Confession #139: I’m Stuck in Holiday Gear… Dark Chocolate Almond Florentines

by alexandra

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentines  - Thin, crispy, and delicate lace cookies sandwiched and drizzled with bittersweet chocolate. | brighteyedbaker.com

Does anyone else feel like getting back into the swing of things after Thanksgiving is just rough? I’ve definitely been dragging my feet when it comes to accomplishing anything resembling work/real life. I just want to cruise straight into the winter holidays, bake cookies, drink peppermint mochas and ignore the fact that life isn’t a perpetual weekend. It’d be nice, right?

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentines  - Thin, crispy, and delicate lace cookies sandwiched and drizzled with bittersweet chocolate. | brighteyedbaker.com

For four days I pretty much ignored any and all deadlines and boring non-holiday stuff, and it was a lot of fun to just get back in the kitchen and bake all day. I made my super-soft dinner rolls for Thanksgiving, plus a chocolate tart that IMO rivals this one any day. I’ll (hopefully) share that sometime once I get a chance to make it again and iron out the kinks. And you better bet I made some cornbread and honey butter and ate it all weekend long – recipe for that coming very soon. It was a pretty fun and food-filled weekend and I’m just having a little bit of a hard time getting my butt in gear again.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentines  - Thin, crispy, and delicate lace cookies sandwiched and drizzled with bittersweet chocolate. | brighteyedbaker.com

The only thing getting me through the next few weeks until the upcoming holidays is the promise of a break ahead and all the holiday-themed recipes I get to share with you guys, first of which is these cookies which I am SO excited about. Florentines (aka Lace Cookies) have always been one of the few store-bought cookies that I actually liked, and I initially had no idea how they were made or how in the world they got their thin, lacy pattern and delicate snap. I remember having one in Paris at À la Mère de Famille that was seriously incredible, but it didn’t really occur to me until earlier this year that I could make these gorgeous cookies  at home. But I can! And I did! And you can too! It’s actually simpler than I thought it would be, too.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentines  - Thin, crispy, and delicate lace cookies sandwiched and drizzled with bittersweet chocolate. | brighteyedbaker.com

Basically, lace cookies are made by cooking a sugar syrup and adding a mixture containing very finely chopped nuts to create a dough that spreads into a thin, crispy cookie as it bakes, with each little bit of nut held together by the sweet toffee-like laces of the cooked sugar. Once they’ve cooled after baking, you drizzle them with dark chocolate, and maybe even sandwich two together with chocolate in the middle, and the result is total cookie perfection. I also like to add some almond extract to the dough because it melds so well with the caramelly, almond cookie base and the bittersweet chocolate. These are on a completely different spectrum from typical thick and chewy cookies, but it’s the one instance where a thin, crisp cookie is exactly what I’m looking for. The complex combination of flavor and texture in these cookies is just beyond what words can explain.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentines  - Thin, crispy, and delicate lace cookies sandwiched and drizzled with bittersweet chocolate. | brighteyedbaker.com

These florentines are without a doubt a cookie you should add to your Christmas baking list, if not because they’re so good then because they’re totally impressive! (But fair warning, once you try them you might not want to give them away!)

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentines  - Thin, crispy, and delicate lace cookies sandwiched and drizzled with bittersweet chocolate. | brighteyedbaker.com

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies

Cook Time: 11 minutes

about 54 large cookies or 27 cookie sandwiches

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies

Thin, lacy, toffee-like almond cookies sandwiched and drizzled with bittersweet chocolate make a fancy, impressive, and sublime holiday treat!

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 10 1/2 ounces (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/8 ounces (1/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 3 1/8 ounces (1/4 cup) light corn syrup
  • 12 1/4 ounces (3 1/2 cups) slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 5/8 ounces (6 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 12-15 ounces bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate, melted (preferably tempered)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, cream, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Allow butter to melt and sugar to dissolve, stirring occasionally, and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Process almonds in a food processor to the consistency of fine gravel (kinda like Nerds candies, but not as fine as almond meal). Whisk together with cocoa, flour, and salt in a bowl until evenly combined.
  4. Add vanilla and almond extracts to the sugar mixture, stirring in to combine, and then mix in the dry ingredients until everything is evenly combined. Cool until thick enough to scoop and work with (this may only take a few minutes).
  5. Scoop dough by tablespoons and shape into small balls. Lay out on a separate piece of parchment paper.
  6. Place 6 cookies at a time on the parchment-lined baking sheet to bake, well spread apart with a few inches between each cookie and the sides of the baking sheet. Bake on middle rack of oven for 11-12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time, until cookies are golden. Cool for a few minutes and then use a 2 3/4" - 3" round cookie cutter to stamp circles in cookies. You can either tear off excess cookie around cutter while cookies are soft or somewhat firm, or wait until the cookies have crisped up and snap off the excess around the stamped indentation. One method or the other might work better depending on how well the cookies are stamped with the cutter. Continue baking cookies 6 at a time, alternating baking sheets to cool between batches, until all cookies are baked and cut.
  7. Once all cookies have baked and cooled, spread melted chocolate over half and top each with a second cookie. Drizzle any excess chocolate over the cookie sandwiches.
  8. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. I found that the chocolate cookies had a better crunch once stored in the refrigerator overnight.

