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Florentine Cookies

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Lacy Florentine Cookies are a delight to the tastebuds with their rich, buttery, flavor and subtle almond taste.  When still warm you can make them into cones, dessert cups or shaped into cigar-like rolls.  And a drizzle of chocolate is a nice touch.

Plate of lacy florentine cookies, chocolate drizzle and cigar shaped

An assortment of florentine cookies

Florentine Cookies are crisp, nutty confections that are a favorite Christmas cookie.  The lacy delicate cookie looks stunning on a mixed cookie tray.

These sweet, nutty cookies are so easy to make and take just a few minutes to bake.  Baker beware!  They are addictive and will get gobbled up in a heart-beat! 

If you are planning on baking an assortment of cookies for the upcoming holiday season you may want to consider adding these florentine cookies to your recipe list.

What are Florentine Cookies?

Florentine cookies are a delicate, sweet confection called either a cookie or a biscuit.  These lacy florentines are sweet!  The are so crisp and thin that they can shatter as you take a bite.   To me they resemble neither a cookie nor a biscuit but more of a candy. 

Both biscuits and cookies have a good measure of flour in the ingredients as well as a leavening agent to help them rise.

Florentines are basically a lot of sugar, butter, ground nuts and very little flour.  The batter is thick and when the cookies begin to bake they quickly spread.  They become very thin and lacy as the sugar becomes caramelized and turns golden.

To further resemble a candy, a rich melted chocolate is usually drizzled on top of the florentine.  They can also be partially dipped in chocolate.  Often two cookies will have melted chocolate spread on their flat sides and sandwiched together.  While the cookies are still warm they are easily molded into different shapes. 

Plate of cigar-shaped florentine cookies with red ribbon

Great gift idea

Are Florentines from Italy?

Some folks believe that these cookies originated in Florence, Italy.  This may be a myth though as my research tells me that they are from France.  They were named “florentine” after Catherine de’Medici, the Florentine queen of France from the mid-17th century.

However, in Florence, Italy there is a confection called “Firenzini” which translates to Florence in Italian.  This confection is a small, soft caramel mound made of chopped almonds, honey and candied fruit.  Flour is not used in these cookies and the mound sits on a base of chocolate. 

How to make Florentine Cookies:

These cookies are easy and fun to make.  As they bake they spread into the classic lacy look and as they cool they become crisp. We have left some of our cookies nude and adorned some with a chocolate drizzle.  Still another portion we rolled into ‘cigars’. 

Processing photos to make florentine cookies

Easy Florentine Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. 
  • Chop the almonds very finely in the food processor and set aside
  • In a saucepan add the butter, sugar and corn syrup and heat just until the butter melts. Do not boil the mixture.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped almonds, flour, cream, almond extract, vanilla and salt. Cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • With a small cookie scoop place 6 mounds of dough on each prepared baking sheet. Space them about 4-inches apart to allow for spreading. Bake until golden amber, 10 to 11 minutes.
  • Allow the Florentines to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  • When completely cool, drizzle melted chocolate on top with a fork.

How to Make ‘Cigars’ and Other Shaped” Florentine Cookies:

After removing the baking sheet from the oven let the cookies cool for only 2 minutes then carefully roll each one around a wooden dowel or the handle of a wooden spoon.   You can also make cones and fill them for fancy desserts like we did in our Lacy Lavender Horns.

Rolled florentine cookies and one cookie on a wooden dowel

Cigar-shaped cookies

Bake larger size cookies and after they cool for 2 minutes place them over a small inverted custard cup and they will cool into individual, edible dessert dishes. 

You can have a lot of fun with these lacy florentine cookies….

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Easy Christmas Cutout Cookies: These Christmas sugar cookies taste buttery and sweet. Best of all, they hold their shape when you bake them and they come out perfect every time.
  • Pfeffernusse (German Spice Cookies):  An easy recipe for Pfeffernusse (German Spice Cookies) sweetened with brown sugar and molasses and a nice balance of spices plus a bonus of anise.
  • Einkorn Brownies with Cocoa Nibs:    Rich, moist and decadent brownies with cocoa nibs that give them some crunch. These brownies are fudgy and delicious guaranteed to please any chocolate lover!

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Plate of lacy florentine cookies, chocolate drizzle and cigar shaped

Florentine Cookies

Yield: 48 cookies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Lacy Florentine Cookies are a delight to the tastebuds with their rich, buttery flavor and subtle almond taste. When still warm they can be molded into dessert cups or shaped into cigar-like rolls. And a drizzle of chocolate is a nice touch.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups almonds
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 ounces chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  
  2. Add the almonds to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. In a medium saucepan, add the butter, sugar and corn syrup and heat over medium heat just until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally to blend.  Do not boil the mixture.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the chopped almonds, flour, cream, almond extract, vanilla and salt.  Stir to combine.  Set the mixture aside to cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  5. With a small cookie scoop or 2 tablespoons, spoon 6 mounds of dough on each prepared baking sheet.  Space them about 4-inches apart to allow for spreading.  Bake until golden amber, 10 to 11 minutes. 
  6. Allow the Florentines to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
  7. When the cookies are completely cool, drizzle chocolate over the tops.
  8. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2 weeks, or stored in the freezer for 3 months. 

Notes

  • If shaping into cigars or cups allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then shape them being careful to not burn fingers as they are very hot.
  • Use a thin-bladed spatula to remove the delicate cookies to the cooling rack.
  • Melted white chocolate can also be drizzled on the cookies.
  • Candied fruit is another option to add to the cookie dough
  • The cookies freeze well if stored in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 164Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Monday 21st of October 2019

They are one of my favourite holiday treats. Anything else that I could use instead of corn syrup?

Pat Nyswonger

Monday 21st of October 2019

Hi, Angie! That is a great question! I have not personally tried a substitution but I hear tell that it can be substituted with a simple sugar syrup of 1 cup granulated sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup of water. Check out more subs at The Spruce Eats . We would love to hear back on which version you use and how it works. These lacy, delicate florentine cookies really are something, aren't they. Thanks for your feedback ?

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