Florentine Lace Cookies
There’s still time for cookies, my friends. Let’s make some Florentines today!
Of course, there are a zillion different kinds of cookies that are pretty darned enjoyable, but Florentines are one of my favorites. They are a thin and crispy cookie with a lacy texture (that’s why they’re often called Lace Cookies) and they have a sweet toffee-like flavor. Mmm.
The trouble with Florentines is they can be a bit tricky to make. Or at least, I always found them tricky before I stumbled on this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. I’ve tweaked their version very slightly to accommodate my tastes, but as they always do, they created a Florentine base that’s very reliable. Which is good, because I get really grumpy when a recipe doesn’t turn out right (oh I know you do too).
Start by cooking cream, butter, and sugar in a heavy saucepan, until the mixture starts to brown and pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan:
Mix in almonds, orange zest, orange marmalade, and other flavors to make the cookie dough:
Portion out small teaspoons of cookie dough onto a sheet pan and flatten gently with your fingers:
Bake until crispy, then let them cool. Drizzle with dark chocolate:
And heck, let’s do some white chocolate too while we’re at it:
Let the chocolate harden:
I actually shipped a tin of these to my grandma and grandpa this year from Christmas (last year I sent them Peanut Brittle). I will have to ask them how they traveled.
Florentine Lace Cookies
Yield: 4-5 dozen cookies
2 cups almonds
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange marmalade
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
melted bittersweet chocolate, optional, for drizzling
melted white chocolate, optional, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Place the almonds in a food processor and process them for about 30 seconds until the almonds are ground up into small bits, slightly larger than coarse sand.
Place the cream, butter, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. First, the mixture will start to thicken, then it will start to brown at the edges, and if you tilt the pan, the mixture will pull away from the sides of the pan. Once it's brown at the edges and pulling away from the pan, stir in the almonds, marmalade, flour, vanilla, orange zest, and salt.
Using a tsp measure, place 12 heaps of dough onto each sheet pan, flattening each spoonful gently with your fingers (if it's too hot to press, you can wait a few minutes).
Bake the cookies until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through so it's evenly browned. Let the cookies cool enough on the sheet pan to let it hold its shape, then move to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Drizzle the cooled cookies with melted chocolate if desired, and let it harden at room temperature or in the fridge. Enjoy!
These cookies will keep for 3-4 days at room temperature.
Recipe adapted very slightly from Cooks Illustrated