Notes

*For smaller cookies, scoop dough by 1/2 tablespoons and bake 9 to a sheet for 10-11 minutes. Use a 2 1/2" round cookie cutter to stamp after baking.

http://www.brighteyedbaker.com/2013/12/03/confession-139-im-stuck-in-holiday-gear-dark-chocolate-almond-florentines/

Recipe Adapted From: Food Network

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Who else is super excited about holiday baking? I want to know what’s on your t0-bake list!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 3, 2013

I love Florentines, these look scrumptious!

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Ashley December 4, 2013

Oh man I hear ya. I cannot for the life of me get motivated with any of my day job stuff. All I want to do is bake and watch Christmas movies! I’ve always wanted to make florentines at home – these look great!
Ashley recently posted..Pineapple Pork Fried RiceMy Profile

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alexandra December 7, 2013

I know right? December is just NOT a good month for me when it comes to motivation – unless it’s food-related ;)! You should try making florentines though, it’s fun and they’re just as good as anything you can buy!

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Dina December 5, 2013

they turned out perfectly and look delish!
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Liz @ Life Made Sweet December 5, 2013

I love Florentines!! One of the only thin and crispy cookies I actually like! I totally hear on motivation! I feel like everyone should just have December off!
Liz @ Life Made Sweet recently posted..How to Decorate Snowflake CookiesMy Profile

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Colleen (Souffle Bombay) December 6, 2013

These are GORGEOUS!!

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alexandra December 7, 2013

Thanks so much!

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Ala December 10, 2013

You don’t have to warn me–I *never* want to give away my lace cookies ;) I forgot all about these little babies when I was making a batch of holiday giveaways this year, but this is most definitely on my list for the next holiday gathering. Thanks for sharing!

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alexandra December 13, 2013

Or you could just make them for yourself this year! I would call that a good plan ;)

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Tieghan December 10, 2013

These look insanely good!! I love the dark chocolate!

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alexandra December 13, 2013

Thanks Tieghan! They’re a favorite cookie of mine, for sure!

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Susan December 16, 2013

If I’m starting with groud nuts what measurement should I use? I was lucky enought to use 1/2 a bag of ground almonds for another recipie and they would be perfect for this I just want to get the measurement down I don’t want too much almond to toffee ratio. Thanks for any help.

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alexandra December 17, 2013

To be honest, I can’t say for sure what the equivalent would be if your nuts are already ground. Of course, if you have a kitchen scale, the measurement by weight would be the same, but volume-wise, I don’t know. Also, make sure the almonds you plan to use are JUST finely chopped and not almond meal, which is very fine and flour-like.
Chopping up slivered almonds in the food processor as described in the recipe is really fast anyway!

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Persnickety January 25, 2014

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.

http://persnicketypanhandler.blogspot.com/2014/01/almond-lace-cookies.html

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alexandra January 25, 2014

Lace cookies look complicated, but they’re really not that hard to make at all, right? I hope you get a chance to try the recipe at some point!

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MelanieR May 20, 2014

Making these now. My oven tends to be on the hot side… at 325, for 10 min and they are PERFECT! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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alexandra May 22, 2014

I’m so glad you tried them! It’s one of my favorite recipes, especially because it’s so unique. Hope you enjoyed them as much as we did. :)

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Annie May 24, 2014

I used this recipe and they turned out great! I didn’t use a cookie cutter to shape them because I thought their natural form looked pretty and rustic. But, they did come out a bit greasy from the butter… Anyone know how to avoid that? I set them on paper towels to blot out the oil but they still left my fingers greasy.

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alexandra May 27, 2014

I didn’t have a problem with greasiness myself, so I’m wondering if perhaps you somehow skimped on the dry ingredients (almond, cocoa, and flour)? That, or is it possible that you didn’t bring the sugar mixture to a full rolling boil?
I’m glad you liked the cookies regardless!

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Joan June 21, 2014

I just baked these and they taste delicious! However, they’ve been cooling for an hour and are quite chewy. Are they supposed to be? I was expecting them to be crispy. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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alexandra June 21, 2014

Hmm… they should definitely be crispy! Did you definitely bring the sugar mixture to a rolling boil? If you did, maybe you just needed to cook them for a minute or two longer in your oven. For this batch though, try putting them in the fridge overnight; that should help them crisp up. :)

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sheila July 19, 2014

Hi! I’ve been wanting to make lace cookies. I was wondering if can replace honey with light corn syrup? Will it turn out to be the same?

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alexandra July 21, 2014

I haven’t tested it so I really can’t say for sure. Typically in a recipe like this where you’re cooking a sugar syrup, corn syrup is your best bet. In some cases, honey may work though, so if you give it a try, please let me know how it goes!

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sheila July 30, 2014

Unfortunately, mine did not work out :( I was so disappointed and I am not sure what went wrong. The cookie was still sticky when I took it out from the oven and when I let it cool, it just sticks to the parchment paper and I can’t even remove it. So I made another batch and let it in the oven a bit longer but the sides was a bit burnt and was chewy on the inside :(

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alexandra July 30, 2014

I’m so sorry to hear that Sheila! It’s hard for me to determine what went wrong without being there in your kitchen with you. ;) My only thought: did you bring the sugar mixture to a full rolling boil as directed? Other than that, it might help to have a kitchen scale so you can measure all your ingredients by weight for more precision.

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Pam July 28, 2014

How far ahead can you make these and would you keep them in the frig.
I was hoping they would stay crisp for 3 days.
They look amazing and can’t wait to start making them.

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alexandra July 30, 2014

I think they would easily stay crisp for 3 days in the fridge. You could always make the cookies ahead of time and add the chocolate later, but I would think either way would work well.

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