Florentine Cookies are lace cookies made from chopped almonds with orange & vanilla.
They are then sandwiched with chocolate and you get the most delicious cookies.
My husband is Italian and so we have a great love for Italy and have been fortunate to have been to many cities there many times. Lake Como and Florence are our favorite and so are Florentine cookies that originated there in the Renaissance period.
I recently posted a White Chocolate Florentine Cookies recipe (< click text for recipe). Perfectly festive for the holiday’s, baby showers and weddings.
Our love of Florentines came about on one of our annual trips to Carmel-by-the-Sea in Central Coast California. Our favorite restaurant serves Florentine cookies and we just fell in love with them, so after many years of eating them, I finally have my own recipe.
Sometimes called lace cookies, Florentine cookies are made of finely chopped almonds with a hint of orange and vanilla, then either dipped or sandwiched with chocolate.
The dried orange is a delicious addition, as would many dried fruits. You can also leave it out and they will still taste good.
If you like to make your own dried/candied orange peel, here’s the recipe:
2 cups granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
3/4 cup water
- Cut the top and bottom off the oranges. Score the skin from top to bottom around the orange and peel. Cut the peel into strips, about 1/4 inches wide.
- Add water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Add the orange slices and blanch (boil) for 2 minutes.
- Drain, discard water and repeat 2 more times. This is to reduce the bitterness.
- In the same saucepan, whisk the sugar and the 3/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and is simmering.
- Add the orange peels and reduce heat to continue to simmer until the peels are translucent, about 45 minutes. DO NOT STIR. This will produce sugar crystals, but you can swirl the pan if needed to move the peels around.
- Drain the peels onto parchment paper and discard the syrup.
- Roll the peels in the sugar and allow to dry on a rack for 4 to 5 hours or overnight.
- Store in an air tight container until needed.
When preparing the dough to make the cookies, make the balls as round as possible, this will make nice round cookies. The dough will spread as they bake.
To drizzle chocolate over the cookie, put the melted chocolate into a small ziploc bag. Snip of a very tiny piece of the corner and pipe over the cookie. This will allow you to get the perfect drizzle.
The recipe calls for peeled almonds, which isn’t an easy thing to do so I have a post here on how to do that. Link> How to peel almonds.
- 1 cup (145 grams) raw almonds (see note)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons dried oranges (optional)
- 3/4 cup (140 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ pounds (567 grams) dark or milk chocolate cut into small chunks
- Position oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 325°F/163°C. Line a large 17 x 12 inch (43 x 30 cm) baking or cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- To peel the almonds: Over high heat, bring a saucepan of water to a boil.
Add the almonds and boil for 1 minute (no longer because they will soften). Drain and rinse with cold water to cool and stop them from cooking. Spread onto a towel and rub them until the peels come off. Dry well.
- Add the almonds to a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the almonds, flour and orange peel.
- To a small saucepan add the sugar, heavy cream corn syrup and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture comes to a rolling boil and the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to simmer for 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and add the mixture to the almond mix along with the vanilla. Stir until combined. Allow to cool until it is cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
- Using a teaspoon measuring spoon, portion out 1 teaspoon of dough and roll into a ball using your hands. Roll the balls as round as you can, this will ensure nice round cookies. If the dough seems dry and crumbly, simply put a ball of the dough your warm hand it will soften so you can shape.
- Place the dough balls 6-inches (15 cm) apart on to the prepared baking sheet. They spread to 3-inches (7 ½ cm) in diameter. You'll need to work in batches to fit your baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. If they join together, use a sharp knife to separate while they are hot and soft on the baking sheet as they will harden very quickly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes until they are no longer soft, then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate and microwave in 10 second increments, stirring in between until melted. Be careful not to burn.
- Take a cooled cookie, spread the chocolate on one side, take another cookie and make a sandwich, press carefully as they are delicate. Repeat with all cookies.
- If you would like to drizzle chocolate on the top, put the melted chocolate into a small ziptop bag. Snip of a very tiny piece of the corner and this will allow you to get the perfect drizzle.
- Allow the cookies to cool and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
If you can find already peeled almonds, skip step 2
Serving Size1 cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 189Saturated Fat 6gCholesterol 6mgSodium 6mgCarbohydrates 17gProtein 2g