Florentines

Florentines

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Dry: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 4 dozen (24 servings)

These classic Italian cookies are thin and crisp, usually with a dip or drizzle of chocolate. They are sometimes referred to as Florentine lace cookies because, as they bake, the cookies spread out and the chopped nuts and candied fruit form a lace pattern on the cookie sheet. Mix-ins to the batter can include nuts, candied fruit, dried apricots, or citrus zest

Since the cookies are thin and malleable right after baking, they can be shaped by draping the just-baked cookies over a rolling pin, upside-down muffin cups, or rolled into a cigar shape. However, they must be formed quickly because they harden fast. The cookies can be drizzled or spread with chocolate on one side, sandwiched together, or just eaten as is. 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds (very finely chopped)
  • 3/4 cup candied orange peel (4 ounces, very finely chopped)
  • 2 (4-ounce) bars German sweet chocolate

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

    Florentines ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream and sugar. Stir well to blend.

    Cream and sugar in a bowl
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. Add the flour, chopped almonds, and chopped candied orange peel. Mix well.

    Dry ingredients for Florentines
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Drop the mixture by teaspoonfuls, about 1 1/4 inch apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each round with a spatula to form a thin circle. The cookies will spread as they bake.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies begin to brown lightly around the edges. The centers of the cookies will be bubbling when you remove them from the oven. Let the cookies stand on the cookie sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they become firm enough to transfer. 

    Florentines on a baking sheet
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and cool completely on wire racks.

    Florentines cooling on a rack
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until completely melted and smooth. Alternately, the chocolate can be melted in a double boiler over hot, not boiling water. Stir until melted and smooth.

    Melted chocolate for Florentines
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. When cookies have completely cooled, turn them upside down and brush with the melted chocolate. 

    Florentines brushed with chocolate
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Let the cookies dry several hours or overnight at room temperature to give the chocolate time to set. 

    Cooling Florentines
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Serve with coffee or espresso.

Tip

  • Candied orange peel is made by taking the rind of an orange and boiling it in a simple syrup until they are slightly translucent and laid out to dry. Once they've dried, the orange peel is coated in sugar. You can make your own homemade candied orange peel or purchase prepared candied peel in the baking section of your grocery store.
  • Store remaining cookies in an airtight container.

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