There is something about the end of the year and the holiday season that makes me want to bake as many different cookies as possible. I have loved Florentines ever since I started working in my first bakery storefront. But for a long time, the recipe for this classic Christmas cookie was a delightful mystery to me.
I love making these cookies for the holidays because they are unusual and that makes them a lovely surprise. Delicately thin and light and beautifully lacy, these Florentines will be the star of any dessert table.
They are delicious too. It is really hard to go wrong with the combination of almonds, orange, toffee and chocolate.
These cookies require a little patience when baking. You need to allow the mixture to cool, chill the dough before baking, and cool the cookies before finishing them. Take it from me, unless you want to stay up late, don’t start baking these cookies in the evening.
I have to tell you, these delicious, delicate cookies are absolutely worth the whole process. Beautiful on any holiday cookie platter, Florentines are delicious, gluten free cookies that are perfect for any time of year.
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Crispy and sweet, these beautiful lacy cookies will be the star of your dessert table.
Measure out almonds, flour and orange zest into a bowl. Stir until combined.
Measure out sugar, butter, cream, and honey into a heavy saucepan. Stir to combine.
Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
Add almond mix to saucepan and stir to combine.
Allow mixture to cool for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes.
Scoop into rounded one teaspoons and gently roll to form small balls. Scoop entire batch of dough into balls.
Place dough balls onto parchment paper covered baking sheet and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, space out 6 of the chilled dough balls evenly, giving them room to spread. Leave the rest of the dough in the refrigerator until needed. These cookies spread out completely so make sure to give them space.
Bake one pan at a time on the center rank of the oven, for 6-8 minutes, until the cookies have spread, the edges are golden brown and the centers are lightly golden.
Pull parchment paper off of baking sheet onto a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool completely. Once cooled, transfer cookies from parchment paper to paper towels. Discard parchment paper.
Repeat steps, until all the dough balls are baked and have cooled.
If making cookies in advance, stack cookies with parchment paper in between cookies, in a freezer safe container until needed. On day the cookies are needed, remove from freezer and allow to come to room temperature.
Once cookies are baked or at room temperature, placed chopped chocolate into a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time until melted.
Dip a spoon into the melted chocolate and drizzle over each cookie as sparsely or fully as desired. Allow the chocolate to harden completely before storing.
This Florentines recipe is gluten free and vegetarian.