cream, and butter. Bring to boil, boil for one minute, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir.
- Let cool 15-20 minutes or until it's at a temperature you can handle.15 minute timer
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare a half sheet pan with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Scoop teaspoons of batter onto the baking sheet. (1 - 1.5 teaspoons in size)
- Flatten with wet fingers.
- Bake 8-10 minutes. Bake 8 minutes
- Let cookies cool for about 10 minutes on the pan and then move to a cooling rack.Cool 10 minutes
- Melt chocolate in the microwave. Start with 30 seconds and then follow up with 15 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted. Dip a fork into the chocolate and drizzle over top of the cookies.
- Cool in fridge to set chocolate. Store in fridge or freezer.