Florentine Lace Cookies
These crisp and light Florentine Lace Cookies are one of my favorite holiday treats. Made with rich flavors of butter, vanilla, and orange, they’re delicate and deliciously caramelized. Drizzle with melted chocolate for a great finish!
Of all the crispy cookies out there, Florentines are some of the absolute best.
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.
They also take really well to adding other flavors, like orange peel, candied cherries, baking extracts, and more.
The trouble with delicate Florentine cookies 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. Plus, no corn syrup!
Step by Step Overview:
Start by bringing heavy cream, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar to a boil over medium high heat in a heavy-bottomed small saucepan, until the mixture starts to brown and pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan:
If the mixture starts to sputter too much, you may turn the temperature down to medium heat. You don’t want this persistently at a rolling boil.
Now it’s time to add almonds, orange zest, orange marmalade, all purpose flour, vanilla extract, and sea salt to make the cookie dough.
I make the ground almonds by placing 2 cups of whole almonds into a food processor, and processing them for about 30 seconds, until I have bits of almonds slightly larger than coarse sand.
Make sure you do not overprocess the nuts, or the oils will start to release and turn into almond butter (think peanut butter consistency — not good).
Using a cookie scoop or teaspoon measure, portion out small teaspoons of the cookie dough almond mixture onto a prepared baking sheet, and flatten the heaping teaspoons gently with your fingertips:
I like to line the sheet pans with silicone mats, but parchment paper works well too. Do not use wax paper, which will melt in the oven.
Bake in a 350 F oven until crispy and golden brown, rotating the sheet pan halfway through for even browning, then let them cool to fully set.
I recommend letting the florentine biscuits cool right on the cookie sheets, as they will fall apart if you try to move them to a wire cooling rack before they’ve set.
Now this is optional, but I like a little drizzle of chocolate on top. The choice of chocolate is completely up to you!
I drizzle the thin cookies with melted dark chocolate:
And I like to do some white chocolate too:
If you’re making these for Valentine’s Day, you could even make chocolate florentine cookies with Ruby chocolate, for a natural pink color.
Finally, let the chocolate harden:
Alternatively, you can turn these into sandwich cookies and spread a thin layer of chocolate between two pieces, and press together. Let the chocolate firm up, then enjoy. This is a great option for shipping, as it makes the cookie stronger.
These are great to include for a holiday cookie spread, and I have found them to ship decently well. I actually shipped a tin of these to my grandma and grandpa this year from Christmas (last year I sent them Peanut Brittle).
Also see 12 shipping-friendly food gift ideas for Christmas and beyond. Happy Holidays!
Recipe Tips and FAQ
Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Note: if you live in a very humid climate, the crisp cookies might become soft after a couple days.
Yes, in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
While I am a big fan of toasting nuts to awaken their nutty flavor, I haven’t found it to be necessary here. If you do toast the almonds, do it lightly since they will be cooked in both the saucepan and in the oven.
Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Florentine Lace 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.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
18 Comments on “Florentine Lace Cookies”
Can these be frozen?
Hi Joanne, did you use almonds w/ or w/o skin? I’ve seen recipes w/ a little bit of oatmeal, have you tried those? Thanks.
Mine had skin. Haven’t tried it with oatmeal, that’s interesting!
A great recipe I can’t wait to try out. I love Almond Lace Cookies and those brave enough to try them! I wish more would.
I came up with my own version of a Almond Lace Cookies, or as I sometimes call them, Broomstick cookies. While different from your own, I think mine is a unique take on the dish. I’m new to the Food Blog scene and would love some feedback from a pro like you. Check out my recipe if have time.
I’ve tried making these before without much luck, I printed your recipe and I will give your recipe a try. 🙂
Hi Joanne , just passing by to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Bountiful New Year !!! Oh , maybe you could throw a dozen of those delicious lace cookies over here ?! 😀
Aww thanks Anne, it is wonderful to hear from you! Happy Holidays!!!
Ooh these are so pretty and they look so good!!
What could you use instead of orange marmalade? Allergic.
Hi Jules, you can probably get away with leaving it out, though I haven’t tried doing it myself.
Ooooh…these are so pretty! They remind me of the cookies my sister always made around the holidays! I’m pinning now to make in the next few days! Thanks for sharing!
I’ve had my share of oopses with these cookies. I want to try your recipe!
saved this recipe~yum 🙂
I love lace cookies. Mine are made a bit differently, but what I love about this Lacey cookie, you can eat them plain or drizzled with chocolate . But my favorite way of eating them, is to frost the underside with chocolate, let them set, and the chocolate peeks thru the lace making them quite pretty, and sooo good with that extra chocolate .
Thanks for posting this…they look so yummy…..I do want to try these…..maybe not now, but soon 🙂
Wow these look fantastic, never heard of these type of cookies, but will deffinitaly be making them soon. Thanks for the easy to follow steps!
These look crisp, thin and perfect! yum!! Happy holidays!
Thank you for the nice recipe. Happy Holidays to you and your family.